Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum

Today*, as we celebrate the birthday of the Lord Krishna, we sure have a lot to learn from the Jagadguru’s teachings. He is jagdguru because His teachings are applicable to the entire universe and for all times! At a time when we are facing a huge economic & moral crisis and are confused over what we need to do collectively and at the personal level, His teachings through Bhagavadgita surely comes in handy. The chapters 3 & 4 of the Gita are particularly relevant to inspire us. As an example I will discuss just one verse. I found vesre #17 of Chapter 4 particularly illuminating. I like this verse for its simple and scientific analysis of  various types of actions. The verse is reproduced below:

karmano hy api boddhavyam

boddhavyam ca vikarmanah

akarmanas ca boddhavyam

gahana karmano gatih

A simple translation of the verse is: “One should verily know of the right action, forbidden action and inaction. Impenetrable is the nature of action”.

I take Swamy Chinmayananda’s interpretation of this verse since it makes eminent sense to the present day circumstances. (The traditional interpretation of KARMA  in the verse is in terms of vedic rituals to be performed, which is, largely irrelevant for the modern times).

The verse makes use of 3 technical terms – KARMA, VIKARMA and AKARMA. KARMA is Right action, which is constructive and vreative. VIKARMA is forbidden action or immoral/unethical action.  AKARMA is Inaction. Having defined and classified actions into various types, Krishna says that the nature of Karma is indeed deep & impenetrable, meaning that for the ordinary man it is difficult to distinguish one type of KARMA from the other. In fact, that is precisely what is happening today in our country!

We can readily apply this verse to the current situation in our country. I think we are all collectively performing VIKARMA as defined in the verse (that is morally & ethically forbidden actions). The politicians are ruining our economy through a series of VIKARMAS – mega scams, corruption, disruptive policies, inability to carry out economic reforms, adopting policies to attract votes etc. Still, the politicians will have us believe they are indeed performing KARMA for the good of the country. As for AKARMA or inaction, judiciary’s inability to settle cases relating to scam and criminal cases involving rapes in fast track courts will immediately come to one’s mind. Public apathy & indifference  towards politicians and elections stand out as other prime examples. The general public may be aware of all this but doesn’t know what to do or how to do and finally ends up doing nothing. What is worse, this inaction is often misinterpreted as a virtue. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find any examples of right action these days!

The present scenario brings up another interesting question. When there is so much of evil around, why is there no divine intervention? Mind you, this is a promise given by the Lord Himself in the famous verse –  Yadha Yadha hi dharmasya glanirbhavati ……..(verse # 7 , Chapter4 ). The Lord assures us that whenever there is a decline in DHARMA, He will make an appearance to restablish DHARMA.

One can only speculate about why the much hoped divine intervention has not taken place. Here is my explanation: My reasoning rests on a theory I came across long time back. Have you ever heard of the Law of 3 forces? It says that there are 3 forces acting at any point of time – one is a good force initiating an action for a good cause. Simultaneously, there is bound to be an evil force which opposes this with full vigour. If, at this stage, the good force gives up the confrontation in frustration, then of course, evil force emerges victorious. On the other hand, if the good force persists in its action, then a third unseen force appears miraculously and defeats the evil force. I am sure all of us would have experienced this in life at some point in time. I will quote one recent story from a newspaper in support of this. A guy stole a Mobile phone from a bus passenger travelling in a crowded bus near Sion, Bombay. The thief quickly got off the bus and tried to get away. The passenger also got out of the bus and gave a hot chase to catch the thief. Sensing this, the thief climbed over a parapet wall on the flyover, lost his balance and fell on the road below and was crushed by a running bus! Needless to say that had the bus passenger given up the chase, the thief would have made good his escape. One may call it an accident but I would prefer to interpret this as  divine intervention.

So, the message is loud and clear. Unless the passive spectators representing ‘Good forces’ get into public life and challenge the politicians, no miraculous divine intervention is going to take place!

*This post was written on the day of Krishna Jayanti.

Published in: on September 1, 2013 at 5:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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