ity arjunaḿ vāsudevas tathoktvā
svakaḿ rūpaḿ darśayām āsa bhūyaḥ
āśvāsayām āsa ca bhītam enaḿ
bhūtvā punaḥ saumya-vapur mahātmā
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 11.50
Sanjaya said to Dhritarashtra: The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, having spoken thus to Arjuna, displayed His real four-armed form and at last showed His two-armed form, thus encouraging the fearful Arjuna.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
When Krishna appeared as the son of Vasudeva and Devaki, He first of all appeared as four-armed Narayana, but when He was requested by His parents, He transformed Himself into an ordinary child in appearance. Similarly, Krishna knew that Arjuna was not interested in seeing a four-handed form, but since Arjuna asked to see this four-handed form, Krishna also showed him this form again and then showed Himself in His two-handed form. The word saumya-vapuh is very significant.
Saumya-vapuh is a very beautiful form; it is known as the most beautiful form. When He was present, everyone was attracted simply by Krishna’s form, and because Krishna is the director of the universe, He just banished the fear of Arjuna, His devotee, and showed him again His beautiful form of Krishna. In the Brahma-samhita (5.38) it is stated, premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena: only a person whose eyes are smeared with the ointment of love can see the beautiful form of Sri Krishna.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Just as the Lord has showed the very ferocious form, which arose from just one of his parts, he again showed his own, most sweet personal form (svakam rupam) with four hands, crown, club, cakra and other ornaments, which was requested by Arjuna, and which was a mixture of sweetness and grandeur. Then that great soul, again, became the two handed, pleasant form (saumya vapuh), wearing bracelets, earrings turban and yellow cloth, and comforted the fearful Arjuna.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
11.50 Sanjaya said — Having spoken thus to Arjuna, the Lord, the son of Vasudeva, revealed His own four-armed form. And the Mahatman, i.e., one whose resolves are always treu, reassured him who was terror-stricken on seeing ann unfamiliar form, by resuming the familiar pleasant form. Possession of His own four-armed form alone is proper to this Lord of all, the Supreme Person, the Supreme Brahman, when he has assumed the human form for blessing this world as the son of Vasudeva. But in answer to the prayer of Vasudeva, who was terrified by Kamsa, the two extra arms were withdrawn till the destruction of Kamsa. These became manifest again. For He was prayed to thus: ‘You are born, O Lord, O Lord of gods, withdraw this form bearing conch, discus and mace out of grace … withdraw this form of four arms, O Self of all’ (V. P., 5.3.10 and 13). Even to Sisupala, who hated Him, this form of four arms of Sri Krsna was the object of constant thought, as described in: ‘Him who is of four long and robust arms, bearing the conch, discus and the mace’ (V. P., 4.15.10). Hence Arjuna also exclaimed here; ‘Assume again that four-armed shape’ (11.46).
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
At that moment Lord Krishna immediately withdrew His visvarupa or divine universal form from view and appeared in His four armed form as before with jewelled diadem which Arjuna was familiar with and then as sign of further compassion Lord Krishna appeared in His even more benign two armed form. The word mahatma means great soul and denotes Lord Krishna’s potency as paramatma the Supreme Soul within all living entities or it may mean great soul due to His being so compassionate and kind-hearted.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
The Supreme Lord Krishna now revealed His original human looking form. The visvarupa or divine universal form was in effect a form of illusion emanating from His original form. Enough evidence for this has been confirmed and attested previously. Lord Krishna Himself creates and manifests His own forms. For those who are unaware of His original form He does not reveal His visvarupa. He reveals His catur-bhujena or four armed form as requested in verse 46 to those who are somewhat aware of His power, glory and divinity such as the members of the Yadu dynasty in Dwaraka and the Pandavas. The words saumya-vapur mean gentle form and specifically denotes His original two-armed form. He especially shows His two armed form to those who are unaware that it is His original form and the reason for this is so that they naturally interrelate with Him like any other human without aisvarya or awe and reverence and openly reciprocate with Him from the heart. The idea of different manifestations of Lord Krishna original two armed form being more superior and less superior is only from the point of view of those who are deluded. For liberated beings the vision of the visvarupa is accessible but the four-armed form is its source but the surrendered devotees of the Supreme Lord understand that the source of the four-armed form is the original two-armed form of Lord Krishna and is Supreme.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
Having promised in the verse before Lord Krishna now revealed His four armed form adorned with golden crown, discus and mace and then as a further consolation Lord Krishna, the repository of all divine attributes such as majesty, omniscience, omnipotence, compassion etc. revealed His adorable saumya-vapuh or gentle two-armed form decorated with turban, jewelery, earrings and other ornaments which brought great relief to the suffering Arjuna who was extremely agitated by the visvarupa or divine universal form.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
11.50 Iti, thus; uktva, having spoken; arjunam, to Arjuna; tatha, in that manner, the words as stated above; Vasudeva darsayamasa, showed; svakam, His own; rupam, form, as was born in the house of Vasudeva; bhuyah, again. And the mahatma, exalted One; asvasayamasa, reassured; enam, this; bhitam, terrified one; bhutva, by becoming; punah, again; saumya-vapuh, serene in form, graceful in body.
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
11.50 Sri Abhinavagupta did not comment upon this sloka.
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
ity arjunam vasudevas tathoktva
svakam rupam darsayam asa bhuyah
asvasayam asa ca bhitam enam
bhutva punah saumya-vapur mahatma
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
sañjayaḥ uvāca — Sañjaya said; iti — thus; arjunam — unto Arjuna; vāsudevaḥ — Kṛṣṇa; tathā — in that way; uktvā — speaking; svakam — His own; rūpam — form; darśayām āsa — showed; bhūyaḥ — again; āśvāsayām āsa — encouraged; ca — also; bhītam — fearful; enam — him; bhūtvā — becoming; punaḥ — again; saumya-vapuḥ — the beautiful form; mahā-ātmā — the great one.