Bhagavad Gita 2.1

Text 1

sanjaya uvaca
tam tatha kripayavistam
asru-purnakuleksanam
visidantam idam vakyam
uvaca madhusudanah

Translation

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.


Bhagavad Gita 2.2

Text 2

sri-bhagavan uvaca
kutas tva kasmalam idam
visame samupasthitam
anarya-justam asvargyam
akirti-karam arjuna

Translation

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Arjuna, how have these impurities come upon you? They are not at all befitting a man who knows the value of life. They lead not to higher planets but to infamy.

Commentary by Srila Prabhupada

Krishna and the Supreme Personality of Godhead are identical. Therefore Lord Krishna is referred to as Bhagavan throughout the Gita. Bhagavan is the ultimate in the Absolute Truth. Absolute Truth is realized in three phases of understanding, namely Brahman, or the impersonal all-pervasive spirit; Paramatma, or the localized aspect of the Supreme within the heart of all living entities; and Bhagavan, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.11) this conception of the Absolute Truth is explained thus:

vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvam yaj jnanam advayam
brahmeti paramatmeti
bhagavan iti sabdyate

“The Absolute Truth is realized in three phases of understanding by the knower of the Absolute Truth, and all of them are identical. Such phases of the Absolute Truth are expressed as Brahman, Paramatma, and Bhagavan.”

These three divine aspects can be explained by the example of the sun, which also has three different aspects, namely the sunshine, the sun’s surface and the sun planet itself. One who studies the sunshine only is the preliminary student. One who understands the sun’s surface is further advanced. And one who can enter into the sun planet is the highest. Ordinary students who are satisfied by simply understanding the sunshine—its universal pervasiveness and the glaring effulgence of its impersonal nature—may be compared to those who can realize only the Brahman feature of the Absolute Truth. The student who has advanced still further can know the sun disc, which is compared to knowledge of the Paramatma feature of the Absolute Truth. And the student who can enter into the heart of the sun planet is compared to those who realize the personal features of the Supreme Absolute Truth. Therefore, the bhaktas, or the transcendentalists who have realized the Bhagavan feature of the Absolute Truth, are the topmost transcendentalists, although all students who are engaged in the study of the Absolute Truth are engaged in the same subject matter. The sunshine, the sun disc and the inner affairs of the sun planet cannot be separated from one another, and yet the students of the three different phases are not in the same category.

The Sanskrit word bhagavan is explained by the great authority Parashara Muni, the father of Vyasadeva. The Supreme Personality who possesses all riches, all strength, all fame, all beauty, all knowledge and all renunciation is called Bhagavan. There are many persons who are very rich, very powerful, very beautiful, very famous, very learned, and very much detached, but no one can claim that he possesses all riches, all strength, etc., entirely. Only Krishna can claim this because He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. No living entity, including Brahma, Lord Shiva, or Narayana, can possess opulences as fully as Krishna. Therefore it is concluded in the Brahma-samhita by Lord Brahma himself that Lord Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. No one is equal to or above Him. He is the primeval Lord, or Bhagavan, known as Govinda, and He is the supreme cause of all causes:

ishvarah paramah krishnah
sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah
anadir adir govindah
sarva-karana-karanam

“There are many personalities possessing the qualities of Bhagavan, but Krishna is the supreme because none can excel Him. He is the Supreme Person, and His body is eternal, full of knowledge and bliss. He is the primeval Lord Govinda and the cause of all causes.” (Brahma-samhita 5.1)

In the Bhagavatam also there is a list of many incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but Krishna is described as the original Personality of Godhead, from whom many, many incarnations and Personalities of Godhead expand:

ete camsa-kalah pumsah
krishnas tu bhagavan svayam
indrari-vyakulam lokam
mrdayanti yuge yuge

“All the lists of the incarnations of Godhead submitted herewith are either plenary expansions or parts of the plenary expansions of the Supreme Godhead, but Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself.” (Bhag. 1.3.28)

Therefore, Krishna is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth, the source of both the Supersoul and the impersonal Brahman.

In the presence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Arjuna’s lamentation for his kinsmen is certainly unbecoming, and therefore. Krishna expressed His surprise with the word kutah, “wherefrom.” Such impurities were never expected from a person belonging to the civilized class of men known as Aryans. The word Aryan is applicable to persons who know the value of life and have a civilization based on spiritual realization. Persons who are led by the material conception of life do not know that the aim of life is realization of the Absolute Truth, Vishnu, or Bhagavan, and they are captivated by the external features of the material world, and therefore they do not know what liberation is. Persons who have no knowledge of liberation from material bondage are called non-Aryans. Although Arjuna was a kshatriya, he was deviating from his prescribed duties by declining to fight. This act of cowardice is described as befitting the non-Aryans. Such deviation from duty does not help one in the progress of spiritual life, nor does it even give one the opportunity to become famous in this world. Lord Krishna did not approve of the so-called compassion of Arjuna for his kinsmen.

Commentary by Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur

Why (kutah) has this bewilderment (kasmalam) at this critical juncture of the war (visame) come upon you (upasthitam), which is not to be experienced by persons firmly established in dharmic principles (anarya justam), which is against both happiness in next life (asvargyam) and this life (akirti karam)?


Bhagavad Gita 2.3

Text 3

klaibyam ma sma gamah partha
naitat tvayy upapadyate
ksudram hridaya-daurbalyam
tyaktvottistha parantapa

Translation

O son of Pritha, do not yield to this degrading impotence. It does not become you. Give up such petty weakness of heart and arise, O chastiser of the enemy.

Commentary by Srila Prabhupada

Arjuna was addressed as the son of Pritha, who happened to be the sister of Krishna’s father Vasudeva. Therefore Arjuna had a blood relationship with Krishna. If the son of a kshatriya declines to fight, he is a kshatriya in name only, and if the son of a brahmana acts impiously, he is a brahmana in name only. Such kshatriyas and brahmanas are unworthy sons of their fathers; therefore, Krishna did not want Arjuna to become an unworthy son of a kshatriya. Arjuna was the most intimate friend of Krishna, and Krishna was directly guiding him on the chariot; but in spite of all these credits, if Arjuna abandoned the battle he would be committing an infamous act. Therefore Krishna said that such an attitude in Arjuna did not fit his personality. Arjuna might argue that he would give up the battle on the grounds of his magnanimous attitude for the most respectable Bhishma and his relatives, but Krishna considered that sort of magnanimity mere weakness of heart. Such false magnanimity was not approved by any authority. Therefore, such magnanimity or so-called nonviolence should be given up by persons like Arjuna under the direct guidance of Krishna.

Commentary by Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur

“Do not become cowardly (klaibyam), impotent. O Partha, you are the son of Prtha, but in spite of that you have acted like this. Do not yield to this. This weakness should be checked even in the inferior ksatriyas, but in you, my friend, it is not proper at all.”

“Do not worry about my lack of bravery; do not think I am a coward. One must consider the precepts of dharma in regards to Bhisma, Drona and other elders, and also consider the aspect of compassion in regard to the sons of Dhrtarastra, who, being weaker than I, being afflicted by my weapons, are about to die.”

“This is not discretion based on dharma and mercy, but bewilderment and lamentation, indications of a weak mind (ksudram hrdaya daurbalyam). Therefore give up this weakness of mind and rise up. O conqueror of enemies (parantapa), you, who afflict enemies, fight!”


Bhagavad Gita 2.4

Text 4

arjuna uvaca
katham bhismam aham sankhye
dronam ca madhusudana
isubhih pratiyotsyami
pujarhav ari-sudana

Translation

Arjuna said: O killer of enemies, O killer of Madhu, how can I counterattack with arrows in battle men like Bhishma and Drona, who are worthy of my worship?

Commentary by Srila Prabhupada

Respectable superiors like Bhishma the grandfather and Dronacarya the teacher are always worshipable. Even if they attack, they should not be counterattacked. It is general etiquette that superiors are not to be offered even a verbal fight. Even if they are sometimes harsh in behavior, they should not be harshly treated. Then, how is it possible for Arjuna to counterattack them? Would Krishna ever attack His own grandfather, Ugrasena, or His teacher, Sandipani Muni? These were some of the arguments offered by Arjuna to Krishna.

Commentary by Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur

“According to scriptures of dharma, not respecting those worthy of worship is a cause of bondage: pratibadhnati hi sreyah pujya-puja-vyatikramah. Therefore I withdraw from fighting. How can I kill them?” The form prati yotsyami (parasmaipada) is used instead of the form prati yotsye (atmanepada, for oneself).

“But those two elders are fighting. Are you not able to fight against them?”

“No I cannot do so, for they are worthy of worship (pujarhau): I should offer flowers to their feet in devotion rather than sharp arrows in anger. O friend Krishna! Even you injure only the enemies in battle, and not your own guru Sandipani Muni or your friends the Yadus, O Madhusudana, killer of Madhu!”

“But I am a descendent of Madhu, therefore called Madhava, in the ancient lineage of the Yadu dynasty. How could I have killed Madhu?”

“No, 1 do not mean that Madhu. I am speaking about the demon named Madhu who was your enemy (ari sudana).”


Bhagavad Gita 2.5

Text 5

gurun ahatva hi mahanubhavan
sreyo bhoktum bhaiksyam apiha loke
hatvartha-kamams tu gurun ihaiva
bhunjiya bhogan rudhira-pradigdhan

Translation

It would be better to live in this world by begging than to live at the cost of the lives of great souls who are my teachers. Even though desiring worldly gain, they are superiors. If they are killed, everything we enjoy will be tainted with blood.

Commentary by Srila Prabhupada

According to scriptural codes, a teacher who engages in an abominable action and has lost his sense of discrimination is fit to be abandoned. Bhishma and Drona were obliged to take the side of Duryodhana because of his financial assistance, although they should not have accepted such a position simply on financial considerations. Under the circumstances, they have lost the respectability of teachers. But Arjuna thinks that nevertheless they remain his superiors, and therefore to enjoy material profits after killing them would mean to enjoy spoils tainted with blood.

Commentary by Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur

“If you don’t want the kingdom, then how will you live?”

“Not killing my elders, I will live by begging, though it is condemned for the ksatriya to do so. It is better to eat that food got from begging. That is, though it will bring infamy in this life, it will not be inauspicious for future lives. These gurus have not become proud. One should reject only the followers of Duryodhana who do not know right from wrong. The scriptures say:

guror apy avaliptasya karyakaryam ajanatah utpathapratipannasya parityago vidhlyate

One should reject the guru who is proud, does not know proper behavior, who becomes engaged in sinful life. Mahabharata 5.178.24

They, on the contrary, are great souls (mahanubhavan). What fault is there in Bhisma and others who have control over time and lust?”

“But Bhisma said to Yudhisthira,

arthasya puruso daso dasas tv artho na kasyacit iti satyam maharaja baddho ‘smy arthena kauravaih

Man is a servant of wealth. Wealth is not a servant of anyone. O king, I have been bound by wealth to the Kauravas. Mahabharata 6.41.36

Therefore, has not their great character been destroyed by such desire for wealth?”

“That is true, but if I kill them, I will be unhappy. Though in killing those Kurus who are greedy for wealth (artha kaman), I should enjoy the wealth, it is contaminated with their blood. The meaning is this: though they have desire for wealth, they are still my gurus. Therefore in killing them, because I commit the sin of killing guru, my enjoyment will be mixed with that sin.”


Bhagavad Gita 2.6

Text 6

na caitad vidmah kataran no gariyo
yad va jayema yadi va no jayeyuh
yan eva hatva na jijivisamas
te ’vasthitah pramukhe dhartarastrah

Translation

Nor do we know which is better—conquering them or being conquered by them. If we killed the sons of Dhritarashtra, we should not care to live. Yet they are now standing before us on the battlefield.

Commentary by Srila Prabhupada

Arjuna did not know whether he should fight and risk unnecessary violence, although fighting is the duty of the kshatriyas, or whether he should refrain and live by begging. If he did not conquer the enemy, begging would be his only means of subsistence. Nor was there certainty of victory, because either side might emerge victorious. Even if victory awaited them (and their cause was justified), still, if the sons of Dhritarashtra died in battle, it would be very difficult to live in their absence. Under the circumstances, that would be another kind of defeat for them. All these considerations by Arjuna definitely proved that not only was he a great devotee of the Lord but he was also highly enlightened and had complete control over his mind and senses. His desire to live by begging, although he was born in the royal household, is another sign of detachment. He was truly virtuous, as these qualities, combined with his faith in the words of instruction of Sri Krishna (his spiritual master), indicate. It is concluded that Arjuna was quite fit for liberation. Unless the senses are controlled, there is no chance of elevation to the platform of knowledge, and without knowledge and devotion there is no chance of liberation. Arjuna was competent in all these attributes, over and above his enormous attributes in his material relationships.

Commentary by Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur

Moreover I do not know if I shall be victorious or defeated even if I am prepared to kill them. And I do not know which will be better, victory or defeat: if I conquer them or they conquer me. And even if I am victorious, that also is defeat, for I will not want to live.


Bhagavad Gita 2.7

Text 7

karpanya-dosopahata-svabhavah
prcchami tvam dharma-sammudha-cetah
yac chreyah syan niscitam bruhi tan me
shishyas te ’ham sadhi mam tvam prapannam

Translation

Now I am confused about my duty and have lost all composure because of miserly weakness. In this condition I am asking You to tell me for certain what is best for me. Now I am Your disciple, and a soul surrendered unto You. Please instruct me.

Commentary by Srila Prabhupada

By nature’s own way the complete system of material activities is a source of perplexity for everyone. 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. Similarly, the world situation is such’ that perplexities of life automatically appear, without our wanting such confusion. No one wants fire, and yet it takes place, and we become perplexed. The Vedic wisdom therefore advises that in order to solve the perplexities of life and to understand the science of the solution, one must approach a spiritual master who is in the disciplic succession. A person with a bona fide spiritual master is supposed to know everything. One should not, therefore, remain in material perplexities but should approach a spiritual master. This is the purport of this verse.

Who is the man in material perplexities? It is he who does not understand the problems of life. In the Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (3.8.10) the perplexed man is described as follows: yo va etad aksharam gargy aviditvasmaû lokat praiti sa kripanah. “He is a miserly man who does not solve the problems of life as a human and who thus quits this world like the cats and dogs, without understanding the science of self-realization.” This human form of life is a most valuable asset for the living entity who can utilize it for solving the problems of life; therefore, one who does not utilize this opportunity properly is a miser. On the other hand, there is the brahmana, or he who is intelligent enough to utilize this body to solve all the problems of life. Ya etad aksharam gargi viditvasmaû lokat praiti sa brahmanah.

The kripanas, or miserly persons, waste their time in being overly affectionate for family, society, country, etc., in the material conception of life. One is often attached to family life, namely to wife, children and other members, on the basis of “skin disease.” The kripana thinks that he is able to protect his family members from death; or the kripana thinks that his family or society can save him from the verge of death. Such family attachment can be found even in the lower animals, who take care of children also. 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 Krishna, the supreme spiritual master, to make a definite solution. He offers himself to Krishna 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. Krishna is therefore the original spiritual master of the science of Bhagavad-gita, and Arjuna is the first disciple for understanding the Gita. How Arjuna understands the Bhagavad-gita is stated in the Gita itself. And yet foolish mundane scholars explain that one need not submit to Krishna as a person, but to “the unborn within Krishna.” There is no difference between Krishna’s within and without. And one who has no sense of this understanding is the greatest fool in trying to understand Bhagavad-gita.

Commentary by Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur

“Indeed, while speaking the meaning of scripture to bring out a conclusion, though you are a ksatriya, you have decided to become a beggar! What is the use of my speaking?”

“Giving up my natural courage as ksatriya is my weakness (karpanyam). My intelligence has become bewildered in trying to understand the implementation of dharma, as the path of dharma is very subtle. Therefore it is better that you decide and tell me.”

“But if you defeat my words by posing yourself as learned, what should I say?”

“I am your student, and will no longer uselessly oppose you.”


Bhagavad Gita 2.8

Text 8

na hi prapasyami mamapanudyad
yac chokam ucchosanam indriyanam
avapya bhumav asapatnam rddham
rajyam suranam api cadhipatyam

Translation

I can find no means to drive away this grief which is drying up my senses. I will not be able to dispel it even if I win a prosperous, unrivaled kingdom on earth with sovereignty like the demigods in heaven.

Commentary by Srila Prabhupada

Although Arjuna was putting forward so many arguments based on knowledge of the principles of religion and moral codes, it appears that he was unable to solve his real problem without the help of the spiritual master, Lord Sri Krishna. He could understand that his so-called knowledge was useless in driving away his problems, which were drying up his whole existence; and it was impossible for him to solve such perplexities without the help of a spiritual master like Lord Krishna. Academic knowledge, scholarship, high position, etc., are all useless in solving the problems of life; help can be given only by a spiritual master like Krishna. Therefore, the conclusion is that a spiritual master who is one hundred percent Krishna conscious is the bona fide spiritual master, for he can solve the problems of life. Lord Caitanya said that one who is master in the science of Krishna consciousness, regardless of his social position, is the real spiritual master.

kiba vipra, kiba nyasi, shudra kene naya
yei krishna-tattva-vetta, sei ’guru’ haya

“It does not matter whether a person is a vipra [learned scholar in Vedic wisdom] or is born in a lower family, or is in the renounced order of life—if he is master in the science of Krishna, he is the perfect and bona fide spiritual master.” (Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya 8.128) So without being a master in the science of Krishna consciousness, no one is a bona fide spiritual master. It is also said in Vedic literature:

sat-karma-nipuno vipro
mantra-tantra-visaradah
avaisnavo gurur na syad
vaishnavah sva-paco guruh

“A scholarly brahmana, expert in all subjects of Vedic knowledge, is unfit to become a spiritual master without being a Vaishnava, or expert in the science of Krishna consciousness. But a person born in a family of a lower caste can become a spiritual master if he is a Vaishnava, or Krishna conscious.” (Padma Purana)

The problems of material existence—birth, old age, disease and death—cannot be counteracted by accumulation of wealth and economic development. In many parts of the world there are states which are replete with all facilities of life, which are full of wealth and economically developed, yet the problems of material existence are still present. They are seeking peace in different ways, but they can achieve real happiness only if they consult Krishna, or the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam—which constitute the science of Krishna—through the bona fide representative of Krishna, the man in Krishna consciousness.

If economic development and material comforts could drive away one’s lamentations for family, social, national or international inebrieties, then Arjuna would not have said that even an unrivaled kingdom on earth or supremacy like that of the demigods in the heavenly planets would be unable to drive away his lamentations. He sought, therefore, refuge in Krishna consciousness, and that is the right path for peace and harmony. Economic development or supremacy over the world can be finished at any moment by the cataclysms of material nature. Even elevation into a higher planetary situation, as men are now seeking on the moon planet, can also be finished at one stroke. The Bhagavad-gita confirms this: ksine punye martya-lokam vishanti. “When the results of pious activities are finished, one falls down again from the peak of happiness to the lowest status of life.” Many politicians of the world have fallen down in that way. Such downfalls only constitute more causes for lamentation.

Therefore, if we want to curb lamentation for good, then we have to take shelter of Krishna, as Arjuna is seeking to do. So Arjuna asked Krishna to solve his problem definitely, and that is the way of Krishna consciousness.

Commentary by Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur

“But you have a friendly relationship with me, not one of respect. Therefore how can I make you a student? You should thus surrender to someone like Veda Vyasa, whom you greatly revere.” Arjuna answers with this verse.

“I do not see even one person at all (pra pasyami: pra indicates “to a high degree”) in all three worlds except you who can remove (apanudyat) my sorrow. I do not know anyone more intelligent that yourself — even Brhaspati. Therefore, to whom else should one who is full of sorrow surrender? Due to that sorrow (yad) my senses have dried up completely, just as intense summer heat dries up a small pond.”

“Now you are full of grief, but if you fight, by conquering the enemy you will attain a kingdom. Absorbing yourself in the enjoyment of that kingdom, your grief will disappear.”

“Even if I attain a kingdom over the whole earth, or sovereignty in svarga, controlling all the devatas, my senses will still be dried up.”


Bhagavad Gita 2.9

Text 9

sanjaya uvaca
evam uktva hrishikesham
gudakeshah parantapah
na yotsya iti govindam
uktva tusnim babhuva ha

Translation

Sanjaya said: Having spoken thus, Arjuna, chastiser of enemies, told Krishna, “Govinda, I shall not fight,” and fell silent.

Commentary by Srila Prabhupada

Dhritarashtra must have been very glad to understand that Arjuna was not going to fight and was instead leaving the battlefield for the begging profession. But Sanjaya disappointed him again in relating that Arjuna was competent to kill his enemies (parantapah). Although Arjuna was, for the time being, overwhelmed with false grief due to family affection, he surrendered unto Krishna, the supreme spiritual master, as a disciple. This indicated that he would soon be free from the false lamentation resulting from family affection and would be enlightened with perfect knowledge of self-realization, or Krishna consciousness, and would then surely fight. Thus Dhritarashtra’s joy would be frustrated, since Arjuna would be enlightened by Krishna and would fight to the end.

Commentary by Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur

No commentary by Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur.


Bhagavad Gita 2.10

Text 10

tam uvaca hrishikeshah
prahasann iva bharata
senayor ubhayor madhye
visidantam idam vacah

Translation

O descendant of Bharata, at that time Krishna, smiling, in the midst of both the armies, spoke the following words to the grief-stricken Arjuna.

Commentary by Srila Prabhupada

The talk was going on between intimate friends, namely the Hrishikesha and the Gudakesha. As friends, both of them were on the same level, but one of them voluntarily became a student of the other. Krishna was smiling because a friend had chosen to become a disciple. As Lord of all, He is always in the superior position as the master of everyone, and yet the Lord agrees to be a friend, a son, or a lover for a devotee who wants Him in such a role. But when He was accepted as the master, He at once assumed the role and talked with the disciple like the master—with gravity, as it is required. It appears that the talk between the master and the disciple was openly exchanged in the presence of both armies so that all were benefitted. So the talks of Bhagavad-gita are not for any particular person, society, or community, but they are for all, and friends or enemies are equally entitled to hear them.

Commentary by Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur

“You have shown such lack of judgment!” Laughing at him as a friend, Krishna could put Arjuna in an ocean of embarrassment for his unworthy actions. However, because now Arjuna took the position of student, laughing would be improper. Thus Krishna suppressed that laugh by closing his lips. Instead he slightly smiled (prahasann iva). The Lord of the senses (hrsikesa) was previously controlled by the words of Arjuna out of love for him (BG 1.24), and now he became the controller of Arjuna’s mind, again out of love, for the benefit of Arjuna. Arjuna’s dejection and Krishna’s consolation were seen directly by both armies (senayor ubhayor madhye).