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First the stage of doubt when the disciple is unable to understand the greatness of the teacher and the value of his teaching though he has no doubt personally of the good intentions of the teacher.

The stage in which basic questions are asked i.e. the disciple is not fully convinced of the teaching.

The stage in which the teaching reaches the peak and there is an effortless flow of knowledge and sakti between the teacher and disciple.

The stage in which supplementary questions are asked and the state of devotional ecstasy comes down.

The final blessing and assurance of Protection

Just as Arjuna was sure of his ability and asked Sri Krishna to take his chariot to a place where he could see the all the Kurus assembled, Uttaran asked Arjuna to take him into battle. The sight of the assembled warriors in battle array and Sri Krishna’s words “pasyetaan samavetan kurun” (see the Kurus gathered together) changed Arjuna’s attitude just as the sight of the Kuru army changed Uttaran’s. Uttaran’s was a physical fear. Arjuna’s was a fear of the societal changes that would follow a war. To Sri Krishna they were but a matter of degree; everything must be sacrificed for Dharma – whether it is ones life or whether it is our attachment to a well-ordered society.

Then is the stage when it is difficult for the devotee to understand or accept the greatness of either the teacher or teaching. Arjuna’s asking how Sri Krishna could have taught Yoga to Vivaswaan and Uttaras protests in the cremation ground fall in this category. In our cases it would be when the Guru asks us to do something, which we find difficult and we don’t understand why.

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Then is the stage, which we all have felt when basic questions are asked. Like Arjuna asking “You speak of renunciation of action and also of performance of action. Tell me decisively which is best”. There is the belief that the Guru is doing which is the best but we find it difficult to understand or follow. But since the belief and aspiration is present, attainment is only a matter of time.

Then is the stage in which the Guru and disciple are on the same wavelength. They understand each other and the flow of Grace and Sakthi is effortless, this is seen in the ninth chapter where Arjuna asks no questions and Sri Krishna gives several assurances of blessing, protection and succour. The Highest teaching is encapsulated in the last verse. He reveals His glory in the next chapter, Arjuna is now free from doubts, His beloved friend, Guru and cousin is now being transformed into his God something which is seen in its full beauty in the eleventh chapter. He asks Sri Krishna for pardon for sins unknowingly committed, revels in his relationship with him and lories in singing his praise. This is seen also in Uttaran’s praise of Arjuna after hearing the meaning of the ten names. He too approaches Arjuna as a disciple though this relationship is not explicitly mentioned. He mentions his name and asks pardon, praising Arjuna.

Then comes the stage when the ecstasy comes down and the descent into normal life begins once more, though the recipient is transformed by the Divine experience and his knowledge. We find Arjuna because of his great experience of Sri Krishna asking questions on shraddha etc. Uttaran who is a disciple on a lower level merely asks Arjuna about his vow to remain in hiding and how he would fight with so many. Then is the proclamation of intent to serve (Karisye vacanam tava) I will do your word says Arjuna while Uttara offers to be Arjuna’s charioteer and explains his abilities and the names of the horses.

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