In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the important discussion on “Detachment” and how our three “Gunas” aid / prevent us from practising it. We’ve in due course, discussed few excerpts from the Bhagawad Gita too, wherein Bhagawan Krishna had given us an elaborate accord on how to control our senses and thereby walk the path of detachment. Of course, it is possible to practice detachment while we are amidst our family life or “Samsaara” – Just that, we should be very careful not to get too much attached to worldly affairs. Of course, having a spouse, children, good job, money, etc. are important for our day-to-day survival, but detachment can be practised if we offer all of this to Bhagawan’s lotus feet while we’re doing all of our “Karma”. Whereas, the problem comes if we’re doing it with a selfish motive, and with that mindset, we would start getting attached to each and everything that we do. This is the reason why we see some people getting so much obsessed with earning more and more money, name, fame, etc. whilst forgetting Bhagawan completely in due course!
As we move forward with this important discussion, we’ve to talk about one significant habit that most of us have. This habit is very much connected to what we’re discussing currently as well. If we’re getting immense success in our life, we would never even think of Bhagawan! Whereas, if we’re encountering a failure, or any problem of any sorts, that is when we would start thinking and praying towards Bhagawan! Is it a good practice? What does this signify? If we look at this habit from the context of “detachment”, it simply implies that those people who are forgetting Bhagawan completely whilst experiencing success, are totally getting attached to the fruits of their actions. They are not able to think beyond it. Whereas, if the same people encounter failure, again, their attachment towards the fruits of their actions gets shattered completely and thus start running towards temples, Matts, etc. in search of Bhagawan, Aachaaryas, etc.! We might wonder thus, “Oh! If these people could have come much before this catastrophe, how better the situation would have been?”
Now let us take this explanation forward a bit – Why do we exhibit such behavior? It is because, if we’re focusing only on the result of our action while performing our “Karma”, we build unwanted expectations. We start focusing on the short-term success and forget to look at the bigger picture. The moment we realize that our expectations are getting shattered, we cannot take that shock! This is why we run towards Bhagawan for help! Of course, I’m not saying that Bhagawan wouldn’t help us in such situations – He would definitely help us out, but the question is different here. Are we going to Bhagawan for short-lived pleasures and happiness, or are we going to Him for a long-term goal called “Moksha”? For example, we would be writing many examinations as a benchmark to pass our undergraduation and postgraduation courses. Do we take up the examinations just for the sake of attaining good marks, or do we take them up to ultimately learn something for our life as we move on with our jobs? If we’re going to write examinations merely for scoring marks, this is short-term thinking, isn’t it? Whereas, if we’re going to take the examination as an opportunity for us to learn something new, this is what is called long-term thinking. This is exactly what applies to our day-to-day Karma too. If we’re going to Bhagawan for short-term goals, it means that we’re not long-sighted in life.
For instance, in the Mahabharata story itself, we might know this event – One fine day, Arjuna and Duryodhana approach Bhagawan Krishna together before the war started. Upon seeing both of them coming together, Bhagawan Krishna was surprised! Have they reconciled with each other by any means? However, upon deeper understanding, Bhagawan Krishna realized that they had come to meet Him for something else. Duryodhana’s intention was to act “smart” and thus asked for the entire army that Bhagawan Krishna possessed. As Duryodhana asks thus, Bhagawan Krishna immediately grants the entire huge army of countless horses, elephants, infantry, etc. that was under His possession. Arjuna was looking at all this, and Bhagawan Krishna laughingly asks him thus, “Oh Arjuna! See, Duryodhana had acted smart and has taken away all my army! What are you going to do now? How are you going to fight the war without anything?” Arjuna replies thus and this is something that all of us should understand, moving forward: “Oh Keshava! So what if Duryodhana takes away all of your army? So what if he has a possession of a huge army during the war? So what if he has Guru Dhronaachaarya, Bhishmaachaarya, etc. who are invincible at war during any given day? Unless and until you are with me, I don’t have any issues! You are an epitome of Dharma and I’m sure if you’re with us, Dharma would always win. Hence, my desire here is not to win over these people, but to win over Adharma, for which, I’m sure you would aid us!”
This is an epic reply from Arjuna and with this, Bhagawan Krishna Himself is moved! He assures and reassures Arjuna that He would be amidst the Paandavas at all times, to ensure that victory is theirs! From this instance, what do we understand? It is important that we have Bhagawan amidst us in whatever action we do. This is where the real detachment comes. If we’re having Bhagawan in our thoughts and heart, irrespective of whether we’re facing victory or defeat, we can be rest-assured that Bhagawan would be able to sail us through from all the catastrophes that we face. Of course, following the path of Dharma is not easy. We would see in the Mahabharata that Yudishtra (Dharma-Putra) suffered all through his life, just for the sake of maintaining the Dharma, isn’t it? Bhagawan Rama Himself had to undergo all sorts of sufferings in the forest for fourteen long years, just for the sake of walking the path of Dharma isn’t it? But at the end of it all, it would always be Dharma that would have the last laugh!
Hence, we should realize this point for today, and let us meticulously try and practice “detachment” in whatever Karma we perform. We shall wait till the next episode to continue this discussion further! Stay tuned! 😊