Bhagavad Gita 2.1 Explained: Arjuna’s Emotional Turmoil and Krishna’s Guidance

सञ्जय उवाच
तं तथा कृपयाऽविष्टमश्रुपूर्णाकुलेक्षणम्।
विषीदन्तमिदं वाक्यमुवाच मधुसूदनः।।2.1।।

श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता 2.1

Sanjaya Uvacha
Tam Tatha Kriyayavistamashrupurnakulekshanam
Vishidantamidam Vakyamuvaacha Madhusudanah

Shrimad Bhagavad Gita 2.1

Sanjaya then told how the Lord Shri Krishna, seeing Arjuna overwhelmed with compassion, his eyes dimmed with flowing tears and full of despondency, consoled him:

English Translation of BG 2.1

In this pivotal moment captured by Sanjaya, we witness the profound emotional turmoil of Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Swami Ramsukhdas Ji, through his insightful commentary, unravels the layers of this scene, shedding light on the eternal struggle between duty and personal sentiment, a theme that resonates deeply with the human experience.

Insights into BG 2.1: Reflecting on Swami Ramsukhdas Ji’s Divine Commentary

The Paralysis of Compassion

Arjuna’s compassion, while noble, leads him to a state of paralysis, unable to perform his duty as a warrior. Swami Ramsukhdas Ji points out that compassion, when misdirected, can become a hindrance to fulfilling one’s responsibilities. This moment serves as a reminder that true compassion must be aligned with dharma, the moral and spiritual order that upholds the universe.

The Tears of Despondency

The tears in Arjuna’s eyes symbolize not only his immediate grief but also the universal sorrow of confronting loss and the ethical dilemmas inherent in human action. Swami Ramsukhdas Ji emphasizes that such moments of weakness are part of the human condition, offering opportunities for growth and understanding. They invite us to explore the depths of our conscience and to seek guidance in navigating the complex moral landscapes of our lives.

Madhusudana’s Response

Lord Krishna’s role as Madhusudana, the slayer of the demon Madhu, symbolizes his ability to destroy ignorance and illusion. His forthcoming words to Arjuna are meant to dispel the darkness of confusion and sorrow, illuminating the path of righteousness. Swami Ramsukhdas Ji highlights that divine wisdom, as imparted by Krishna, serves to guide us from the shadows of doubt into the light of clarity and purpose.

The Journey from Grief to Wisdom

This verse marks the beginning of Arjuna’s transformation from despondency to enlightenment. Swami Ramsukhdas Ji elucidates that spiritual growth often begins in moments of profound vulnerability. Through the dialogue that ensues, we are taught that surrendering to divine guidance allows us to transcend our limitations, leading us towards a higher understanding of our duties and the nature of the self.


Verse 2.1 of the Bhagavad Gita, as interpreted by Swami Ramsukhdas Ji, captures a moment of existential crisis that is both deeply personal and universally relevant. It teaches us that in the face of overwhelming emotions and moral dilemmas, seeking guidance from a higher wisdom can provide the clarity and strength needed to fulfill our duties. This verse encourages us to embrace our struggles as opportunities for growth, reminding us that even in our darkest moments, there is a path that leads towards light, wisdom, and the ultimate realization of our true self. As we face the battles of our own lives, let us remember the lessons of Arjuna and strive to align our actions with our highest principles, guided by the divine wisdom within us.