Isn’t learning Gita from book or Internet is more than enough, given that there are elaborate commentaries and various versions of Gita available?
If we go by the google search or the dictionary meaning, we would get into trouble. For eg; in Gita, the word “buddhi” is used as intelligence, knowledge and a means of knowledge. Atma is used with reference to body, some other places mind, some other places jiva and in other places as Atma (Self) itself. So we need an Acharya. He can explain what it actually means. An Acharya is important in connecting various parts of Gita and putting it in right perspective. Guru is a must.
Arjuna was very cultured and intelligent. He had studied all Dharma Sastras. Sri Krishna was just removing the clouds of his mind so that the sun shine will be visible. Arjuna raises so many questions, Sri Krishna answers all of them. While reading, many of us don’t even understand the question itself; forget about the answer of Sri Krishna. In fact at the end of the chapter Arjuna declares that he is doubt free and will execute his duty efficiently. After studying Gita usually we don’t even come to that level.
When there are questions about Gita, the Acharya can help us in properly understanding the question. Actually, the Acharya is trying to explain that which can’t be understood by the body, mind or intellect – which is beyond our recognition. There are hundreds of Mahatmas who have experienced this truth – in every century there have been many Mahatmas who have declared this truth to the world.
A Guru who has seen more than what we could, will be able to correct our vision. A Guru who has seen the truth will be able to do that. With faith in the Acharya, we could try to follow the path shown by him/her. For example, in order to show the moon, the Acharya will point his finger towards the white light at night. The child may not understand what he is pointing to, but the Acharya will remove all his doubts and take his gaze towards the goal. Similarly, Gita and Sastras are pointers to this truth and we have to go beyond the words by tuning to the Guru. Every Acharya explains in his own style, which is his own freedom, but Gita remains the same. Gita supplies the message to everyone – child, parents, sanyasins or anyone for that matter.
In the study of Gita, the enquiry should be ignited. When enquiry comes, Guru will be there to guide.