Gita Daily Readings

24th August
Chapter XI: 43-44
Thou art the father of this world, moving and unmoving. Thou art to be adored by this world. Thou, the greatest guru, for none there exists who is equal to thee; how can there be then, another superior to thee in the three worlds, Oh being of unequalled power?

Therefore, bowing down, prostrating my body, I crave thy forgiveness, Oh adorable Lord. As a father forgives his son, a friend his friend, a lover his beloved, even so shouldst thou forgive me, Oh God.

Commentary

The rapid descent to human consciousness is evident in these two verses. From the vision of the all, Arjuna's focus narrows first to the immeasurable one, then the world seems to be apart from the Lord who is considered its father. He then recedes further as the worshipful one; then further still, he is just the Isvara, a special soul, the guru of all. Lastly the Lord is brought to the level at which he could be compared and contrasted with the many things that exist in the three worlds, seen once again as distinct entities.

Arjuna returns to body-consciousness in verse 44. Though he continues to implore forgiveness, one notices the unmistakable symptoms of realization of the glory of God receding further from his consciousness. Strangely enough, he betrays the trend towards the very inner attitude that he condemned a few minutes ago! Once again he assumes an air of intimacy with the Lord - a father-son relationship, a lover-beloved relationship. Once again he takes the privilege of regarding him as a friend. Though he is still dazed by the vision and knows he is addressing God, the transition to the earth-consciousness is clearly evident. Strange indeed are God's ways and the power of his maya (delusion). He alone veils. He alone unveils the truth. Inscrutable are his ways.

Let us ever have our face turned towards him. Even if we thus see only his "back," let us persist; soon his face will be visible to us. Though that will be when he wills it, why should we worry? - As long as our face is turned towards him!

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