नारायणं नमस्कृत्य नरं चैव नरोत्तमम्
देवीं सरस्वतीं चैव ततो जयम् उदीरयेत्
As retold by
Michael Dolan, B.V. Mahāyogi
Bhagavad-gītā Chapter Two
Arjuna's Crisis of Conscience
And having spoken thus on the field of battle, Arjuna, overwhelmed with grief, cast aside his bow and arrows and sat down on his car."
Sañjaya said, "Seeing Arjuna tearful in his moment of crisis, the slayer of Madhu, Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa said, '"How has such a crisis come upon you, O Arjuna? Your weakness is unbecoming one of noble birth; it will close the doors of heaven to you and lead to infamy. This is not the time for such cowardice. It is unlike you. You are a conqueror. Leave aside this softness of heart. Now stand and fight!'"
"But Arjuna said, 'O Madhusūdana, how can I attack my reverent grandfather, Bhiṣma and my teacher Drona with sharp arrows in battle? It would be better to live by begging. The feast of triumph would be stained with blood. I don't know which is better: to kill or be killed. Even conquering them all there is no victory, for I am only killing my own family. My heart is heavy and my mind is confused. I can no longer understand what to do. I am overcome with the vice of compassion. I have no idea what is right and wrong. I surrender myself completely to you. Consider me your disciple and teach me."
In his purport on this verse, Bhaktivedānta Swāmi comments as follows:
In every step there is perplexity and therefore it behooves one to approach a bona fide spiritual master who can give one proper guidance for executing the purpose of life. All Vedic literatures advise us to approach a bona fide spiritual master to get free from the perplexities of life, which happen without our desire. They are like a forest fire that somehow blazes without being set by anyone. ...The Vedic wisdom therefore advises that in order to solve the perplexities of life one must approach a spiritual master who is in the disciplic succession. Being intelligent, Arjuna could understand that his affection for family members and his wish to protect them from death were the causes of his perplexities. Although he could understand that his duty to fight was awaiting him, still, on account of miserly weakness, he could not discharge the duties. He is therefore asking Lord Kṛṣṇa, the supreme spiritual master, to make a definite solution. He offers himself to Kṛṣṇa as a disciple. He wants to stop friendly talks. Talks between the master and the disciple are serious and now Arjuna wants to talk very seriously before the recognized spiritual master.