Bhagavad Gita 2.3 Explained – Krishna’s Admonition and Call to Duty

क्लैब्यं मा स्म गमः पार्थ नैतत्त्वय्युपपद्यते।
क्षुद्रं हृदयदौर्बल्यं त्यक्त्वोत्तिष्ठ परन्तप।।

श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता 2.3

klaibhyaṁ mā sma gamaḥ pārtha naitattvayyupapadyate |
kṣhudraṁ hṛidaya-daurbalyaṁ tyaktvottiṣhṭha parantapa ||

Shrimad Bhagavad Gita 2.3

O Arjuna! Why give way to unmanliness? O thou who art the terror of thine enemies! Shake off such shameful effeminacy, make ready to act!

Simplified English Translation of BG 2.3

In this verse, Lord Krishna firmly admonishes Arjuna for his weakness and despondency, urging him to rise above his emotional turmoil and fulfill his duty as a warrior. Swami Ramsukhdas Ji’s insightful commentary sheds light on the deeper implications of Krishna’s words, emphasizing the importance of overcoming one’s limitations and acting in accordance with one’s true nature and responsibilities.

Key Insights from Swami Ramsukhdas Ji’s Commentary

1. Addressing Arjuna as “Partha”

By calling Arjuna “Partha” (son of Pritha or Kunti), Krishna reminds him of his noble lineage and the bravery inherent in his nature as a Kshatriya (warrior class). This form of address is meant to awaken the spirit of valor within Arjuna and encourage him to live up to his mother’s expectations.

2. Admonishing Arjuna’s Unmanliness

Krishna firmly rebukes Arjuna for his display of weakness and unmanliness (klaibhyam), stating that it is unbecoming of him as a warrior. He urges Arjuna to abandon this attitude, as it is not in alignment with his true nature and duty.

3. The Inappropriateness of Arjuna’s Despondency

Krishna emphasizes that Arjuna’s despondency is entirely inappropriate, given his identity as a brave warrior and the son of the courageous Kunti. He reminds Arjuna that both by birth and by nature, such weakness is unacceptable for him.

4. Calling Arjuna “Parantapa”

By addressing Arjuna as “Parantapa” (scorcher of foes), Krishna further reinforces Arjuna’s identity as a formidable warrior. He questions how Arjuna, who is known for defeating his enemies, can now turn away from battle and bring joy to his foes through his inaction.

5. Urging Arjuna to Cast Off His Weakness

Krishna describes Arjuna’s weakness as “petty” (kshudra) and arising from a lack of strength in his heart (hridaya-daurbalyam). He instructs Arjuna to discard this weakness, as it is unworthy of him and will lead to a loss of reputation, heaven, and glory. Krishna firmly directs Arjuna to rise up and face his duty as a warrior.


In this verse, Lord Krishna’s strong words serve as a wake-up call for Arjuna, jolting him out of his emotional turmoil and reminding him of his true identity and duty. Swami Ramsukhdas Ji’s commentary highlights the importance of living in accordance with one’s inherent nature and fulfilling one’s responsibilities, even in the face of difficult choices.

This verse teaches us that we must rise above our weaknesses, cast off self-doubt, and act with courage and determination in the pursuit of our dharma (righteous duty). By doing so, we align ourselves with our highest potential and contribute to the greater good. As spiritual seekers, let us embrace the wisdom of this verse and strive to live a life of integrity, courage, and unwavering commitment to our true purpose.