Gita Daily Readings

23 August
Chapter XI: 41-42
Whatever I have presumptuously said from carelessness or love, addressing thee as Oh Krishna, Oh Yadava, Oh friend, regarding thee merely as a friend, unknowing of this, thy greatness;

In whatever way I may have insulted thee for the sake of fun while at play, reposing, sitting or at meals, when alone (with thee), Oh Achyuta, or in company - that I implore thee, immeasurable one, to forgive.

Commentary

Here again lord Krishna acts as the supreme illusionist. Step by step, Arjuna was rising to the level of the absolute. He saw the universe being indwelt by God. He realized that even the vaidika gods are but the Lord's own manifestations. Even good and evil (and all such paradoxes) merged in the Lord. All distinctions began to fade away and Arjuna saw that God and God alone pervaded everything. Even the idea of an "everything" seemed to be absurd from that point of view. "Wherefore thou art all," said he. One more step and even the seer in Arjuna would have dissolved in the sight and the seen in the state of nirvikalpa samadhi.

... That was not yet to be. Hence, obviously by the influence of his will, Krishna spreads a veil over Arjuna's eyes (as he had done before in the case of his mothers, Yashoda and Devaki) inducing an awareness that Arjuna was standing in front of the cosmic form revealed to him by Krishna. Memory returns to him. Mind awakes and with it the ordinary consciousness. He begins to apologize to the cosmic being for his unbecoming conduct in ignorance.

At every turn in the Bhagavad Gita this great truth is rubbed into us. The highest spiritual realization is God's gift. Though this should not lead to the absurd conclusion that the Lord is whimsical and though we should not forget that we have no business to desire God-realization without first deserving it, we should remember that only God can realize himself and that our only task is to sacrifice our little ego at his feet. This sacrifice is not an act of the ego but the dawn of the light of truth in which the shadow of the ego dissolves.

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