Chapter 11: The Universal Form
ity arjunam vasudevas tathoktva
svakam rupam darsayam asa bhuyah
asvasayam asa ca bhitam enam
bhutva punah saumya-vapur mahatma
sañjayaḥ uvāca—Sañjaya said; iti—thus; arjunam—unto Arjuna; vāsudevaḥ—Kṛṣṇa; tathā—that way; uktvā—saying; svakam—His own; rūpam—form; darśayāmāsa—showed; bhūyaḥ—again; āśvāsayāmāsa—also convinced him; ca—also; bhītam—fearful; enam—him; bhūtvā punaḥ—becoming again; saumya-vapuḥ—beautiful form; mahātmā—the great one.
Sañjaya said to Dhṛtarāṣṭra: The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, while speaking thus to Arjuna, displayed His real four-armed form, and at last He showed him His two-armed form, thus encouraging the fearful Arjuna.
When Kṛṣṇa appeared as the son of Vasudeva and Devakī, He first of all appeared as four-armed Nārāyaṇa, but when He was requested by His parents, He transformed Himself into an ordinary child in appearance. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa knew that Arjuna was not interested in seeing a four-handed form of Kṛṣṇa, but since he asked to see this four-handed form, He also showed him this form again and then showed Himself in His two-handed form. The word saumya-vapuḥ is very significant. Saumya-vapu is a very beautiful form; it is known as the most beautiful form. When He was present, everyone was attracted simply by Kṛṣṇa's form, and because Kṛṣṇa is director of the universe, He just banished the fear of Arjuna, His devotee, and showed him again His beautiful form of Kṛṣṇa. In the Brahma-saṁhitā it is stated that only a person whose eyes are smeared with the ointment of love can see the beautiful form of Śrī Kṛṣṇa.