अर्जुन उवाच |
अपरं भवतो जन्म परं जन्म विवस्वत: |
कथमेतद्विजानीयां त्वमादौ प्रोक्तवानिति || 4||
aparaṁ bhavato janma paraṁ janma vivasvataḥ
katham etad vijānīyāṁ tvam ādau proktavān iti
arjunaḥ uvācha—Arjun said; aparam—later; bhavataḥ—your; janma—birth; param—prior; janma—birth; vivasvataḥ—Vivasvan, the Sun God; katham—how; etat—this; vijānīyām—am I to understand; tvam—you; ādau—in the beginning; proktavān—taught; iti—thus
Arjuna said: Later was your birth, earlier the birth of Vivasvan (Sun); how then am I to understand that you taught it to him in the beginning?
In the Rajasuya Yaga, Arjuna has already come to know that Krishna is the eternal Lord of the Universe, though he is apparently the son of Devaki and Vasudeva. Still, it is quite possible that the supreme secret of the Lord’s incarnation might have appeared as a mystery to Arjuna, and he desired that the Lord Himself should unravel the mystery. Arjuna’s doubt is the doubt of all ordinary human beings, and so the Lord’s answer is intended to enlighten mankind about the mystery of His incarnation in the world.
Indeed, Lord Krishna is not a material form composed of the five elements as is the body of a human being. He is the eternal all-pervading Supreme Being of the Universe. This very truth is declared by the Lord in his reply to Arjuna. This universe and all that is in it can be looked at from three planes of vision. As soon as one sees a material object, man or animal or plant or stone or anything else, he takes in the object through the visual sense organ – the form, the colour, shape and complexion and other aspects of its external appearance. When he rises to the mental plane, he considers the character, qualities and nature of the object which could be understood only by the mind. When he rises higher still, he finds that all this universe with all that exists in it is nothing but the soul, the Atma – the supreme Sacchidananda. This is the spiritual plane of vision. The former two are relative truths. The last is the absolute Truth. To distinguish this relative from the Absolute, and hold on to the Absolute is the aim of spiritual Sadhana.
Swami Vivekananda Says —
“This yoga I taught in ancient times [to Vivasvan; Vivasvan taught it to Manu]. … Thus it was that the knowledge descended from one thing to another. But in time this great yoga was destroyed. That is why I am telling it to you again today.” Then Arjuna asks, “Why do you speak thus? You are a man born only the other day, and [Vivasvan was born long before you]. What do you mean that you taught him?”[Source]