macchitaha sarvadurguni matprasaadaattarishyasi |
atha chettvamahankaaraanna shrosyasi vinamksyasi || 58 ||

 
With your mind fixed on me, you will overcome all challenges through my grace. However, if you do not listen out of egoism, you shall be destroyed.
 
macchitaha : mind fixed on me
sarvadurguni : all challenges
matprasaadaat : through my grace
tarishyasi : overcome
atha : but
chet : however
tvam : you
ahankaaraat : out of egoism
na : not
shrosyasi : listen
vinamksyasi : destroyed
 
We notice a sudden shift in Shri Krishna’s tone here. Having completed the Gita discourse, he wants to bring Arjuna back to solving his original dilemma, whether to fight in a battle against his kinsmen, or whether to flee the battlefield and live the life of a monk. In the first chapter, we saw that Arjuna had completely broken down due to this dilemma, and had accepted Shri Krishna as his teacher to resolve it. Furthermore, at several points in the Gita discourse, Arjuna had asked questions that indicated his desire to flee the battlefield, rather than fight.
 
As the discourse came to its conclusion, Shri Krishna wanted to clearly point out to Arjuna that observing his duty as a warrior was the solution to his dilemma. This also meant that he had to stop listening to his ego, and listen to Ishvara. In fact, he had to completely submit himself to Ishvara’s will, by fixing his mind or chitta on Ishvara, and accepting the results of all actions as praasaada, a gift from Ishvara. Shri Krishna promised Arjuna that he will overcome all durguna, all challenges, if he performed his duty in this fashion.
 
However, like Arjuna, most of us harbour extremely strong egos, that have become hardened over the course of our life, and probably, of several lives. We have strong attachments, strong likes and dislikes that can cloud our thinking, just like strong attachment to family clouded Arjuna’s thinking. Only a qualified teacher, a guru, can raise us from the level of ego-driven living, and guide us towards the path of selfless service. Following the command of the ego can only lead us to vinaasha or destruction in the form of entrenchment in the material world.

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