nabhahasprisham deeptamanekavarnam vyaattaananam deeptavishaalanetram |
drishtvaa hi tvaam pravyathitaantaraatmaa dhritim na vindaami shamam cha vishno || 24 ||

Seeing you touching the sky, glowing with several colours, with gaping mouths and large blazing eyes, my mind is scared. I have neither courage nor serenity, O Vishnu.
nabhahasprisham : touching the sky
deeptam : glowing
anekavarnam : several colours
vyaatta : gaping
aananam : mouths
deeptavishaalanetram : large blazing eyes
drishtvaa : seeing
hi : for
tvaam : you
pravyathita : scared
antaraatmaa : mind
dhritim : courage
na : no
vindaami : I have
shamam : serenity
cha : and
vishnoho : O Vishnu
Arjuna describes just how gigantic the cosmic form looked. He says that it “touched the sky”. Its size, combined with the horrible imagery that he saw, created a sight that was scarier than anything we can imagine. Arjuna says that it had an infinite number of colours, indicating the potential to create all kinds of names and forms. Furthermore, it had an infinite number of mouths wide open with fangs, as well as gigantic fiery eyes.
This “raudra roopa” or angry form of Ishvara had quite an impact on Arjuna. He admitted to Shri Krishna that he had lost his courage. For one of the world’s foremost warriors that considers courage paramount to say such a thing indicates that this cosmic form must really have been something beyond the realm of our imagination.
Arjuna also admitted that he had lost all his serenity. In the second chapter, Shri Krishna mentioned that a “sthita-prajnya” or one who is established in the eternal essence has three key qualities: holistic vision, serenity of mind, and unattached living. Arjuna was a tranquil person by nature, but this manifestation of the cosmic form has the effect of destabilizing him.
From our perspective, even if we never see this terrible form, there are several instances in our life when we experience situations that make us lose our will to fight, and also take our serenity away. This shloka urges to recognize Ishvara’s handiwork behind even those situations that make us lose faith in him, and to constantly remind ourselves that every unfortunate circumstance is a means for our self-purification.
Even though Arjuna wanted Shri Krishna to end displaying this cosmic form, there was more to come as we shall see next.