Clarity through Grace of the Guru
May 25, 2013 Comments Off on Clarity through Grace of the Guru
“Did you hear me well, with full attention? If you did, have you grasped the message, with all relevance, force and clarity?” asks Krishna of Arjuna towards the end of their dialogue (Bhagavadgeeta 18.72). It is natural that Krishna finally comes back to the point, from where he started, when Arjuna had crumbled.
One seeks a Guru to become free of his own delusion, ignorance and indecision. The difficulties arising from such a plight may be anything. It can be an aching doubt, tormenting enquiry, passionate seeking or disturbing indecision. .
The Guru’s role is to listen to the seeker and relate the matter to the supreme Wisdom. Then address the disciple fondly to enlighten him. If the Teacher does his role well, the outcome will be immediate. Krishna thus wants Arjuna to speak about the efficacy of the dialogue and whether his problems have been resolved, and clarity and direction gained. .
We do worship the Supreme Lord. The whole creation is His display. Our body, mind and intelligence are also His handicraft. In spite of all this, the human mind has its doubts and needs while meeting life and the world. Intelligence has its enquiries and thirsts. When these assert, there is a definite need for help and guidance. Naturally, one looks for a timely answer from the Invisible Impersonal God.
It is here that one finds the role of the Guru irreplaceable.
A human question must find a human answer. Human problem must derive a human solution. The seeker has thus to meet a human deliverer, instructor, guide and refuge. Without this august union, none is going to be helped at all.
The contact with the Guru may transpire in any manner. Arjuna suddenly turning to be a seeker and looking to Krishna for deliverance is strange, stunning, but illustrious. Like Arjuna, others may also have striking instances. But the contact with the Guru must be there for all, in all events. The great Nature has made ample provision for such illustrious meetings. One of these would be applicable to the ardent seeker at the opportune moment in his life.
It was Arjuna who questioned first. Now it is Krishna that seeks to know. See the beautiful way one complements the other – the beginning and the end go together. It makes the thread of the dialogue exquisite, strong and comprehensive.
The sole object of Bhagavadgeeta is to treat the mind and dissolve all its emotional stiflings. It equally deals with the questions and riddles of the intelligence. Once these two are over, nothing will be there to deal with or address within our inner personality. Bodily disorders are for medicinal science to deal with. Spirituality and philosophy have the aim of dealing with the invisible, subjective constituents of the mind and intelligence.
Arjuna and Krishna together have accomplished this subtle, inner, complex task effectively. Now it is for Arjuna to answer Krishna, with the same directness and fullness:
By your grace, Krishna, my delusion is dispelled; I have regained my memory; I stand stable with doubts dissolved. I shall do as you say.
Arjuna’s reply is equally to the point. In fact, it is amazingly relevant and brief, yet conclusive. He first states that his delusion has gone. Arjuna does not refer to any kind of grief or suffering now. Krishna’s words of instruction and Arjuna’s sensitive reception are enlightening, redeeming and fulfilling. It is verily a knowledge dialogue that transpired between them.
In the end, Arjuna clearly confesses that he is not the earlier individual, but quite poised and self-seated. “My delusion has dissolved, I have got back my memory and gained clarity and self-assessment. All this is due to your grace alone”, says Arjuna.
– Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha
[Excerpt from an article in the Jun 2008 issue of the Ashram journal Vicharasethu.]