Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 4, Verse 4

अर्जुन उवाच |
अपरं भवतो जन्म परं जन्म विवस्वत: |
कथमेतद्विजानीयां त्वमादौ प्रोक्तवानिति || 4||

arjuna uvācha
aparaṁ bhavato janma paraṁ janma vivasvataḥ
katham etad vijānīyāṁ tvam ādau proktavān iti

arjunaḥ uvāchaArjun said; aparamlater; bhavataḥyour; janmabirth; paramprior; janmabirth; vivasvataḥVivasvan, the sun-god; kathamhow; etatthis; vijānīyāmam I to understand; tvamyou; ādauin the beginning; proktavāntaught; itithus

Translation

BG 4.4: Arjun said: You were born much after Vivasvan. How am I to understand that in the beginning you instructed this science to him?

Commentary

Arjun is puzzled by the apparent incongruity of events in Shree Krishna’s statement. The Sun god has been present since almost the beginning of creation, while Shree Krishna has only recently been born in the world. If Shree Krishna is the son of Vasudev and Devaki, then his statement that he taught this science to Vivasvan, the Sun god appears inconsistent to Arjun, and he inquires about it. Arjun’s question invites an exposition on the concept of the divine descension of God, and Shree Krishna responds to it in the subsequent verses.