Taan sameekshya sa kaunteyah
sarvaan bandhoon avasthitaan.
He saw fathers-in-law and friends also in both armies.
The son of
Kunti—Arjuna—seeing all these kinsmen standing arrayed, spoke thus sorrowfully, filled with
Drishtwemam swajanam Krishna
Seedanti mama gaatraani
mukham cha parishushyati;
Looking at Krishna, Arjuna said, “Seeing my friends and relatives eager the fight me, I feel the limbs of my body shivering and my mouth is parched”
RG Purport: After the chariot of Arjuna was placed at the center of the battlefield, Arjuna saw that he was pitted against the Kauravas who were his blood relatives. The sight of the array of relatives made Arjuna tremble. Arjuna was in a pitiable condition. When a person moves around with family members even if the relations are not cordial, one is aware that someone is one’s uncle, aunt or cousin. Thus in a way they become extended parts of one’s own self. The seed of attachment to family develops into attachment for neighborhood or attachment for the town and attachment for a nation. It should be properly understood that material life in itself is a play of attachment. This makes the world go round. However when there is a fear of loss of a person or thing which is an object of one’s attachment it is bound to create untold suffering. One’s inner state becomes disarrayed and one is not able to control or undergo the pangs of suffering. Due to severe attachment, one can experience the symptoms as mentioned in the verse. Arjuna, simply by the thought of war against his relatives is already feeling this deep pain in the heart arising due to attachment to them. Arjuna seemed to forget the suffering the Pandavas underwent at the hands of Kauravas. The attachment is so severe that Arjuna out of his compassion for the Kauravas feels deeply attached to them and wants to save the Kauravas from annihilation. The pity on the face of Arjuna reflects his qualification as the eternal friend of the Lord. Arjuna has the qualities of the Lord especially of universal compassion where he is concerned for the Kauravas knowing well that all of them will be finally slain in the holy war of Dharma Kshetra Kurukshetra.