Prabhupāda: The Bhagavad-gītā is spoken in that warfield. Kṛṣṇa was engaged as the chariot driver of the chariot of Arjuna. And while the chariot was brought in the battlefield between the two groups of soldiers... Senayor ubhayor madhye rathaṁ sthāpaya me 'cyuta (BG 1.21). Arjuna requested, "My dear Kṛṣṇa..." Kṛṣṇa was his friend and Kṛṣṇa was familywise related both with the Kurus and Pāṇḍavas. Kṛṣṇa's father and the Pāṇḍavas' mother, they were real brother and sister. In this way there were family relationship, and Kṛṣṇa therefore denied to take part in the actual fighting. The whole world was divided. Some of them joined this party; some of them joined that party. Just like it actually happens when there is big war. Even nowadays, all the nations, they make a group. Some of them forming were forming one group; another some of them, they formed another group. Exactly the same thing was done. Now Kṛṣṇa was the charioteer, but when the chariot was brought in front of the two soldiers' party, Arjuna became little bit disturbed that "I have to fight. On the other side they are my brothers, they are my nephews, they are my gurus, Dronācārya, and they are my grandfather, Bhīṣmadeva. So what kind of fight this is that I have to fight with my friends and relatives and family members?" So he hesitated, that "Kṛṣṇa, what kind of fight this is? They are not my enemies; they are all family members. So I am not interested in this fight." So he practically decided not to fight. And Kṛṣṇa said that "What is this nonsense? You are a military man, and you have come to fight here, and you are My friend and My relative also, and if you decide not to fight, what people will say?" This is the beginning. Then, after some arguments, Arjuna thought it wise that "Actually, I am a military man and I have come to fight a decision that we shall fight. Now what I am trying to do, to avoid this fighting? Actually it is not my business. I am deviating from my duty." Therefore... (aside:) Find out this, kārpaṇya-doṣa. Find out.
- pṛcchāmi tvāṁ dharma-sammūḍha-cetāḥ
- yac chreyaḥ syān niścitaṁ brūhi tan me
- śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi māṁ tvāṁ prapannam
- (BG 2.7)
Pradyumna: "Now I am confused about my duty and have lost all composure because of weakness. In this condition I am asking You to tell me clearly what is best for me. Now I am Your disciple, and a soul surrendered unto You. Please instruct me."
Prabhupāda: Yes. So Arjuna understood his weakness, his weak point. Therefore he said to Kṛṣṇa that kārpaṇya-doṣopahata-svabhāvaḥ. Kārpaṇya, this word, comes from kṛpaṇa. Kṛpaṇa... Kṛpaṇa, this word, is known practically everyone. Kṛpaṇata means miserly. A person who has got enough resources but if he does not use it properly, it is called, he is called a kṛpaṇa, miser. And the opposite word of kṛpaṇa is udhara, or liberal. So there are two words, kṛpaṇa. So Arjuna said, kārpaṇya-doṣa: "I know I can fight. I am quite competent military person, but I am not using my resources; therefore it is kārpaṇya-doṣopahata-svabhāvaḥ." Svabhāvaḥ means naturally a military man, a kṣatriya, is very bold enough to fight. That is one of the qualification of a military man. Yuddhe cāpalāyanam. The śaurya, vīrya, tejaḥ, yuddhe cāpalāyanam, these are the symptoms of kṣatriya. He would never go away from fighting. When there is challenge, fighting, a kṣatriya will never deny. Yuddhe cāpalāyanam. So when kṣatriya, is especially a kṣatriya like Arjuna... He is the best military man of that age, and he was denying to fight. So he could understand his weakness. He said, kārpaṇya-doṣopahata-svabhāvaḥ: (BG 2.7) "Naturally I should fight, but on account of my crippled decision or miserly decision, I am perplexed." So Kṛṣṇa... He knew Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. "Therefore I am surrendering unto You." What is that? Two, last lines?
Pradyumna: Śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi māṁ tvāṁ prapannam.
Prabhupāda: Śiṣyas te 'ham. Ahaṁ te śiṣya: "I just become Your disciple, and You just educate me. Please enlighten me." This is the position. Before that, Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, they were talking like friends. Friends means argument. We can go on arguing for days together, but there is no decision. That is friendly talk. But when there is talk between a master and disciple, there is no question of arguing. The disciple has to accept what is ordered by the master.
So Kṛṣṇa is accepted guru or the spiritual master, and Arjuna says, śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam (BG 2.7). Prapannam means that "I am surrendered to You. I don't think myself on the equal level with You." The spiritual master and the disciple, they cannot be on the equal level. Therefore a spiritual master is called guru. Guru means heavy. Just like in the scale we put something this side, something that side. The thing which is weighty, that goes down. Similarly, guru is supposed to be weighty than the śiṣya. So Kṛṣṇa begins to speak when He is accepted as guru; otherwise He does not speak. Now, our subject matter is "Let Kṛṣṇa speak for Himself." So we have to accept Kṛṣṇa as the supreme authority. Then His speaking will be useful for us. Otherwise, if we think that Kṛṣṇa is on the equal level—"He is also a historical personality and His education and my education equal and so on, so on"—so long we think like that, then we cannot hear or understand Kṛṣṇa. But if we take the position of Arjuna—śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam—then Kṛṣṇa will speak to the disciple like Arjuna, and everything will be clear.