tamaaraadhya guruM bhaktyaa prahvaprashrayasevanaiH .
prasannaM tamanupraapya pR^ichchhejGYaatavyamaatmanaH
Worshipping that Guru with devotion and approaching him, when he is pleased, with speech and action betoking humility, he should beseech him to tell him what he has learnt.
Bhakti is attachment to those who deserve to be worshipped. It is a mental quality. Prostration of the body and the joining of palms are expressive of this bhakti. The prostration (sevana) should be such that all eight parts of the body touch the ground (sAstAnga namaskArah). It also includes touching the Guru's feet, and executing his behests. The Guru is served in these ways. He is pleased by this straight forward service. The sisya should stand in front of the Guru, waiting for an opportune moment to ask his question. The question should be pertaining to to the essential character of the the self, as it is required (prcchet jnAtavyamAtmanah: )
(kindly refer to the commentary for Verse 8 posted on Jun 23 1998 for an elaboration of the same point. Many references from the sruti as to how the sisya is to approach the Guru are elaborated there)
kaaruNyasindho patitaM bhavaabdhau .
My master! I bow to you. You are friend to those who make obeisance to you. You are the ocean of compassion. I have fallen into the sea of samsAra. Bathe me in the nectar of your straight and compassionate look and salvage me from death of this ocean.
BhagavatpAda here explains with tenderness to the sincere aspirant who does not what to do, how to approach the Guru and how to ask him the question, exhibiting true devotion.
natalokabandho - annihilator of all afflictions of those who bow to him.
kaaruNyasindho - ocean of compassion
By the expression patitaM bhavaabdhau the sisya submits to the Guru the nature of the sorrow by which he is afflicted. The meaning is: me who has sunk into the samsAra samudrA which is filled with the malefics of birth, old age, disease and death.
(refer to commentary of the verse 9, posted on 23 Jun 1998 for an explanation of why samsAra is likened to an ocean.)
The sisya indicates to the Guru that the Guru is a knower of Brahman; he is hence free from all impurities. His glance which is full of compassion, is also all purifying. Hence the Guru should take mercy on him and glance at him.
rjvyA: what is by nature straight. As a person who has fallen into deep waters comes up catching hold of a straight rope or a stick, so too I shall come out of the ocean of samsAra clasping the rope continuously by my hands.
sudhA (nectar). The Guru's glance itself (tadeva sudhA) is considered as nectar as it removes all afflictions. By saying atikArunyasudhAbhivrstih: the glance by which there is all round downpour of the nectar of infinite compassion. The nectar or amrtA here refers to removal from any further necessity of birth and death.