teshaamaham samuddhartaa mrityusansaarasaagaraat |
bhavaami nachiraatpaartha mayyaaveshitachetasaam || 7 ||

 
For them, whose minds are fixed in me, I immediately become their uplifter from samsaara, the ocean of death, O Paartha.
 
teshaam : for them
aham : I
samuddhartaa : uplifter
mrityusansaarasaagaraat : the ocean of death samsaara
bhavaami : become
nachiraat : immediately
paartha : O Paartha
mayi : in me
aaveshita : fixed
chetasaam : mind
 
As a result of losing a wager, the eagle-winged Garuda and his mother Vinata were forced into enslavement by the Kadru, mother of serpents. Garuda promised to bring the nectar of immortality from heaven and give it to the serpents in exchange for his mother’s freedom. Once the nectar was delivered, Lord Indra took it back to heaven, but spilt a few drops on a kind of grass known as dharba. The serpents tried to lick the nectar on the grass, but spilt their tongue doing so. As a result, all serpents have forked tongues even to this day.
 
Let us now look into the symbolic meaning of this story from the Puraanaas. The world comprises of objects that are a two things at once: naamaroopa (name and form) and Ishvara. The Ishvara in us wants to contact the Ishvara in those objects, but we make the mistake of letting our senses rush after the name and form aspects of the objects. We are like the serpents that really want nectar, but chase the dharba grass and cut ourselves in the process. Chasing of objects in the belief that they will give us joy, and receiving sorrow instead of joy, this is samsaara. Repeatedly chasing objects ensures that the cycle of birth and death continues.
 
In the Indian tradition, samsaara is referred to as an ocean in which most people are stuck until their death, only to be reborn again. Shri Krishna says that those devotees who worship Ishvara with form and meet the qualifications listed in the previous shloka are saved from samsaara by Ishvara himself. Unlike most material endeavours that take a long time, this process is “nachiraat” or swift. The key condition is that we have to think of Ishvara as the ultimate goal and nothing else. This is “saguna upasaana”, worship of Ishvara with form, in a nutshell.
 
Now, Shri Krishna enumerates the types of yogas or practices through which we can attain Ishvara.

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