senayor ubhayor madhye
rathaḿ sthāpaya me ‘cyuta
yāvad etān nirīkṣe ‘haḿ
kair mayā saha yoddhavyam
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 1.21
Arjuna said: O infallible one, please draw my chariot between the two armies so that I may see those present here, who desire to fight, and with whom I must contend in this great trial of arms.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Although Lord Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, out of His causeless mercy He was engaged in the service of His friend. He never fails in His affection for His devotees, and thus He is addressed herein as infallible. As charioteer, He had to carry out the orders of Arjuna, and since He did not hesitate to do so, He is addressed as infallible. Although He had accepted the position of a charioteer for His devotee, His supreme position was not challenged. In all circumstances, He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hrishikesha, the Lord of the total senses. The relationship between the Lord and His servitor is very sweet and transcendental. The servitor is always ready to render service to the Lord, and, similarly, the Lord is always seeking an opportunity to render some service to the devotee. He takes greater pleasure in His pure devotee’s assuming the advantageous position of ordering Him than He does in being the giver of orders. Since He is master, everyone is under His orders, and no one is above Him to order Him. But when He finds that a pure devotee is ordering Him, He obtains transcendental pleasure, although He is the infallible master of all circumstances.
As a pure devotee of the Lord, Arjuna had no desire to fight with his cousins and brothers, but he was forced to come onto the battlefield by the obstinacy of Duryodhana, who was never agreeable to any peaceful negotiation. Therefore, he was very anxious to see who the leading persons present on the battlefield were. Although there was no question of a peacemaking endeavor on the battlefield, he wanted to see them again, and to see how much they were bent upon demanding an unwanted war.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
No commentary by Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
1.20 – 1.25 Arjuna said — Sanjaya said — Thus, directed by him, Sri Krsna did immediately as He had been directed, while Bhisma, Drona and others and all the kings were looking on. Such is the prospect of victory for your men.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Addressing Lord Krishna again as Acutya the infallible one, Arjuna requested Him to place the chariot between the two armies. Why would Arjuna request that the chariot be placed between the two armies like a spectator? It was so he could see those with whom he would soon be fighting.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Sri Madhvacharya did not comment on this sloka.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
Addressing Lord Krishna as Acutya, the infallible one, Sanjaya repeats Arjuna request to Lord Krishna to position the chariot in the middle, between the two firmly opposing armies indicating the mighty strength of Lord Krishna firmness on all sides. There is no rule of warfare stating that one should fight in only one place. Yet why should Arjuna request to have the chariot stationed between the two armies? In this verse he states that he wishes to observe those arrayed against him desiring to fight. If it is asked has he come to witness the battle as a spectator or to fight? Arjuna has no intention of being a spectator; but to see those opponents who he is worthy to fight against and who are worthy to fight against him.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
1.21 Sri Sankaracharya did not comment on this sloka. The commentary starts from 2.10.
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
1.12 — 1.29 Sri Abhinavgupta did not comment upon this sloka.
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
senayor ubhayor madhye
ratham sthapaya me ‘cyuta
yavad etan nirikse ‘ham
kair maya saha yoddhavyam
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
arjunaḥ uvāca — Arjuna said; senayoḥ — of the armies; ubhayoḥ — both; madhye — between; ratham — the chariot; sthāpaya — please keep; me — my; acyuta — O infallible one; yāvat — as long as; etān — all these; nirīkṣe — may look upon; aham — I; yoddhu-kāmān — desiring to fight; avasthitān — arrayed on the battlefield; kaiḥ — with whom; mayā — by me; saha — together; yoddhavyam — have to fight; asmin — in this; raṇa — strife; samudyame — in the attempt.