“No man was ever wise by chance.”
– Lucius Seneca (Ancient Roman philosopher and statesman)
Sometimes after my class on Srimad Bhagavatam or Bhagavad Gita, friends and well-wishers ask me if I could share some ‘practical’ things as well. They reason those philosophical discussions are trite if it doesn’t generate doable plans, in real-world situations.
From ‘their’ solutions, to ‘yours.’
While I agree we need to get realistic in life, do we realize that most pragmatic things that people share are inherently ‘theirs’ and they may not necessarily help you, just as if I advocate the benefits of jogging daily, how would it profit a lame man? Each one of us is made of a unique emotional and mental mix. Therefore it’s crucial we connect to ourselves; to our own needs and problems; to our remedies in a particular time, place and circumstance.
And that’s where scriptures help- they help you bond to yourself! The Vedic writings illuminate principles that you could distinctively apply, but with your reason and awareness, in your situation. For instance, in the Bhagavad Gita Krishna explains the three modes of material nature- goodness, passion, and ignorance- and how it binds a living entity. When I read it the first time I knew that answered a lot of my questions, but I innately realized I had to discover the solutions myself. Why was I irritable and restless in work and home? ‘Rajas – passion was activated by my food and sleep habits’- also described in the Gita. Slowly, things fell in place, and I knew why I suffered and what I could do.
The Gita also explains the concept of the body-soul. If you are suffering health complications and are generally unhappy with the way you look or weigh, the verses in the second chapter can give you solace. We are after all not the body but a pure spirit soul- reasons Krishna to Arjuna. And that takes off a heavy mental load for some. When we read prayerfully, with an intention to link with our deeper selves, clarity evolves. That’s more empowering than short-cut methods that fizzle out with fluctuating moods and fortune.
To be continued…