|Chapter 11||The Vision of the Universal Form||Verse 50|
Rudra Vaisnava Sampradaya:
At that moment Lord Krishna immediately withdrew His visvarupa or divine universal form from view and appeared in His four armed form as before with jewelled diadem which Arjuna was familiar with and then as sign of further compassion Lord Krishna appeared in His even more benign two armed form. The word mahatma means great soul and denotes Lord Krishna's potency as paramatma the Supreme Soul within all living entities or it may mean great soul due to His being so compassionate and kind-hearted.
Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:
The Supreme Lord Krishna now revealed His original human looking form. The visvarupa or divine universal form was in effect a form of illusion emanating from His original form. Enough evidence for this has been confirmed and attested previously. Lord Krishna Himself creates and manifests His own forms. For those who are unaware of His original form He does not reveal His visvarupa. He reveals His catur-bhujena or four armed form as requested in verse 46 to those who are somewhat aware of His power, glory and divinity such as the members of the Yadu dynasty in Dwaraka and the Pandavas. The words saumya-vapur mean gentle form and specifically denotes His original two-armed form. He especially shows His two armed form to those who are unaware that it is His original form and the reason for this is so that they naturally interrelate with Him like any other human without aisvarya or awe and reverence and openly reciprocate with Him from the heart. The idea of different manifestations of Lord Krishna original two armed form being more superior and less superior is only from the point of view of those who are deluded. For liberated beings the vision of the visvarupa is accessible but the four-armed form is its source but the surrendered devotees of the Supreme Lord understand that the source of the four-armed form is the original two-armed form of Lord Krishna and is Supreme.
Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Thus did the Supreme Lord Krishna who appeared in the Vrishni dynasty as the son of King Vasudeva, divinely instruct the son of King Pandu and Queen Kunti who was His fathers sister. Arjuna's mind had been extremely agitated and anxiety filled by witnessing the terrifying aspect of the visvarupa or divine universal form. Lord Krishna to comfort His devotee displayed His four-armed form which was most familiar to Arjuna. The word mahatma means great soul, He who is infallible with indomitable will.
The manifestation of the Supreme Lord Krishna who is the Sovereign Lord of all, whose pure spiritual body is saccidananda or eternal existence, unlimited cognisance and endless bliss, transcendentally accepts a human looking form to bless all the worlds. The Vishnu PuranaV.III.X beginning jatosi deva-devasa sankha cakra, gada, dhara states: When Lord Krishna appeared as an infant baby in the jail cell of Kamsa in Mathura as the son of King Vasudeva and Queen Devaki, He manifested His four armed form with conch, discus, mace and flower. At that time King Vasudeva very much afraid of Kamsa who had slain his six previous sons at birth prayed to Him thus: O' Lord of lords , Thou art God incarnate. Thy form is divine. Be pleased O'Lord to conceal and hide this form. In order to quickly alleviate the anxiety of His father, Lord Krishna rendered two of the four arms invisible along with the divine weapons. Later when He grew older He went back to Mathura and slew Kamsa and released Vasudeva and Devaki from prison. At that time His other two arms became visible and He resumed His four-armed form again.
The Mahabharata states: The Supreme Lord, the son of Vasudeva with four- arms, broad, strong and robust bearing the conch, the cakra, the mace, etc. It was the four-arm form of Lord Krishna that constantly burned in Sisupala's mind after Lord Krishna at her urgent request usurped Princess Rukmini from him and married her. As Arjuna was an intimate friend of Lord Krishna during all His royal pastimes this is the form Arjuna knew best. Finally as a boon to fully console him He displayed His original svakam or personal two-armed form of saumya-vapuh or gentle nature being the same as all human beings.
Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Having promised in the verse before Lord Krishna now revealed His four armed form adorned with golden crown, discus and mace and then as a further consolation Lord Krishna, the repository of all divine attributes such as majesty, omniscience, omnipotence, compassion etc. revealed His adorable saumya-vapuh or gentle two-armed form decorated with turban, jewelery, earrings and other ornaments which brought great relief to the suffering Arjuna who was extremely agitated by the visvarupa or divine universal form.