Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 8
Amaanitwam adambhitwam ahimsaa kshaantiraarjavam;
Aachaaryopaasanam shaucham sthairyamaatmavinigrahah.
Humility, unpretentiousness, non-injury, forgiveness, uprightness,
service of the Guru, purity, steadfastness, self-control,
This shloka is a 5 part shloka that talks extensively about the things that a person has to pursue to get the knowledge of the field. The first quality Lord is talking about is humility, which is nothing but simplicity that a person should approach with while learning. Second is the unpretentiousness. It is the ability of a person to remain humble by not showing off about himself to others. Lord also talks about a person who is upright in all situations, willing to forgive the mistakes. He then goes to talk about the important qualities for knowledge like service to Guru, remaining focussed in all situations and the ability to self-control by not getting tempted with things.
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
Guru is an important person in one’s life, who can change your dasha (state of mind) and disha ( direction of thought process) of an individual. However talented one might be, absence of Guru will always make him handicapped and sometimes directionless also. If you have a person in your life who can change your state of mind, when you are in dilemma and show you the right path in thinking, what else a person needs? Choosing a right Guru and serving him is the most important quality that Lord Krishna is talking about. In today’s context serving the Guru has an altogether different meaning.
No longer you find students who are devoted to a single Guru or the Gurus who thinking only about their students. We are living in times where education has become a commercial activity and Guru is reduced to just teaching a subject in school or college.
In such environment, what is required is a person who can show you the direction? He might not be your teacher but he can be a person who can put your life on the right track. He can be younger or elder to you, but from a Guru what you learn is life, with its various aspects. Once you find that person you need to serve him, in the sense obey his teachings and understand his mind-set to ensure that you take the learning from him in the right form. These days such Gurus are very rare to find. But once you find him, preserve him at any cost. Once the learning commences you need to be focussed on the learning and not waver. Many people tend to lose focus after few days and wonder if they are learning right things. Trust and belief on your Guru is an important virtue which is equivalent to serving him with utmost devotion.
Humility and unpretentiousness are two very important virtues that an individual has to possess to acquire a proper learning from his Guru. If you are not humble, how can you receive what your Guru is giving? You need to always bend your head, accept the fact that your Guru knows more than you and receive things. In today’s world of varied points of view, you can always differ with your Guru. But that has to be put in a way which is respectful and that is where unpretentiousness comes into picture. You are putting forth a point not to impress others but to test your point of view versus your Guru’s point of view on the same thing. If you do it alone infront of Guru or infront of others it should be with zero intension of impressing others or showing off your knowledge. These are very difficult to imbibe but the one who does imbibe, knowledge will keep flowing to him.