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.

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.

Two-Faced Life: Enquiry Into The Unspoken Dark Face

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Are we afraid of being called a Pessimist if we dare to look at the other face of life? The face which we avoid thinking. A face of distress, fear, loneliness, old age, ill health and death. Is there anybody who is left untouched by this face? If the answer is, No. Read further..

As we grow and move among different relations that had found its place with time, fiercely trying to hold on to a few and at the same time repelling against another set. Do we realize how foolish this exercise is?

Neither the ones we are struggling to keep stays with us forever nor can we steer clear of the ones we want to avoid. We are so mechanically doing this regimen of likes and dislikes that we forget what this oscillation does to our physiological and psychological health.

We go by the Socioeconomics, theory of Social exchange so blindly that we repeatedly commit the same mistakes each time in creating the same problem. Where is the learning? And for God’s sake when did our likes and dislikes remain the same ever? We know very well, what we dislike today maybe our liking tomorrow. So the object of like or dislike has no effect on us but how we perceive it, makes the difference. If we need a cure, we should not be looking at the surface but to dive in to heal the source.

If you notice, pair of opposites co-exists in any situation/thing. Advaita proclaims there is unity in their duality and we need to balance these opposing forces.

In Srimad Bhagavad-Gita, the Great Guru Krishna says “sukha dukhe same kritva, labha labhau, jaya ajayau, tato yudhaya yudhasva, naivam papam avapsyasi: if you are able to maintain that sameness, meaning not influenced by these pair of opposites(here are happiness-sorrow; gain-loss; victory-defeat)and engage in battle and thereby you will not incur sin. To do this, we need a balanced mind. To make that happen, we need to change the way we think.

Life is all about change.The changing nature of everything external to us is to appreciate this moment-NOW and to change our minds schema to widen its view. Without this, there can be no progress.

We first have to acknowledge the fact that we can’t change people around us completely. But, we are in a position to change ourselves. And immediately series of questions pop up:why do we want to do that? Is it not difficult to move away from our status quo especially when situations or people around aren’t helping? This is the argument that we have to win in order for our mind to acknowledge the need for change.

Everything around is so hollow if we dispassionately carry out a thoughtful investigation. Our mind is never content with what it gets yet seeks another milestone. When we reach there it becomes obsolete. And upon analysis, we understand everything comes with a price. Whatever Life gives us comes with an expiration date.

We don’t have to struggle much to apprehend the transitory nature of Life. It stays a true teacher.

Are we not fighting a losing game when we bet our life to only what we see external? Why don’t we retreat to harmony soldering with peace? Lost somewhere and lost to a world of nothing, living a slave to the sensory stimuli. We have lost our way. Does this mean life is not worth living? No. It is not worth living in agony. It is to live fully.

Even the Holy Books addresses our intellect to awaken from the slumber and raise to unite with the Ultimate Consciousness. They urge us to uplift ‘The Self’ from its conditioned state and to face life with faith.

Let’s embrace life and make it a remorseless journey with hearts filled with joy. As the adage goes “Sometimes, the journey is more important than the destination”.