Gita Daily Readings

2nd August
Chapter X1: 3-4
So it is, Oh supreme Lord, as thou hast declared thyself to be. I desire to see thy form as Ishvara, Oh supreme person.

If thou, Oh Lord, thinkest it possible for me to see it, do thou then, Oh Lord of the yogis, show me thy imperishable self.

Commentary

Arjuna had heard, as a keen student should hear, all the instructions of the Lord with one-pointed attention, asking a question here and there with a genuine eagerness to have his doubts cleared, rather than to doubt or decry. This approach greatly encourages the teacher. It provides the "intellectual cross-ventilation" as it were, inviting the outside wind to blow in. As we shall see towards the end of the Bhagavad Gita, the Lord compels neither blind allegiance to nor blind rejection of his teachings.

The wisest approach to all teaching is: receive, then analyze in the light of your own intelligence; you have a right to do so and need not surrender that right. Do not doubt or condemn anything, but accept what appears acceptable to you and let the rest drop away. Only that much was good for you at that stage of your evolution; perhaps the other factors were meant for others to whom they might appeal.

This acceptance should not be mechanical, but should "happen," because aided by the teacher, you yourself see the truth of the teaching. This communion between the guru and the disciple is real, though non-verbal communication. Here, the physiological organs of hearing are open, the mind is silent, the heart is afire with affection and the truth instantly becomes enshrined in the heart.

The conclusion of the tenth chapter proved too great a temptation for Arjuna to resist. What is the Lord's form as Ishvara? Isha or "Ishvara" means "is", the simple English verb, though vedanta gives it all sorts of complicated explanations. It is "suchness." When all appearances or manifestations have been overcome, what remains is - That is all - That Is all - That is All. If you shift the emphasis to each of these three words separately and meditate upon them, you will truly understand what Isha or Ishvara (and perhaps Jesus) means.

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