Does it matter how we perceive Krishna in The Gita?

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Social Psychologists’ term us as cognitive misers who downplay every stimuli other than the ones we find useful. Since we have this problem it is important to re-look at the character Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita.

If we look at him as someone who advised Arjuna at battlefield, we might ignore his teachings as only relevant to Arjuna. If we look at him as a God, we might never be able to implement his lesson as there is a fear of being categorized by our mind as an entity different from us. If we look at him as a Guru/Teacher, we will end up trying to apply his teachings. Thank God, for the reinforcements we had as children@School to act upon teacher’s advice .

Before seeking instruction from one of the best Teacher the world had known, we need to set aside our prejudices and judgmentalism. To do that, we ought to go off from the autopilot mode to an elaborate processing. Yes, we are capable of doing this but we need a good reason to do so.

We need to ponder at finding its importance in our professional or personal lives. Many Corporate Gurus termed him as a Tactful Leader and used his teachings to set leadership values. So, we aren’t the first to test him at the professional front and will easily find many reasons to imbibe his teachings. Yet, take some time out to see Gitas’ relevancy in your life to making it better.

From the standpoint of Arjuna, he had the wisdom to accept and admit being taken over by doubt and dastardism which is so not a trait of warrior(He in Chapter 6, shl 39 says Etanme samsayam Krishna Chetum Arhasya Asesatah). He seeks refuge as a disciple and request to discipline him is indicated in Shlok 7 of Chapter 2.

Karpanya Dosopahata Svabhavah
Prcchami Tvam Dharma sammudha Cetah
Yac Chreyah Syan Niscitam Bruhi Tan Me
Sisyas Te ham Sadhi Mam Tvam Prapannam

Arjuna casts away all defensive manoeuvres’ and prepared his mind to a neutral state to soak up in the teachers’ advice. By the way, it is a great leadership quality to possess in disciplining our minds and opening up to new ideas to make profitable decisions. Most of our problems arise when doubts overwhelm us and we lose the clarity of thoughts. Acting blindly in doubt is a sure recipe for trouble.

If we succeed to taking Gita as our teacher, we will see the song Divine uplifting us slowly but steadily from being human to spiritual. We will no longer be entangled in the character of Krishna but would look at Gita as a jewel box full of hand-picked precious gems- especially for us from The Great Upanishads.

An Anchor To Hold Through Life’s Storms

Lately, life has been on the tutoring mode😛. Putting me through some tough lessons to solve upfront.

See, that is why Wise had asked us to prepare ahead for the storm. It doesn’t come with a warning, mine didn’t. It just comes and besides there will be no obvious sign boards to guide us until we learn beforehand to look for it.

To survive in times like these, we need a spiritual anchor to sail through the turbulent storms and preventing us from getting flailed in the storm.

Trust me, it makes the difficult moments more manageable😊

                   A Truly Calm Mind Can Weather Any Storm
BHAGAVAD GITA

Is Demanding the way for Corporate Existence or Exitus?

Children Demand Attention and Time

      Women Demand Protection and Security

Men Demand Respect and Authority

       Other Sex Demand Admission and Rights

Irrespective of what category we belong, we are demanding. Is that the right way to procure what we want?

If we look closely at these, we understand that our demands are different and similar at the same time. We are afraid of being taken for granted and when the fear creeps in then we move from requests to demands. When demands are not met, we conjure. Take a min and reflect on any of your relationships. It can be personal, professional or even with nature. It forms a loop. There were times when we ate what nature provided then we started to cultivate what we want and today we are demanding and destroying in the name of industrialisation. When nature does not succumb to our demands but starts to give what we haven’t asked for then we conjure. Guess this is a natural phenomenon.

If we look at this from the organization perspective, study suggests that many skilled labors exit for lack of attention or recognition than just pay. You might have heard the saying, ‘people quit their managers, not their jobs’. Now from a manager’s perspective, it’s the other way round, the fear of being taken for granted forces him to demand and not request. As a bystander, we understand this but when we are involved in the game, we react and the loop forms. It is funny, isn’t it? We somewhere need to break the loop. We move from being Self-aware to being too conscious because of our poor troubled mind. Even when we want to respond sensibly, the mind forces us to react. Nothing seems to work then.Not even the externalizing technique which the psychologists suggest. We can’t complain. Can we? We are habituated to reacting than to responding.

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Indriyaanam hi Charatam Yanmano Vidiyathe

Tadasya Harati Pragjnaam Vayur Navam ivambasi

                                                                           Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 verse 67

Bhagavad Gita warns us about the same. As the wind carries away a ship in the water, so does the unsteady mind associated with sense objects, destroys the power of discrimination and self-control.

Imagine the scenario below,

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Why does this happen? Because we constantly crave for attention and recognition. If somebody doesn’t recognise us, we question our own existence. Swami Vivekananda rightly said we are slaves to many. In this process, we FAIL TO LIVE

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This had to happen because we aren’t living our PRESENT. Why do you think surgeons fail to operate their kith n kin? They are surgeons and that is what they are good at. Why Psychiatrists’ fail to not succumb to anxiety? They cure everybody but still fall prey to stress. We suggest everybody around but can’t follow our own suggestions. What to do? When it comes to us, our mind takes a ‘U’ turn. Practice can only help put the mind back on track.

Bhagavad Gita teaches us to look at the impermanence of everything that we are clinging to. It can be anything. Look at that strong emotion ‘Anger’. How long does it stay? What damage does it do to the body during its stay? Is it staying forever? Yes, only till the time another emotion knocks the door. Even a minute before now has lost it’s life. If we understand this concept, it will give us some room to think before reacting. Bhagavad Gita says anything that is unreal and impermanent has no existence. Real according to Advaitam means that which does not change/constant. 

Nasato Vidyate Bhavo nabhavo Vidyate Satah(Chapter 2, verse 16.) The nature of being is never known of the unreal. The real is never known not to exist.

We might always feel right when we look at a situation from our viewpoint. A healthy organisation or relationships are always a collective effort. A collaborative culture can only be fostered by a good leader. A good leader who doesn’t cling to his decision alone but also listens to his people. One who can transform his beliefs with time and works towards benefitting his employees. A leader with a clear mind and one who owns teams failures as much as their success. History has seen such leaders and they all had one thing in common. They were high on spiritual quotient. Understanding Gita will not only make us better individuals but can pave the way in becoming Great Leaders.

Equality Of The Soul:Queer or Otherwise

I’d been to the store today and I noticed a transgender shopping next to me. There was indeed a lot of confusion and fear on her face. I smiled at her when our eyes met. She looked hesitant like she wasn’t even sure whether she should smile back and walked away. I was with my mother and we discussed it on our way back home.

Was that confusion because of the rejection they face in the society. Before we judge them, we should ask ourselves- Whether they’d been given a choice to choose their sexuality? They just discovered that they are different from us in ways which were difficult for them to accept too. Are we making it any easier for them? And we have such audacity to call them names and mock at them.

I absolutely do not understand the necessity to generalise every stimulus that comes forth. I understand that it makes our lives easier and problem solving consumes less of our energy but we aren’t machines. We act weird when we are in the presence of people who are different to the norm that we been reinforced. We can not and should not act inhuman to individuals whose identities fall outside of binary notions of a male and female.

Completely agree that we transfer behaviours over a period of time and we might not agree with all that we see. That may have led to the Queer community being ignored, denied, secluded and treated as unnatural from the rest of us. This has been happening since ages. Sensitization on queer matters is critical and I am glad, we are opening up as a society to accept them. Sexual identity at times becomes a real issue for those who dare to disclose as fear still lingers and they stay closeted about their sexual identity, at least in India. Reasons may include: Fear of losing their- job, name, respect, family outcast, treated as objects of ridicule and much more.

I really don’t know the reasons for a country like India which is so tolerant and inclusive of all beliefs is being such a critique when it comes to sexuality. As a country, we celebrate diversity then why rigid on this subject? Is it the fear that accepting this community might lead to confusion among youngsters. The odds are that the adolescents may experiment with their feelings to see what identity would best describe them. They might just do that for fun and that can be scary both for them and parents alike. Maybe this is one of the reasons.

Yet, when kids discover they are gay, the struggle can be much more difficult. When they hear negative things about gay people, they might not accept their sexuality. That means they have to lead a pseudo life and may even be forced to enter into marriage with the opposite sex. That can be more disastrous and may even end up ruining the lives of both.

So, it is time for us to accept the third gender as a part of us. We don’t have to uplift them by providing reservation but we can allow them to compete on equal grounds. Give them an equal opportunity to exercise the rights which every citizen enjoys in the country.

Every being on this planet has a reason to exist and they are upon a journey just like anyone of us. We do not have a right to rob them of their rights and certainly, nobody to judge them. Generalization and Stereotypes in terms of sexual orientation is criminal and are man-made and on that basis can we afford to discriminate them?

So, Can we exercise the spirit of equality that we preach 🙂

The Gita also encourages us to treat everyone the same and its teachings are to expand our human sensitivity to see the Divinity in all beings.

                                              EQUALITY OF THE SOUL(as per the GITA) 🙂

Samam Sarveshu Bhuteshu Tisthantam Paramesvaram
Vinasyatsv Avinasyantam Yah Pasyati Sa Pasyati

Bhagavat Gita Chapter 13, Shl 28

Whatever being is born, the Moving or the Unmoving, O Arjuna, know it to be from the Union of Perishable and Imperishable.The Supreme dwells alike in all beings.

 

 

BE HAPPY & LET GO

To LET GO and NOT TO POSSESS is indeed difficult, but not impossible 😉.

We cannot really possess anything here forever, can we? Are our possessions independent or dependent upon factors such as economy, luck, culture, inheritance, fate and many more? I am sure you will agree that it is dependent on things which is not always in our control.

Yet, our society continues to judge a persons worth by what he possess. If we have to judge somebody then define him by the things he pursues and not by his possessions. Don’t you think judging and comparing is only getting us into a race and preventing us from living a full life. All these bound mankind.

Who likes to live this life here bounded? If you are anything like me, then you would have probably started focussing your mental energy in discovering a solution to this problem😛. If you want to understand the roots of bondage then my suggestion is to engage in search in one of two ways; either by reflecting on our own experiences or to take the help of any text(that which talks about the mind). I found and agree that bondage comes mainly from 4 elements.

  1. Egocentric Desires: There is no end to it.
  2. Thoughts:  Positive or Negative both should be avoided unless necessary. How could you practice Mindfulness if you are entertaining all 60,000 thoughts a day. Try to  Live in the Present.
  3. Relations: Too much of possessiveness in a relationship breeds psychological dependence and that leads to fear. I don’t have to tell you what fear does to a relationship 😉
  4. Possessions: Money, Power, Fame, Property etc. We love them more than our lives 😀

But freedom from the above shouldn’t be taken literally. Freeing doesn’t mean you have to run away from yourself or from your closed ones. It means to free yourself from anything that bounds you down mentally, that can be fear, anxiety, stress, jealousy-anything that does not allow your mind to manifest fully. Oh, by the way, where can you run. Wherever you go, your mind, which is bound is going to accompany you anyways. I believe strongly that a strong mind can lead to a strong ME. I remind & repeat to myself zillion times the mantra: “It is My Right to Stay ‘Happy’ and I and only I have control over it”.

So, Let Go and Experience the Freedom. It would be nerve wracking to have to explain the same to a novice mind to take this route to happiness. But I am positive that my readers are all who have contemplated Life and its meaning. You know very well that happiness is not derived from your possessions but comes from the appreciation of what we have.

If we can let go of the above then we can flow like the river with freedom unbound towards the ocean, nourishing all that it comes in contact with 😊

Bhagavad Gita beautifully describes the greed around possessions

What did you lose that you cry about? What did you bring with you, which you think you have lost? What did you produce, which you think got destroyed? You did not bring anything – whatever you have, you received from here. Whatever you have given, you have given only here. You came empty handed, you will leave empty handed. What is yours today, belonged to someone else yesterday, and will belong to someone else the day after tomorrow. You are mistakenly enjoying the thought that this is yours. It is this false happiness that is the cause of your sorrows.

in shortBE HAPPY & LET GO 🙂

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Arrogance born out of Ignorance

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This has always been at the back of my mind, which made its appearance now and then. It all started when I was conversing with a student of mine in his early twenties. He comes forth as an arrogant person and claims himself real and thus spiritual.There had been a lot of complaints on him. When I asked him to reflect upon his behaviour. To be thankful and happy with what he has and that will reflect in his personality. He replied being arrogant is being real, which made me think. when I asked the class about their thoughts on being happy and giving happiness.

For some, happiness means meeting their demands first. The thought should be that I can’t make anybody happy if I am not happy

Some started asking questions such as what is happiness. Where does it come from? Is it worthwhile to disappoint someone when I am in capacity?

Few said they feel happiness when they share it with others.

But all agreed upon a common idea that the happiness they knew only stays with them till another sad thought takes over the mind. They said it would be great if they could experience continuous flow of happiness.

What does arrogance, spiritual or being authentic have in common? What is Spirituality?

Is it about me being happy and ignoring others and their feelings because nothing here is good or bad?

Is it to be in our ‘Happy’ state and not to check on our interactions with the world?

Is it the fear of dissonances which makes them averse and scorn the world and walk?

But History says otherwise, all Seers have lived a selfless life. Something to ponder is it not! Bhagavad Gita says “Namostute  Vyasa Vishala Buddhe”. We were told to salute and respect those who are knowledgeable as Vyasa whose intellect is vast and inclusive of all.

Spirituality is about living in bliss. To be like a river nourishing everything that it comes in contact with.

Spirituality is about giving. Understanding the impermanence of this world and practising satvik detachment.

Spirituality is about being humble. Uplifting others by acknowledging the Real ‘YOU’ in them. Patience, love and honesty should reflect in your thoughts, talks and actions.

Now that is the difference, between being spiritual and just being religious. Spirituality doesn’t belong to any religion, sect, caste or creed. It’s open for all who have the courage to change themselves then the world. It is about Living with a Positive Mind.

Does Relationships Require Our Ongoing Attention?

Although relationships form the building block for any engaging community, sustaining it is quite a challenge. Oh, my friend sometimes it’s quite a task 😀

Maintaining our close personal relationships requires a lot of our energy and time—you can’t deny that 😉 When growing up, I thought it was natural for us to love one another? I never realised that my parents worked hard to keep us all together but now that I have learned it, I do my bit to keep it all in place. Whenever I get overwhelmed with the demands of a relationship, I remind myself of the good times we had together. It did not come easily, especially when you are frustrated it takes a lot of strength to reflect on the good about the person/object that leads you to it. It may have taken me a while but I learnt the lesson that every moment cannot be picture perfect. So, I have learned to stand up to the challenge. Remember it is impossible to keep everyone happy all the time- we have to stay happy to keep others happy. Give yourself time and in any healthy relationship the laughter should always outweigh the frustration.Yeah, relationship can get difficult at times but not all the time 😂😃

Do relationships need ongoing attention? Absolutely, like the same kind of attention we pay in bettering ourselves. Despite that understanding we are often tempted to take the lazy road. The road which blames others for a failed relationship or worse yet, indulges in self-blame. Look at any relationship that we have or had. Some we all might have lost to the issues of incompatibility. Isn’t compatibility something we make than what we have? Seriously I think- compatibility is the most overrated quality today.

Anyway, let’s leave it at that. Have you ever observed the Mother nature? She teaches us many valuable lessons.

It is raining here and when I look up at the sky. I wonder are we not like the clouds.

Clouds-Some battered and some softened by the weathers of life. Each cloud might carry a different story and they may differ in color, shape, speed, altitude and various others. But, all the clouds are created from the water. We fail to see the oneness behind variety and duality. Living in that ignorance, we pass judgment on another cloud based on the physical aspects alone, don’t we? Some of us have a problem with just about everything.

Instead, why can’t we indulge in more inclusive thought-provoking analyses by asking ourselves:

 What is the fun,

  • If all clouds look alike?
  • If all drift in the sky at the same speed?
  • If all drop as rain at the same time?

Frankly, what is the fun?

If only we could look deep inside the differently shaped clouds to see what they are made of-the invisible water vapor. We got to remind ourselves that we are there up in the sky for an interim period and there we might look and behave differently from each other. And, that’s what makes it all beautiful, isn’t it?

These simple things in life ground me. Everything around us is teaching us to be humble. Look at the sky, it has tons of lessons to teach, only if we are willing to learn.The Sky knows everything about the clouds and they exist because of the him. Though clouds are dependent upon the wind, the sky in the backdrop stays an independent observer and without bias loves the clouds anyways. These inspire me to teach myself to be more giving and patient. Not that I succeed all the time but I learn from my missteps 🙂 I recognize and appreciate our human fallibility without falling into skepticism.

I have learnt through my life experiences so far that there is no easy formula out there to building relationships but yet it’s all worth the time. Any conscious relationship-with God or our dear ones demand our love and attention. However complex they might seem at times, they are often the source of our greatest joys. So, lets strive to be that happy Sky.

Image: Calvin and Hobbes