The Final Verse, in the Final Chapter of the Bhagavad Gita…
…Sanjaya, the poet who introduces us to the characters and sets the battlefield scene for us at the beginning, concludes the poem with the line,
Where Krishna is- Lord of Yoga-
and Arjuna the archer: there,
surely, I think, is splendor
and virtue and spiritual wealth.
The Gita is a conversation between student and teacher, between the seeker and the one with knowledge, and each chapter is driven by Arjuna asking Krishna something, delving deeper into the philosophy of Yoga, into how to be happy, how to live a life which will free you from suffering.
In this final line, Sanjaya is saying, wherever there are teachers, and students asking questions of those teachers, there is spiritual wealth.
In doing my apprenticeship with my beloved Rima at Jivamukti, I have experienced first hand that there is splendor and virtue in the relationship between student and teacher and the conversations that result is spiritual wealth for both.
Yoga is passed down from student to teacher, and although reading the texts alone can be beneficial and can start someone on the path, nothing compares to the insight you receive from a teacher. The information is like a piece of coal, and it is shaped and refined through all the minds that hold it. The diamond of knowledge a teacher finally passes down to you has come to them through their teachers, and their teachers’ teachers. And like that, to learn from someone, is to learn from their whole lineage, of insight, of personal experience, and of deep study.
A teacher, teaches with their whole self. It is not only the knowledge they pass down in the most obvious sense, but also in the example they set. To spend time with a teacher, is to be learning. Some of the most profound lessons I have learned are just from watching how my teacher carries herself and how she lives her life. Arjuna really began to grasp the concepts when Krishna revealed his whole self to him, and like that, the student needs to see how it all really works in someone’s life, in order to understand the teachings.
Teachers are always reminding the students how important it is to be a student and ask the questions and to ask the teacher to teach. This is because the conversation and the exchange of knowledge cannot happen without the student first asking… The first question is asked by Arjuna, and from that arises the splendor, virtue and spiritual wealth that is the Bhagavad Gita.
Eternal gratitude to my sweetest and most perfect, Rima.