tam tatha kripayavistam
visidantam idam vakyam
Sanjaya said: Seeing Arjuna full of compassion, his mind depressed, his eyes full of tears, Madhusudana, Krishna, spoke the following words.
Commentary by Srila Prabhupada
Material compassion, lamentation and tears are all signs of ignorance of the real self. Compassion for the eternal soul is self-realization. The word “Madhusudana” is significant in this verse. Lord Krishna killed the demon Madhu, and now Arjuna wanted Krishna to kill the demon of misunderstanding that had overtaken him in the discharge of his duty. No one knows where compassion should be applied. Compassion for the dress of a drowning man is senseless. A man fallen in the ocean of nescience cannot be saved simply by rescuing his outward dress—the gross material body. One who does not know this and laments for the outward dress is called a shudra, or one who laments unnecessarily. Arjuna was a kshatriya, and this conduct was not expected from him. Lord Krishna, however, can dissipate the lamentation of the ignorant man, and for this purpose the Bhagavad-gita was sung by Him. This chapter instructs us in self-realization by an analytical study of the material body and the spirit soul, as explained by the supreme authority, Lord Sri Krishna. This realization is possible when one works without attachment to fruitive results and is situated in the fixed conception of the real self.
Commentary by Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur
In this second chapter, after destroying the darkness of bewilderment and lamentation of Arjuna by distinction of soul and body, Krishna speaks about the characteristics of the liberated soul.