viddhi mām amṛtodbhavam
narāṇāḿ ca narādhipam
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 10.27
Of horses know Me to be Uccaihsrava, produced during the churning of the ocean for nectar. Of lordly elephants I am Airavata, and among men I am the monarch.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
The devotee demigods and the demons (asuras) once took part in churning the sea. From this churning, nectar and poison were produced, and Lord Shiva drank the poison. From the nectar were produced many entities, of which there was a horse named Uccaihsrava. Another animal produced from the nectar was an elephant named Airavata. Because these two animals were produced from nectar, they have special significance, and they are representatives of Krishna.
Amongst the human beings, the king is the representative of Krishna because Krishna is the maintainer of the universe, and the kings, who are appointed on account of their godly qualifications, are maintainers of their kingdoms. Kings like Maharaja Yudhishthira, Maharaja Parikshit and Lord Rama were all highly righteous kings who always thought of the citizens’ welfare. In Vedic literature, the king is considered to be the representative of God. In this age, however, with the corruption of the principles of religion, monarchy decayed and is now finally abolished. It is to be understood that in the past, however, people were more happy under righteous kings.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Among horses, I am Ucchaihsrava who arose from the churning of the nectar ocean (amrtodbhavam).
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
10.26 – 10.29 Of trees I am Asvattha which is worthy of worship. Of celestial seers I am Narada. Kamadhuk is the divine cow. I am Kandarpa, the cause of progeny. Sarpas are single-headed snakes while Nagas are many-headed snakes. Aquatic creatures are known as Yadamsi. Of them I am Varuna. Of subdures, I am Yama, the son of the sun-god.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Of powerful horses and mighty elephants, Lord Krishna’s vibhuti or divine, transcendental opulence is the horse Uccaihsrava and the elephant Airavata, who both were manifested by amrtodbhavam which was the churning of the ocean of milk into celestial nectar by the demigods and demons as revealed in the Puranas. And know that Lord Krishna’s vibhuti manifests amongst humans as the ruler of men being naradhipam the royal king.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Sri Madhvacharya did not comment on this sloka.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
Among horses and elephants Lord Krishna’s vibhuti or divine, transcendental opulence is Uccaihsrava and Airavata respectively who were both churned from the nectar by the demigods. Among humans His vibhuti is the royal king.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
10.27 Asvanam, among horses; viddhi, know; mam, Me; to be the horse named Uccaihsravas; amrta-udbhavam, born of nectar-born when (the sea was) churned (by the gods) for nectar. Airavata, the son of Iravati, gajendranam, among the Lordly elephants; ‘know Me to be so’ remains understood. And naranam, among men; know Me as the naradhipam, King of men.
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
10.19-42 Hanta te etc. upto jagat sthitah. I am the Soul etc. (verse 20) : By this [the Bhagavat] wards off the exclusion [of any being as different form Him]. Otherwise the sentences like ‘Of the immovable [I am] the the Himalayas’ (verse 25) etc., would amount to the exclusive statement that the Himalayan range is the Bhagavat and not any other one. In that case, the indiscriminateness of the Brahman is not established and hence the realisation of the Brahman would be a partial (or conditioned) one. For, the [present] text of exposition is intended for that seeker whose mind cannot contemplate on the all-pervasiveness [of the Brahman], but who [at the same time] is desirous of realising that [all-pervasiveness]. Hence, while concluding, [the Bhagavat] teaches the theory of duality-cumunity by saying ‘whatsoever being exists with the manifesting power’ etc., and then concludes the topic with the theory of absolute unity, as ‘Or what is the use of this elaboration;…..I remain pervading this [universe] by a single fraction [of Myself] This has been declared indeed [in the scriptures] as : ‘All beings constitute [only] His one-fourth; His [other] immortal three-forths are in the heaven.’ (Rgveda, X, xc, 3). Thus, all this and the prime cause of creatures, are nothing but the Bhagavat (Absolute). And hence, He Himself becomes the object of knowledge of all, but being comprehended with the different strange qualities.
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
viddhi mam amrtodbhavam
naranam ca naradhipam
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
uccaiḥśravasam — Uccaiḥśravā; aśvānām — among horses; viddhi — know; mām — Me; amṛta-udbhavam — produced from the churning of the ocean; airāvatam — Airāvata; gaja-indrāṇām — of lordly elephants; narāṇām — among human beings; ca — and; nara-adhipam — the king.