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Shrimad Bhagwat Gita : : 2.7

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pṛichchhāmi tvāṁ dharma-sammūḍha-chetāḥ
yach-chhreyaḥ syānniśhchitaṁ brūhi tanme
śhiṣhyaste ’haṁ śhādhi māṁ tvāṁ prapannam

kārpaṇya-doṣha—the flaw of cowardice; upahata—besieged; sva-bhāvaḥ—nature; pṛichchhāmi—I am asking; tvām—to you; dharma—duty; sammūḍha—confused; chetāḥ—in heart; yat—what; śhreyaḥ—best; syāt—may be; niśhchitam—decisively; brūhi—tell; tat—that; me—to me; śhiṣhyaḥ—disciple; te—your; aham—I; śhādhi—please instruct; mām—me; tvām—unto you; prapannam—surrendered

2.7: I am confused about my duty, and am enveloped with anxiety. I have lost my composure. I am your disciple, and my soul is surrendered to you. Please instruct me and show me the way.

It is at this juncture in the Bhagavad Gita, when for the first time Arjun requests Sri Krishna to be his guru. Arjun realises that he was afraid, anxious and hesitant and had lost the will to fight. Krishna, his cousin, who up till then has been his friend, now takes on the role of his guide.

We shall overcome

Arjun requests Krishna to show him the correct path. This marks a change in the relationship between them as from being Arjun’s charioteer, literally, Krishna now becomes Arjun’s Guru in the most sublime sense possible. Guru here maybe a larger metaphor for teacher, mentor, guide, advisor or friend.

Arjun’s request encourages us to self-introspect and understand our strengths and weaknesses. It also establishes that when in an anxious, uncertain state of mind it is advisable to seek help. Choosing one’s guru carefully and seeking help at a critical time can help us find the right path. Not only is it important to assess oneself and the given situation, it is equally important to find a genuine, sincere guru to redeem oneself and be saved from disaster.

The Gita’s philosophy and teachings have helped me understand much of what otherwise lay in the realm of the unexplained. More importantly, it has helped me come to terms with the finite nature of life on this earth, and simultaneously draw solace from accepting the infinite existence of the soul. It is reassuring to understand the significance of following one’s dharma (duty), performing good karma (deeds), while being engaged in the quest for gyan (knowledge) as one walks on in the hope of attaining moksha (salvation).

Shared here is a brief documentation of what this shloka of the Gita says to me.

Vandana R Singh
New Delhi, June 2020

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