SRI GAJENDRA VARADHA or SRI DEVARAJA PERUMAL
Thirumangai Alwar has composed 10 pasurams on the Lord here. We will see sloka 31:
ksipram bhavati dharmatma
na me bhaktah pranasyati
"He quickly becomes righteous and attains lasting peace. O son of Kunti, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes."
Me bhakta = My [Sri Krishna's] devotee, na pranasyanti = never is destroyed. Once a person surrenders to the Lord, as in the case of Swarbhanu, in spite of his wicked intentions, the Lord protects everyone. Thus a devotee of the Lord, in spite of any misdoings or evil character, is never let down by the Lord. The Lord tries to dispel Arjuna's doubts: 1) how can bahkti spring in an evil person? 2) Even if by the grace of Lord, Bhakti sprouts in that person, it might not eliminate all papa [ as that would instantly grant Moksham] and so some remaining papa would impede Bhakti. Will they not? So, Arjuna's doubts are such wicked persons might not be able to begin Bhakti; and even if they start, they might not be able to continue Bhakti. We can notice that these questions arise in our minds also. We also devote to the Lord some time in our life; but we do not continue like a Prahalada or Vidhura or Sanjaya or Vibheeshana. We commit so many known and unknown sins. Will not these sins obstruct Bhakti? These are answered by the Lord. Ksipram = very soon, dharmatma = bhakta or a great devotee, bhavati = he becomes. Soon he becomes a Bhakta of the Lord. Why the Lord uses the word sooner? Our sins and bad disciplines are so great that they would delay very much. But the moment even a wicked person worships the Lord, he becomes soon a great devotee. We may get a doubt here. In computer we have xls sheet. We have columns in which a formula can be written and for various variables we can get the result. But if we want the result to be applied in the same formula it will not perform. Like this, here the Lord says that with His blessings Bhakti will sprout in a person; and afterwards he would continue with Bhakti. Our concept is that Bhakti comes after papa is eliminated. So, our doubt is, whether Bhakti is after papa elimination? or, does Bhakti eliminate papa? Here we should note that with His blessings we start Bhakti. Having started, this Bhakti would destroy all our remaining papa. As this Bhakti grows, soon it would make this person a great devotee. That is this Bhakti is self sufficient - it will sustain by itself. This Bhakti does not need any other to sustain. We can feel this experience also. Once we start Bhakti, it avoids any eveil doings and so slowly our papa gets reduced. Sasva = for a long time or permanently, chanti = bad character, nigacchati = would be eliminated. So, Bhakti would drive out the sins for ever. For ceratin ailments [ Tamil பித்தம்] milk is a remedy. Once taken, the ailment disappears. Side-by-side, we also develop a taste for milk and we enjoy taking it regularly. So, medicine itself becomes a pleasing drink. But the same milk we might not take when the ailment was there. Similarly, initially, Bhakti is done to eliminate some sins; later, the same Bhakti becomes pleasing task eliminating all our papa. Kaunteya = Arjuna, janehi = understand. Pratijanihi = take vow. What vow? That the devotee of the Lord would never fall into bad character again. Why should Arjuna take vow? Because, though the Lord speaks only the truth, in this Avatar as Sri Krishna, bad propaganda is there that Sri Krishna is a liar. But Arjuna felt that was for reasons attributed to the Lord as a small boy and now He would not cross His own promise and so, He Himself could take that vow. Sri Krishna in reply says that Arjuna might not know that within the next 10 days, He would be breaching His own promise. Gita was preached on the 1st day of the war. Before this, when war was declared, Duryodhana went about seeking support of other Kings. At that time Sri Krishna had made a promise to Duryodhana that He would not fight nor use any weapon in the war. But after the war started, when Arjuna would not be able to slain Bheeshma and Bheeshma would unceasingly hurt Arjuna, Sri Krishna would get angry [false one] and rush to Bheeshma with the discus in the hand to kill him. Bheeshma happily would welcome Sri Krishna as that would satisfy the promise made by Bheeshma that he would compel Sri Krishna to take up weapons in His hands. But the Lord in order to make true the promise of His devotees, He would sacrifice His promises. Knowing that this incident was to happen in the next few days, Sri Krishna asks Arjuna to promise that Bhakti would eliminate all balance papa and His Bhakta would never be ruined.