Seeing Arjuna full of compassion and very sorrowful, his eyes brimming with tears, Madhusudana, Krsna, spoke the following words.
Material compassion, lamentation and tears are all signs of ignorance of the real self. Compassion for the eternal soul is self-realization. The word "Madhusudana" is significant in this verse. Lord Krsna killed the demon Madhu, and now Arjuna wanted Krsna to kill the demon of misunderstanding that had overtaken him in the discharge of his duty. No one knows where compassion should be applied. Compassion for the dress of a drowning man is senseless. A man fallen in the ocean of nescience cannot be saved simply by rescuing his outward dress--the gross material body. One who does not know this and laments for the outward dress is called a sudra, or one who laments unnecessarily. Arjuna was aksatriya, and this conduct was not expected from him. Lord Krsna, however, can dissipate the lamentation of the ignorant man, and for this purpose the Bhagavad-gita was sung by Him. This chapter instructs us in self-realization by an analytical study of the material body and the spirit soul, as explained by the supreme authority, Lord Sri Krsna. This realization is made possible by working with the fruitive being situated in the fixed conception of the real self.
Bhagavad-gita is the widely read theistic science summarized in theGita-mahatmya (Glorification of the Gita). There it says that one should read Bhagavad-gita very scrutinizingly with the help of a person who is a devotee of Sri Krsna and try to understand it without personally motivated interpretations. The example of clear understanding is there in the Bhagavad-gita itself, in the way the teaching is understood by Arjuna, who heard the Gita directly from the Lord. If someone is fortunate enough to understand Bhagavad-gita in that line of disciplic succession, without motivated interpretation, then he surpasses all studies of Vedic wisdom, and all scriptures of the world. One will find in the Bhagavad-gita all that is contained in other scriptures, but the reader will also find things which are not to be found elsewhere. That is the specific standard of the Gita. It is the perfect theistic science because it is directly spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krsna.