This article is 2nd – in the series of articles which will bring out ‘lessons for today’s youth from Bhagwad Gita’. Converging these lessons onto the ways; you live your life- shall bring ‘Spiritual & Material Magic’ in it. This one particularly, deals with the most crucial message from Bhagawad Gita. Sure — you shall enjoy; as the descriptions and examples are contemporary. While you read — you may see solutions to your ‘living well problems’. Jai Sri Krishna!!
My work as a Motivational Speaker gets me to travel across and meet many beautifully youthful people in Corporate Sector / Academic institutes of repute / even smaller cities in India. As I interact with this disparate set; I find that the biggest and the common most challenge before the youth today is ‘Learning the Art of stopping the dissipation of their Energy’. They live as if — ‘Life were an EMERGENCY’; allowing their energies to get dissipated in futile memories of the past, regrets of the failures, the imagined sorrows of the future or in the excitement of the present. Their entire energies seem focused onto ‘frenzied activities’.
You must be wondering how’s all this connected to the message of Bhagawad Gita that will help today’s youth. I am coming to it.
Look at how most people plan their extended weekends. Most people e.g. will make their travel plans to places of vacation ; without realizing that there is going to be a mad rush of people at those places of tourist interests ; putting in jeopardy their ‘ideas of fun in a vacation’ — an example of frenzied planning which will lead to dissipation of energy. They will return to their work / lives on Aug 16th — more dissipated than fresh. The irony is — that they know it — but still they will do it.
If you are not aware of how you are wasting your energy, here are 4 destructive ways that might open your eyes!
‘Feeling excited and then dissipated’ is becoming a DNA thing with the Facebook generation. A few years back; we used to click pictures for memories. Now we click pictures for FB Comments and Likes. What a myopic way to approach vacations / get togethers / re-unions with friends / weekend parties. Without the ‘Celebration in the mind’, ‘celebrations outside’ will be vacuous, tangential & too short-lived. Excitement & Happiness are different. Unfortunately most stuff that we do creates ‘Excitement’.
When you fix your entire energy to your ‘work’/ on your ‘chosen path’; a great joy starts appearing and firming up in your mind. This joy can be understood only when you experience it. Last 17 years; I have tried to madly focus on my ‘Core purpose’; and trust me — ‘life seems much easier now; than when I wasn’t.’ Not that the excitements have died down. Excitements get created daily; but fizzle faster because of this changed habit of ‘looking at the bigger picture’. This leads to success- which makes me more and more driven to become better at ‘what I do’.
The quality of action depends upon the ideals which guide & inspire an individual. A person with no ideals feels fatigued in his work. This fatigue is caused by the strain and the stress which we invite, by craving for indulgence in sense objects and ceaseless expectation of the fruits of our actions. A case in point is our obsession with internet especially Facebook and WhatsApp.
(Read more about Limiting Social Media Time: Jab We (Inter)NET)
If I were to sum up Bhagavad Gita in just one verse, it would be —
‘Karmanye vaadhika raste, Maa faleshu kadachana
Maa karafalaheturbhu, Matresagotsva Karmani’
This is the most crucial message from Bhagawad Gita that the text tries to convey to the mankind; and it gets explained in this verse which means “No matter what conditions you encounter in life, your right is only to the works and not to the fruits thereof. You should not be impelled to act for selfish reasons, nor should you be attached to inaction.” The Gita teaches us to lead life without attachment, like a lotus-leaf, which remains in water, but does not wet its surface.
(Read the first part i.e. Paramount Life Lessons from Bhagawad Gita for the Youth)
The one who places all actions in the Eternal, abandoning attachment, is unaffected by sin.
This is the central most teaching of Gita. If we keep thinking about the results & the perks thereafter, the focus on the ‘doing’ part gets diluted and it is only the ‘results’ that suffer. Rightly Sachin Tendulkar puts it when he says: “I want to give my six hours of serious cricket on the ground and then take whatever the result.”
Everyone with knowledge- exerts, sweats and toils. But only a few succeed in Life. They generally forget that the mind is the ‘DOER’ in us, and the body is but our tool. Learn to bring your mind where your hands are working. Then see results… Actions will become excellent…Self control is not practiced to kill the individuality in us, but to add to its tempo in performance, to its daring in vision, and to its brilliance in achievement.
There is a very simple scientific logic behind this massive lesson of life. Remember when as kids we used to play with those magnifying glasses in the sun. I always saw a great lesson; the magnifying glass used only sheer FOCUS to kindle a fire using Sun rays. The same goes for our power of thought. If we know we have to do it, we can will our mind to achieve it. The only prerequisite being — extraordinary focus on the ‘doing’ to achieve the ‘becoming’.
When there are no right actions, there are no right results. For e.g.-
Imagine yourself going to the teacher and asking for some extra marks so that you could ‘just’ pass. The teacher tells you, “Son! I would have gladly passed you had you been short of 5 or 10 marks. What benefit do I have in holding you back and wasting a year? But, see for yourself, the paper you gave me. You have attempted only 10 marks. I don’t have enough to give you.”
God is the teacher and the paper we need to pass in is our life. How can we expect to pass if we haven’t attempted the minimum that was required to pass? Even God won’t have enough to make us get through because the effort, the work is missing. Results come only when you create focused, selfless efforts.
“Duty is the most sublime word in our language. Do your duty in all things.You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less.”
Remember the saying from the Bible: “Those, who have, more will be given to them. Those, who do not have, whatever little they have, will also be taken away from them.” Feel the abundance within you, and it will come to life.
People often mistake ‘Making God happy’ with ‘Praying’. Just opposite is the truth. There never existed a magic pen whenever you passed your exam with flying colors & sincere prayers. It was always that sincere hour of study & that moment of concentration that got you through.
What is Duty for us, is the highest form of prayer for God.
Just praying is not enough.
- What is the use of being a friend if you just pray to make your friend happy & don’t actually do things to make him /her happy!
- What is the use of being a parent if in the name of ‘taking care’ all that you do is pray for your child and don’t actually ‘take care’ … when you don’t actually have time to teach him a thing or two?
- What is the use of being a daughter / son when earning for your parents doesn’t make them happy, when praying for them doesn’t keep them well… because all they need is your love and you don’t actually have time for that.
- What is the use of praying when you don’t actually do your duty. Because duty and selfless duty alone are the stuff that prayers are made of.
Who kehte hain naa —
Sabki pooja ek si, alag alag har reet
Masjid jaaye maulvi, koyal gaye geet ….
The Koyal’s song is equivalent to a Maulvi’s prayer in the eyes of God. A carpenter’s work is equivalent to the Pujari’s prayers in the temple for which he carved the shrine & the furniture. A farmer’s work is same as that of the rich man who gives food as charity to poor. It is a sanyaasi’s duty to merge himself in prayers. But, for a family man, the duty is to look after his family. It is all worship for the Lord & Duty for us.
Unfortunately, Men have since forever confused praying with only those ‘Rosary beads’. In the words of Sant Kabir Ji –
Maala To Kar Mein Phire, Jeebh Phire Mukh Mahin
Manua To Chahun Dish Phire, Yeh To Sumiran Nahin
If you love Sant Kabir Ji’s dohe, you might want to read these:
The one who infiltrates his prayers & duty with temptations of results, worldliness, wickedness & uncalled for desires gets none- neither the desired results, nor the pleasures of life. Not for once Gita preaches that you should not live a happy life & you should not enjoy and you should do only work. Rather, it questions — Can work & happiness be different ?
It is only when we keep them separate that we begin to crib and cry over the complications. Why separate something that was meant to be together ! I am very sure, God never created a situation where we would have had to choose between enjoying and doing our duty. Yet, we created international borders & continents like — duty, life, happiness, temptations etc on a world that was flat and had only two things — Man & God ! Yes, this is the central, most crucial message from Bhagawad Gita – do your duty and forget everything else.
If we believe there are situations where we have to choose between work & fun, I guess the answer is- doing the Right thing 🙂
I came across these beautiful lines. So true they are-
Mann bairagi, tan anuraagi
Kadam kadam dushwaari hai
Jeevan jeena sahaj naa jaano
Bahut badi fankaari hai
Yes. Life is an art that we learn as we live. But in Gita I have found that even this subjective art can be learned well. Gita formulates the theory of the three paths (margas), namely, Knowledge (Gyaana), Devotion (Bhakti) and Action (Karma) as the prerequisite of an impeccable soul. It combines the three philosophies wonderfully, emphasizing on the fact that there is no conflict between the three Yogas. For attaining perfection in our thought processes, we need a beautiful blend between the three. Action, Emotion & Intellect together make up for the perfect ingredient for life, the perfect answers to the confusion between Right & Easy, between Work & fun, between Doing & Becoming … to living life better.
Either you can choose a right path ..or an easy path. most people choose the easy path ; maybe the reason -why they are called a ‘common man’. You can have excuses ….or you can have health , prosperity and other luxuries of life.
No point getting UPSET about anything. Get UP & SET the things right !
Do your duty. Do it right. Remember God while doing it. There can be no better prayer & no better way to live life correct.
(For more on spirituality, please visit this link).
I end up learning this almost regularly:
Get into the habit of getting your damn focus right – while living daily life. Zabardasti se ‘focus’ maaro, Dheeth(stubborn) bankey focus maaro… Ziddi banke focus maaro . All success stories are / were ‘SANKI’.
It is so easy to let your mind do the ‘EASY’; the trick is to zabardasti develop a habit to zabardasti do ‘what is right’ & not ‘what is easy’.
Rise and rise again! – Until the lambs turn into Lions…