akheti matvā prasabhaḿ yad uktaḿ
he kṛṣṇa he yādava he sakheti
ajānatā mahimānaḿ tavedaḿ
mayā pramādāt praṇayena vāpi
yac cāvahāsārtham asat-kṛto ’si
eko ’tha vāpy acyuta tat-samakṣaḿ
tat kṣāmaye tvām aham aprameyam
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 11.41-42
Thinking of You as my friend, I have rashly addressed You “O Krishna,” “O Yadava,” “O my friend,” not knowing Your glories. Please forgive whatever I may have done in madness or in love. I have dishonored You many times, jesting as we relaxed, lay on the same bed, or sat or ate together, sometimes alone and sometimes in front of many friends. O infallible one, please excuse me for all those offenses.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Although Krishna is manifested before Arjuna in His universal form, Arjuna remembers his friendly relationship with Krishna and is therefore asking pardon and requesting Krishna to excuse him for the many informal gestures which arise out of friendship. He is admitting that formerly he did not know that Krishna could assume such a universal form, although Krishna explained it as his intimate friend. Arjuna did not know how many times he may have dishonored Krishna by addressing Him “O my friend,” “O Krishna,” “O Yadava,” etc., without acknowledging His opulence. But Krishna is so kind and merciful that in spite of such opulence He played with Arjuna as a friend. Such is the transcendental loving reciprocation between the devotee and the Lord. The relationship between the living entity and Krishna is fixed eternally; it cannot be forgotten, as we can see from the behavior of Arjuna. Although Arjuna has seen the opulence in the universal form, he cannot forget his friendly relationship with Krishna.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
“O, I have committed the greatest offense to you, who are filled with such great, great powers.” In this way Arjuna manifests great regret.
“O Krishna, you are well known as the son of Vasudeva who is not famous, who was a human, a mediocre fighter on the same chariot as another fighter. I, Arjuna, am well known as the son of a king, Pandu, a great warrior fighting on his own chariot. O Yadava, you do not have the king’s position in the Yadu dynasty. But 1 have kingship over the Puru dynasty. (The samdhi of sakha with iti is poetic license) O friend, my friendship with you is not because of the greatness of your forefathers nor because of the reputation of your family, but it is simply based on familiarity. I beg pardon for such rough words (prasabham) I have spoken, for intending the above meanings.” The sense of verse 41 is continued in verse 42 with the verb ksamaye. The proper form of the verb would be ksamayam (I should beg for forgiveness).
Either through negligence or out of affection, not knowing you as the universal form (mahimanam), I have treated you badly during leisure and other times, in order to joke. I have scolded you with crooked words saying that you are truthful, innocent, and very gullible. I beg forgiveness for the thousands of offenses produced when you were alone, not in the presence of friends, or when you were surrounded by friends who were joking (tat samaksam). O master, I beg you to forgive me (ksamaye).
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
11.41 – 11.42 Infinite power, boundless valour, being the Inner Self of everything, being the creator etc., these constitute Your majesty. Being ignorant of this, and considering You only as a friend, and out of consequent love, or negligence born of life-long familiarity, whatever has been said rudely, without showing courtesy, such as ‘O Krsna, O Yadava, O Comrade’; and whatever disrespect has been shown to You in jest, while playing or resting, while sitting or eating, while alone or in the sight of others — for all these I beseech forgiveness of You who are in incomprehensible.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Arjuna is humbly beseeching the Supreme Lord to forgive him for any impropriety he may have inadvertently made before he was aware of Lord Krishna’s supreme ultimate position as the creator of all. Whatever he may have done rashly, inopportunely or accidentally he is imploring Lord Krishna for forgiveness for them all. What are these things he is referring to? Some are his words of simple address such as calling out O’ Krishna or not even using His name but simply calling Him O’ Yadava the royal clan of kings from which He appeared in. Other ways are eating before He eats, sitting before He sits, resting before He rests etc. The reason for addressing Lord Krishna inappropriately is that he was completely unaware of His impeccable greatness being ignorant of His visvarupa or divine universal form. Then Arjuna addresses Lord Krishna as Acyuta meaning infallible, whose glory is one and entreats Him that if in any way whatsoever He may have been slighted or minimised in fun or by chance in the presence of companions or just the two of them; all those unintentional offences should be kindly forgiven as well. In this way Arjuna requests the omnipotent and omniscient Supreme Lord Krishna to forgive him fully.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna is addressed as acyuta meaning He who is infallible. The word ekah refers to Him being the one and only, the best of all beings. It also denotes the knower of all things eka eva karoti yat which means as He alone does.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
If Lord Krishna were to ask why Arjuna was saluting Him and offering obeisance to Him repeatedly again and again from all directions it is because he earnestly wants the Supreme Lord to forgive the offence of not recognising His Supreme Absolute position as the Sovereign Lord of all creation. Arjuna previously was ignorant of Lord Krishna’s unparalleled divine glory as the progenitor and controller of all living entities in existence even Brahma and looked upon Lord Krishna simply as his best friend and comrade in arms. Now Arjuna is feeling remorse for any indiscretion he may have made rashly or wantonly which could have shown a lack of respect for the Supreme Lord. He is worried that due to feelings of affection and familiarity he may have by impropriety or through negligence offended the Supreme Lord in some way and he is beseeching Him to look at these things as minor misdemeanours and magnanimously forgive them.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
11.41 Like a fool, ajanata, without knowing-. Not knowing what? In answer he says: idam, this; mahimanam, greatness-the Cosmic form; tava, of Yours, of God; yat, whatever; uktam, was said; maya, by me (to You); prasabham, rashly, slightingly; pramadat, through inadvertence, being in a distracted state of mind; va api, or even; pranayena, out of intimacy-itimacy is the familiarity arising out of love; whatever I have said because of that reason; erroneously matva, thinking (You); sakha iti, to be a friend, of the same age; iti, addressing You as, ‘O Krsna,’ ‘O Yadava,’ ‘O friend,’-. In the clause, ‘tava idam mahimanam, ajanata, without knowing this greatness of Yours,’ idam (this) (in the neutor gender) is connected with mahimanam (greatness) (in masculine gender) by a change of gender. If the reading be tava imam, then both the words would be in the same gender.
11.42 And, yat, that; asi, You have been; asatkrtah, discourteously treated, slighted; avahasa-artham, out of fun, with a veiw to mocking;-where?-in these, Acyuta, viz vihara-sayya-asana-bhojanesu, while walking [Walking, i.e. sports or exercise], while on a bed, while on a seat, and while eating;-that You have been insulted ekah, in privacy, in the absence of others; adhava, or; that You have been insulted api, even; tat-samaksam, in public, in the very presence of others-(-tat being used as an adverb); tat, for that, for all those offences; O Acyuta, aham, I; ksamaye, beg pardon; tvam, of You; aprameyam, the incomprehensible One, who are beyond the means of knowledge. (I beg Your pardon) because,
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
11.42 Sri Abhinavagupta did not comment upon this sloka.
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
sakheti matva prasabham yad uktam
he krsna he yadava he sakheti
ajanata mahimanam tavedam
maya pramadat pranayena vapi
yac cavahasartham asat-krto ’si
eko ’tha vapy acyuta tat-samaksam
tat ksamaye tvam aham aprameyam
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
sakha — friend; iti — thus; matva — thinking; prasabham — presumptuously; yat — whatever; uktam — said; he k???a — O K???a; he yadava — O Yadava; he sakhe — O my dear friend; iti — thus; ajanata — without knowing; mahimanam — glories; tava — Your; idam — this; maya — by me; pramadat — out of foolishness; pra?ayena — out of love; va api — either; yat — whatever; ca — also; avahasa-artham — for joking; asat-k?ta? — dishonored; asi — You have been; vihara — in relaxation; sayya — in lying down; asana — in sitting; bhojane?u — or while eating together; eka? — alone; atha va — or; api — also; acyuta — O infallible one; tat-samak?am — among companions; tat — all those; k?amaye — ask forgiveness; tvam — from You; aham — I; aprameyam — immeasurable.