Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum

Everyone, irrespective of age , can relate to Krishna and His birthday. For a kid, it’s the day to celebrate Krishna Umachi’s happy birthday with 32 sweets and savouries(For kids Umachi is the term for God). For the teens in Mumbai it’s time for ”dahi handi” govinda sport in fond remembrance of the Lord’s childhood pranks. For the employed it’s just another holiday to relax, make merry with extra calories without feeling guilty and to catch up with friends and relatives. For the swamijis, it’s time to bombard the gathered masses with messages from the Bhagavadgita or stories from Bhagavata. Some swamijis are good in packaging their talks with attractive titles such as, ”Personal excellence through Bhagavadgita”. Such swamijis are assured of huge audiences. One cannot miss the emphasis on personal excellence which takes precedence over Bhagavadgita.

In this post I will take up a topic which I consider is quite relevant under the present day conditions of life and explore what answers one can get from the Jagadguru, the Guru for the ‘Jagat’.

The topic, to use an acronym, is –  ‘War on WARS’. Before you get confused, let me hasten to add that the second WAR is my acronym for worry, anxiety and regrets. You may wonder what S stands for in the acronym. This is very crucial and you will come to know as you read further.

Talk to anyone today. Beneath the veneer of happy appearances is hidden a sense of worry, anxiety and regret. You are either worried about something or anxious about an anticipated result or have regrets. Our lives are full of regrets – regret about what I should have studied, what job opportunities I missed or which girl or boy I should have married etc.  Funnily, we are quite adept at multitasking with regard to worries, anxieties and regrets.

Does Bhagavadgita offer any solution to this ubiquitous problem? Yes, of course, it does. I will consider 2 verses, which are relevant. The scripture says:

……nimittamatram bhava savyasachin(chapter11,verse33)

Then in chapter 18, a famous verse  #66 says:

”sarvadharman parityajya mamekam saranam vraja aham tvam sarva papebhyo  moksha ishyami ma suchah”

The scripture first identifies the problem and offers a very simple and practical solution. What is the diagnosis or cause of worry? It’s the sense of tremendous self-importance (this is the first S word in my acronym WARS!). What is the solution to this malady? It’s another S word – SURRENDER. Self-importance is assumed at every step whatever actions we are engaged in. The scripture dismisses our sense of Self-importance with a simple logic.  The Lord says in the first verse quoted above: ‘You are just an instrument(nimittamatram)’.

We overlook an obvious fact that millions of factors, which are outside our control, have fallen in place to  make us what we are today. Let me give an illustration. Consider the case of a successful musician. He developed interest in music because his parents had interest and the family had a rich tradition of music. And where did the tradition of music come from? It was handed over to us by our forefathers from generation to generation. Having been blessed with a good voice and a rich tradition, the guy became a musician and would claim full credit for the same! One can use similar logic for any accomplishment in life. Once we appreciate this fact and make a simple shift of focus from Self-importance to Surrender to the Unknown force, something magical will happen. By this one-act, you are transferring the responsibility from yourself to the Lord and the mind gets unburdened instantly. The unburdened mind finds freedom in action and enjoys actions with the firm understanding that the results of action are being taken care of by someone else. Worry, anxiety, and regrets will lose the basis for existence!

This is Moksham referred to in the second verse above. Moksham is not necessarily something that one attains in a place called ‘vaikundam’ after death. Moksha is freedom from bondage, which one can attain here and now by a simple shift of focus from self-importance to surrender. Vedanta calls it ‘Jeevan mukti’. The Tamil saying, ”Irukkum idam vaikundam” also may be interpreted in such terms. That is, one can experience ‘vaikundam’  here and now!

God gives us such fleeting moments of  experiences of complete Freedom. But these moments do not last because we become dependent on the experiences instead of understanding the basic truth of the experience. One such experience is music. Music provides a temporary escape and unburdens the mind. However, once the experience is over, we get back to our worries. Let me give you another familiar example. When you are fatigued or mentally disturbed, try taking a long walk in fresh air. When you come back you feel rejuvenated and the worries which plagued you before are gone. Gone where? Gone with the wind? Science tells us that a long walk induces the production of the neurochemical oxytocin which is linked with cheerful disposition. I guess that the act of surrender and the resulting unburdened mind also might be  producing a neurochemical similar to oxytocin.

A Spiritual master will explain this differently. When you get rid of the sense of self-importance and surrender to the Lord, the heart gets emptied of the usurper and Krishna, the original ruler of our hearts would take over and take care of the fruits of our actions.

Looked at from the standpoint of someone who likes to marry science and spirituality, one could say in this particular instance Oxytocin  is  God, which is in keeping with the statement of Vedanta which says: everything in the world is Eswara, as the Upanishad says: Eesa vaasyamidam  sarvam…

 

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Published in: on August 17, 2014 at 10:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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