11 Simple Lessons From The Bhagavad Gita:
When a confused Arjuna turned to his charioteer, Lord Krishna, for advice at the Kurukshetra, Lord Krishna stated some rational philosophical concepts that are relevant even today. Bhagavad Gita is an epic scripture that has the answers to all our problems. It was considered a spiritual dictionary by Mahatma Gandhi and was a book of inspiration for many leaders of the Independence movement. Take a look at some of these life lessons you can use from the Gita to bring your life back on the right track.
1. Whatever happened, happened for the good. Whatever is happening, is happening for the good. Whatever will happen, will also happen for the good.
So get over it. Whatever you’re sulking about, forget it. The job interview that didn’t go well, or the relationship that didn’t work was bound to happen and it happened. Everything happens for a reason. There is a reason you’re going through a bad phase and there is a reason you might be basking in glory – it’s a cycle and you need to quietly accept it. You need not worry about the future, nor should you pay attention to the past. You only have control over the present, so live it to the fullest.
2. You have the right to work, but never to the fruit of work.
‘Karm karo, phal ki chinta mat karo’ is the wisest message the Bhagwad Gita gives us. Today, we are working only for money, a better house, a car, and for a secure future. We are so goal-driven, that we do everything only on thinking about the results. For instance, we all work extra hours during our appraisal time, thinking that our bosses will rate us highly on our performance evaluation. This is something we need to avoid. Only because, if expectations are not met, pain is inevitable. Therefore, keep working and don’t expect anything in return.
3. Change is the law of the universe. You can be a millionaire, or a pauper in an instant.
How true! Nothing is permanent in our lives. The earth keeps revolving, it does not stay stable; the day ends and the night follows; after humid summers follow relieving monsoons. This reinforces the fact that impermanence is the law of the universe. Therefore being proud of your wealth is a sign of immaturity, because it can vanish into thin air in a minute. Accepting change makes you coherent enough to face any tough situations in your life.
4. The soul is neither born, and nor does it die
We can achieve nothing if fear is instilled within us. Fear kills ambition, dreams and even the slight chances of progress. A fearless soul has nothing to worry about, because it knows it cannot be caged, and nor can it be stopped. Thus, the fear of death is absurd, as our souls don’t die. Fear and worry are two enemies, that are deterrents to our well-being. We must strive to eradicate them from our minds completely.
5. You came empty handed, and you will leave empty handed.
We get so attached to material things that we often forget that we won’t be taking them with us to the grave. We came stark naked into this world, and we will go without taking anything to our graves. Not even our phones! Attachment to material things is something we need to pay attention to, because we don’t possess things – things start possessing us.
6. Lust, anger and greed are the three gates to self-destructive hell.
Kama, krodh and lobh have done us no good. Unreasonable craving for sex will turn you into a pervert, anger will drive people away from you and greed will never let you be satisfied.
7. Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.
You are what you think you are. Your thoughts make and define you. If you think you’re a happy person, you become happy. If you let sad thoughts take over your mind, you tend to become a sad person. If you feel that you will nail a presentation in a meeting, then chances are that you will. However, if you’re not prepared and feel nervous then you might make a blunder.
8. When meditation is mastered, the mind is unwavering like the flame of a lamp in a windless place.
We consider meditation boring. Who can sit still with their eyes closed and without vile thoughts? But we truly need to take out a few minutes from our busy schedules and sit in dhyana to attain inner peace. Whether it’s a quiet corner of our cosy home, or just a secluded spit in office, closing your eyes and sitting in peace will give you immense peace of mind.
9. There is neither this world, nor the world beyond. nor happiness for the one who doubts.
Doubts create misunderstandings. They confuse you and fog your mind with unclear thoughts. They also bring indecisiveness and make you a coward. For instance, if you’re in a relationship and if you have doubts about your partner’s loyalty and love then you will never be able to take your relationship further. Love has no doubts. If it does, then it’s not love.
10. We’re kept from our goal not by obstacles, but by a clear path to a lesser goal.
‘Dream big’ is the message here. If you’re dreaming about buying a house, you can’t keep it on hold by dreaming about a motorcycle. Although small goals are important, forgetting your ultimate goal will only stunt your growth. Don’t settle for less, strive hard to achieve the bigger goals.
11. A person can rise through the efforts of his own mind; or draw himself down, in the same manner. Because each person is his own friend or enemy.
You’re your own best friend. If you have a problem, only you will have a solution to it, and not your friend. To find answers to your questions, you will have to look within. Seeking suggestions from ten different people who you call ‘friends’ is not going to help because they have ten solutions to one problem, whereas your solution is the ultimate answer.
Believe in yourself.
The Bhagavad Gita (Penguin Classics)