naṣṭo mohaḥ smṛtir labdhā
sthito ’smi gata-sandehaḥ
kariṣye vacanaḿ tava
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 18.73
Arjuna said: My dear Krishna, O infallible one, my illusion is now gone. I have regained my memory by Your mercy. I am now firm and free from doubt and am prepared to act according to Your instructions.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
The constitutional position of a living entity, represented by Arjuna, is that he has to act according to the order of the Supreme Lord. He is meant for self-discipline. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu says that the actual position of the living entity is that of eternal servant of the Supreme Lord. Forgetting this principle, the living entity becomes conditioned by material nature, but in serving the Supreme Lord he becomes the liberated servant of God. The living entity’s constitutional position is to be a servitor; he has to serve either the illusory maya or the Supreme Lord. If he serves the Supreme Lord he is in his normal condition, but if he prefers to serve the illusory, external energy, then certainly he will be in bondage.
In illusion the living entity is serving in this material world. He is bound by his lust and desires, yet he thinks of himself as the master of the world. This is called illusion. When a person is liberated, his illusion is over, and he voluntarily surrenders unto the Supreme to act according to His desires.
The last illusion, the last snare of maya to trap the living entity, is the proposition that he is God. The living entity thinks that he is no longer a conditioned soul, but God. He is so unintelligent that he does not think that if he were God, then how could he be in doubt? That he does not consider. So that is the last snare of illusion. Actually to become free from the illusory energy is to understand Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and agree to act according to His order.
The word moha is very important in this verse. Moha refers to that which is opposed to knowledge. Actually real knowledge is the understanding that every living being is eternally a servitor of the Lord, but instead of thinking oneself in that position, the living entity thinks that he is not a servant, that he is the master of this material world, for he wants to lord it over the material nature. That is his illusion. This illusion can be overcome by the mercy of the Lord or by the mercy of a pure devotee. When that illusion is over, one agrees to act in Krishna consciousness.
Krishna consciousness is acting according to Krishna’s order. A conditioned soul, illusioned by the external energy of matter, does not know that the Supreme Lord is the master who is full of knowledge and who is the proprietor of everything. Whatever He desires He can bestow upon His devotees; He is the friend of everyone, and He is especially inclined to His devotee. He is the controller of this material nature and of all living entities. He is also the controller of inexhaustible time, and He is full of all opulences and all potencies. The Supreme Personality of Godhead can even give Himself to the devotee. One who does not know Him is under the spell of illusion; he does not become a devotee, but a servitor of maya. Arjuna, however, after hearing Bhagavad-gita from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, became free from all illusion. He could understand that Krishna was not only his friend but the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And he understood Krishna factually. So to study Bhagavad-gita is to understand Krishna factually. When a person is in full knowledge, he naturally surrenders to Krishna. When Arjuna understood that it was Krishna’s plan to reduce the unnecessary increase of population, he agreed to fight according to Krishna’s desire. He again took up his weapons—his arrows and bow—to fight under the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
“What else can I ask? Having given up all duties, surrendering to you completely, without worries, I now completely trust you.” Thus he speaks this verse.
“I am ready to follow you, who are worthy of surrender. That is the duty of me, who have surrendered to you. I have no use for following my varna and asrama, nor jnana yoga or other processes. Starting today, I have given them all up.”
“Oh my dear friend Arjuna, I have some remaining work to do in relieving the burden of the earth. I want you to do that work.”
When the Lord said this, Arjuna, with Gandiva bow in hand, rose to fight.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
18.73 Arjuna said — ‘Delusion’ or misapprehension is perverted knowledge. By Your grace it has been destroyed. ‘Smrti’ or memory is the knowledge of things as they really are. I have acquired that. Misapprehension here is the misconception that the self is the Prakrti (body-mind) which is the non-self in reality. It consists in one not apprehending that all intelligent and non-intelligent entities, by reason of their forming the body of the Supreme Being, have Him as their Atman and are thus ensouled by Him. The misapprehension also consists in the lack of knowledge that actions, obligatory and occasional, do not cause bondage but actually form a means for the propitiation of the Supreme Being. All such misapprehensions are now destroyed. The various phases of knowledge that cleared the misunderstanding may be catalogued as follows: (1) The self is different from Prakrti and is therefore devoid of the qualities of Prakrti. Its nature is that of the knower of Prakrti. (2) The self is a Sesa (sub-ordinate and servant) of the Supreme Person and is ruled by Him. The true knowledge about the Supreme Person is that He is what is signified by the expression Supreme Brahman. (3) He is the great ocean of all auspicious, excellent attributes such as knowledge, strength, glory, valour, power, brilliance etc., which are unbounded and natural. His essence consists solely of auspiciousness. He is antagonistic to all that is evil without exception. The origin, sustentation and dissolution of the entire universe are His sport. (4) You (Sri Krsna) are Vasudeva, the Supreme Person, known from the Vedanta, and who can be reached only by worship, which has taken the form of Bhakti. (5) Bhakti can be achieved by the control of the senses and the mind, the abandonment of prohibited acts and the performance of occasional and obligatory acts as solely intended for the goal of the satisfaction of the Supreme Person. Bhakti has to be developed day after day through the regular practice of the discriminatory knowledge of the higher and lower truths. All this has been attained by me (Arjuna). Therefore I stand steadfast, freed from the doubts and devoid of the depression rooted in perverted knowledge nourished by compassion and love for relatives. Now I shall fulfil Your words, concerned with fighting etc., which ought to be done by me. I shall fight as instructed by You. Such is the meaning. Sanjaya now relates to Dhrtarastra who had questioned him earlier as to what his sons and the Pandavas were doing in the battle:
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Now Lord Krishna is requesting to know if His divine discourse known as Srimad Bhagavad-Gita was fully comprehended and assimilated. It can be discerned by the tenor of the question that if all delusion and ignorance has still not been dissolved completely; then He is prepared to explain it again to His devotee.Being blessed by the Supreme Lord, joyfully declares that his delusion about th atma or immortal soul has been dispelled and terminated as he has now achieved realisation of his eternal nature by the grace of the Lord Krishna. Therefore Arjuna stands up on the battlefield free from doubt and clear about his dharma or eternal righteous to execute his duties as a ksatriya or royal warrior and follow the commands of the Supreme Lord.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Sri Madhvacharya did not comment on this sloka.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
Here Lord Krishna is addressed as acyuta meaning infallible one. This is because the omniscient Lord Krishna is cognizant of all His previous incarnations over trillions and trillions of years but Arjuna could not even remember his previous life where Lord Krishna was Narayana and he was Nara and both were celibate sages. The purport is that Arjuna was already self-realised in the previous life but this knowledge disappeared in the present life. Now it was revived again by the knowledge of Srimad Bhagavad- Gita imparted by the grace of Lord Krishna. The vocative acyuta denotes the reality that by Lord Krishna’s grace, His omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence as the supreme sovereign, the paramount controller and the sole creator, maintainer, protector and sustainer of all existence.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
18.73 O Acyuta, (my) mohah, born of ignorance and the cause of all evil in the form of mundane existence, and difficult to cross like an ocean;l nastah has been destroyed. And smrtih, memory, regarding the reality of the Self-on the acquisition of which follows the loosening of all the bonds; labdha, has been regained, tvat-prasadat, through Your grace maya, by me, who am dependent on Your grace. By this question about the destruction of delusion and the answer to it, it becomes conclusively revealed that the fruit derived from understanding the import of the entire Scripture is this much alone-which is the destruction of delusion arising from ignorance and the regaining of the memory about the Self. And similarly, in the Upanisadic text beginning with ‘I grieve because I am not a knower of the Self’ (Ch. 7.1.3), it is shown that all bonds become destroyed when the Self is realized. There are also the words of the Upanisadic verses, ‘The knot of the heart gets untied’ (Mu. 2.2.8); ‘at that time (or to that Self) what delusion and what sorrow can there be for that seer of oneness?’ (Is.7). Now then, sthitah, asmi, I stand under Your command; gata-sandehah, with (my) doubts removed. Karisye, I shall follow; tava, Your; vacanam, instruction. By Your grace I have achieved the goal of life. The idea is, there is no duty, as such, for me. The teaching of the Scripture is concluded. There-after, now in order to show the connection (of this) with the (main) narrative-.
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
18.73 Nastah etc. By the passage ‘[My] delusion is destroyed etc’, it is indicated that [after hearing the Lord’s instruction], only an inclination to fight has risen in Arjuna, but the perfect realisation of the Brahman is not yet born in him. While indicating so, [the sage Vyasa] provides a scope for the would-be subject matter for the Anugita.
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
nasto mohah smrtir labdha
sthito ’smi gata-sandehah
karisye vacanam tava
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
arjunaḥ uvāca — Arjuna said; naṣṭaḥ — dispelled; mohaḥ — illusion; smṛtiḥ — memory; labdhā — regained; tvat-prasādāt — by Your mercy; mayā — by me; acyuta — O infallible Kṛṣṇa; sthitaḥ — situated; asmi — I am; gata — removed; sandehaḥ — all doubts; kariṣye — I shall execute; vacanam — order; tava — Your.