10.11: Gita wisdom acts as a personalized mirror for reflection (pun intended)
Few things make us as self-conscious as a mirror. The sight of a mirror often makes us involuntarily check and rearrange our hair, our dress and our overall looks.
However from the Gita perspective, few things make us as self-unconscious as a mirror. Glancing at a mirror usually aggravates our bodily misidentification and thereby our amnesia of our spiritual identity.
Of course, the path of devotion doesn’t require us to give up mirrors; we can use them as long as we don’t let them steal our spiritual awareness. More importantly, the devotional path doesn’t require us to give up our concern about how we look; it simply urges us to redirect our concern to the real me.
For examining how the real me looks, we need a special mirror: the mirror of Gita wisdom. When we study the Gita seeking not just information but introspection, then different Gita verses will speak to us at different times, offering us glimpses of the state of our consciousness: our hidden material desires and our dormant devotional attractions, the sinister snakes that will pull us down and the sublime ladders that will lead us up.
The more we familiarize ourselves with the verses of the Gita, the more they will act as friendly guides on our journey to Krishna. In fact, over time, we will realize that it is Krishna who is extending his friendly hand through these verses to lead us back to him, as he promises in the Gita (10.11). When we start seeing the Gita as a personalized mirror held in front of us by Krishna to stimulate individual reflection, then Gita study will never again be dry and stale; it will become endlessly exciting and empowering.