tam tathaa kripayaavishtamashrupoornaakulekshanam |
vishidantamidam vaakyamuvaacha madhusoodanaha || 1 ||
To him who was possessed with grief and pity, and having tear-filled, confused eyes, Madhusoodana spoke these words.
tam : Towards him(Arjuna)
tathaa : that
kripayaa : pity
aavishtam : possessed
ashru-poorna : tear-filled
aakula : confused
ikshanam : eyes
vishidantam : grief-stricken
vaakyam : words
uvaacha : spoke
madhusoodanaha : Madhusoodana
Sanjaya opens this chapter painting a vivid portrait of Arjuna’s state: the world’s mightiest warrior struck by grief and actually crying. The poetic phrase “confused eyes” probably alludes to Arjuna not being able to see right from wrong i.e. his viveka was suppressed.
Moreover, this state has affected Arjuna’s entire personality – physically because he had tears, emotionally because he was struck with grief and pity, and intellectually because he was confused about what to do and what not to do.
Shri Krishna is referred again here as Madhusoodana. This name can be interpreted a couple of ways. In the Puraanas, Lord Vishnu assumed the form of Hayagriva to kill the demon Madhu, hence he is known as Madhusoodana. This means that Sanjaya, through his divine vision, knew that Shri Krishna was connected to Lord Vishnu. Another interpretation of the name Madhusoodana is one who slays honey. Honey is a metaphor for the ego, which can be extremely sweet for someone who does not know all the nefarious things that it is capable of.