I was sitting before the Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax. He was scrutinizing my client’s tax records. Normally a scrutiny hearing will give enormous stress, more to the accountant than to his client. But this man is quite friendly. We also talk about other things and go out for coffee together. As I was explaining a particular purchase invoice there was a knock at the door. In walked a forty year old man dressed in a dark colour safari suit. He spoke in an extremely polite manner but his body language spoke of his arrogance and superiority. “Sorry to trouble you, Sir. I am a close friend of your Chief Commissioner. He wanted me to approach you for this tax issue.” “Please take your seat, Sir. I am really happy that you have given me an opportunity to help you, Sir. Can I order some coffee for you, Sir?” The Deputy Commissioner was overly polite – which meant only one thing. That he did not want to help this haughty man. “No, thanks. I want this to be done at the earliest.” The DC appeared to study the papers and then patiently explained the way out of trouble. He also gave him some specimen forms to be filled up and the officials to be approached in that matter. The visitor went out after twenty minutes, fully satisfied. As soon as the door was closed behind us I looked pointedly at the bureaucrat. “Don’t look at me like that, Sridhar. I know what I told him was bull****. In the pretext of showing the way I just drove him away. I did not like his manners, his name dropping and his haughty behaviour.” “Won’t he complain to the Chief Commissioner about you?” “He’d never know. He’d be tossed from pillar to post and from post to pillar. And then he will come to me. By that time I am sure he’ll be humble. I’ll then help him. Now let’s get on with the case.” I was startled. I was moved to tears. That’s exactly the way our Lord deals with our arrogance. We put on airs when we approach him. We want to know the way to reach His feet . As if, if we know the way we can by our own efforts reach him. But we ask with so much of arrogance as if we are doing a favour to Him by worshipping him. We ask haughtily “Tell me Lord, in what way can I reach you.” The Lord does not want to boost our ego. He wants us to realise what His love is. So he shows us various ways. The path of duty. The path of wisdom. The path of devotion. Do your duty without caring for the results. You’ll reach me. Or, I can be reached only by supreme wisdom. Or, be devoted to me, sing about me, chant my name 1008 times every day, you’ll reach me. It takes us 17 chapters of Bhagavad Gita and 65 slokas in the 18th chapter for us to realize that our Lord in the pretext of showing us the way has driven us away from him. We are in tears. We do not know what to do. We are confused. We do not know where to go. We are sobbing. And then finding no other way out we fall at His feet, making an offering of our head, our mind, our ego and our arrogance. Our Lord is moved. He bends down to wipe our tears. “Oh my dear, you don’t have to do anything. Leave everything to me. I have been waiting for you. You don’t have to walk any longer. There’s no way except through me. I’ll carry you home on my shoulders. "Oh you’ve committed many sins? So what? I’ll remove them all. And my dearest when I am there for you, why should you worry?” This is the essence of the 66th sloka of the 18th Chapter of Gita. To me this is the essence of Gita, of all the religions, of the Lord and His Love. Sarva dharman parithyajya maam eka sharanam vraja Aham thvaa sarva paabhebyo moksayishyaami maa shuchaha On this Teachers Day let’s express our love to the Greatest of All Teachers, who first kept us away by showing the way, and then taught us something quite out of the way about His love. We are beholden to this teacher for all time to come.