damshtraakaraalaani cha te mukhaani drishtaiva kaalaanalasannibhaani |
disho na jaane na labhe cha sharma praseeda devesha jagannivaasa || 25 ||

 
Seeing you with dreadful tusks and your mouths blazing like fires of destruction, I neither know the directions nor do I have peace. Be pleased, O lord whose abode is the universe.
 
damshtraa : tusks
karaalaani : with dreadful
cha : and
te : your
mukhaani : mouths
drishta : seeing
eva : only
kaalaanala : fires of destruction
sannibhaani : blazing like
dishaha : directions
na : not
jaane : I know
na : not
labhe : have
cha : and
sharma : peace
praseeda : be pleased
devesha : O lord
jagannivaasa : whose abode is this universe
 
When we go beyond the imagery of this shloka and try to extract the meaning, we find that Arjuna comes face to face with a point of no return. He is unable to “know the directions”, unable to decide where to run away from here. All the plans he has made to do this or that thing are suddenly no more. Many people who come face to face with their mortality may have thoughts similar to what Arjuna is echoing here.
 
I came across a website of a terminal cancer patient who wrote his obituary just before he passed away. Here’s an excerpt from that website:
 
…It turns out that no one can imagine what’s really coming in our lives. We can plan, and do what we enjoy, but we can’t expect our plans to work out. Some of them might, while most probably won’t. Inventions and ideas will appear, and events will occur, that we could never foresee. That’s neither bad nor good, but it is real.
 
I think and hope that’s what my daughters can take from my disease and death. And that my wonderful, amazing wife _____ can see too. Not that they could die any day, but that they should pursue what they enjoy, and what stimulates their minds, as much as possible—so they can be ready for opportunities, as well as not disappointed when things go sideways, as they inevitably do…
 
So when we realize that ultimately, we are powerless in front of the grand scheme of the cosmos, our ego drops all its pretenses and surrenders itself in prayer to Ishvara. Prayer is only possible when there is utter surrender of individuality. So Arjuna prays to Shri Krishna, urging him to return to his pleasing form. But Shri Krishna is not done yet.

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