Today we will start the 2nd chapter. This chapter starts with Sanjaya uvacha – Sanjaya speaks. In the last chapter when the last 47th sloka also started with Sanjaya uvacha and again here also same words. Why? Reason is it is the start of a new chapter and we should not mistake this as again Sri Krishna or Arjuna is speaking; but Sanjaya is continuing and so Sage Vyasa reminds that Sanjaya is speaking:
tam tatha kripayavistam
visidantam idam vakyam
“Sanjaya tells [Dhridharashtra]: To Arjuna who out of mercy has a perturbed mind and whose eyes are brimming with tears, Madhusoodana spoke these sentences” Here the name Madhusoodana is used to denote Sri Krishna. Two demons Madhu and Kaitapa were creating lots of hardships to all and they were killed by the Lord and got the name Madhusoodana or Kaitapasoodana. The Lord has destroyed twins like Ravana- Kumbakarna, Sisupala-Dhandhavaktra, Hiranya- Hiranyaksha, etc. Underlying these,it is to be noted that the Lord is destroying someone also. They are Kama [the desire after materials] and Krodha [the anger arising when the desire is not fulfilled]. It can also be Rajo guna [the mental state of anger and pride] or Thamo guna [the mental state of ignorance or drowsy]. So Sri Krishna destroys these twin evil qualities and so He is aptly addressed Madhusoodana. The three qualities, which always are sticking to our character, are Satva, Rajo and Thamas behavior. Satva quality induces clarity, enthusiasm and hard work. Rajo quality brings out desire and the resultant anger and condemning others. Thamas quality gives raise to drowsiness, sleepishness, ignorance and laziness. So it is necessary for us to encourage Satva quality and destroy the other two evil qualities to maintain a godly power in us. Sanjaya indicates this. Sri Krishna is going to destroy the Rajo-Thamo qualities in Arjuna and cultivate the Satva quality in him. Thirumangai Alwar in one of his six prabhandams [collections] viz Thiruezhukootrirukkai tells this. This prabhandam is composed of numbers in ascending and descending order and the lines are arranged like a chariot. He says that the two qualities are to be cast aside and the one quality has to be nourished and maintained. So we should avoid Rajo and Thamo qualities and cultivate Satva trait. Here Arjuna is described as one obsessed by mercy or compassion. It is better for everyone to avoid being obsessed by any quality good or bad. We should not cultivate, or attach ourselves to, habits, which will make us addicts, or fanatic to them. Sri Krishna at the time of His departure from this world told one of His ardent devotees, Uddhava, that He was leaving for His eternal abode and Uddhava wondered how they could remain without Him. Sri Krishna says that Uddhava should cast away his attachment to Him and go to Gandhamana hills and do penance at Badarikashram. Uddhava questions whether attachment to the Lord also should be stopped. Sri Krishna replies that His advice should be adhered to without questioning.
After completing His exile to the forests Sri Rama returns to Ayodya and is crowned the King. At that time He calls Lakshmana and tells him that He wants to make him as His deputy [something akin to Prince of Wales or yuvaraj]. Lakshmana flatly refuses and wants to remain as a servant to Sri Rama. Then Sri Rama called Bharatha and told His intention to crown Bharatha as deputy. Bharatha said if that was Sri Rama’s order he would accept it. Now if we examine the acts of both, Lakshmana, though was having a noble trait, wanted to serve Sri Rama no matter what Sri Rama wanted him to do. Whereas, Bharatha was totally detached and considered to obey Sri Rama as the only objective. So one should obey the Lord and not attach oneself to any other, however noble it is. That is why He is going to correct Arjuna who is steadfast in having mercy at wrong circumstances, though compassion is a noble trait. A surgeon cannot say that he is overcome by mercy and so he will not operate on the patient. So it should be understood that it is wrong to addict to be merciful.