We Don't Have Two Good Options
Confusion in human life is a painful result of the obstacles that we create for ourselves. God had designed life to be simple, writes Ajit Kumar Bishnoi
In life, we wish to have many good options like we have in a buffet dinner. But in the ultimate sense, there is only one good option, and that is to follow God’s instructions. Either we do what God wishes us to do or we suffer. This is not my conjecture but is a warning given by Lord Krishna in the verse # 18.58 of The Gita when He states, “If you will not do what I am asking you to do due to your ego, you will perish.” This is extraordinary statement coming from God but we still refuse to do what we are expected to do.
Let us examine what we generally do as opposed to what we are expected to do. Starting with the mind, God wants us to make efforts to control our minds. The Gita has detailed information on this. Lord Krishna has guided us about what to do in this regard and what benefits we will derive by doing so. Still, what percentage of the population is serious in this regard in spite of enormous gains in doing so? And the result is: we suffer in many ways. Emotions are where we seriously go wrong. Lust, greed, anger, jealousy, etc. have been warned about. Lord Krishna has gone to the extent of calling lust, anger and greed the gates to hell. He has also sternly told that jealousy is not at all acceptable; it is punished severely. Does it stop us from being jealous? And the result is terrible.
Patience is a quality which everyone must have, be it of any ‘varna’. What is happening in today’s fast-placed world? This quality has been jettisoned, and the result is overstress, anxiety, etc. But do we learn from our experience? No, we must rush both physically and in our minds. Attachment with results has been similarly prohibited. But do we care? No, we must get what we desire and avoid what we don’t. So, we give ourselves a lot of pain because these results are mostly not in our minds. Our scriptures encourage us to limit our material desires because they affect the quality of our lives. When these bear no relationships with our resources, we struggle. For example, parents of not such a brilliant student strongly desire for their son to be medical doctor. People with such a mindset condemn themselves to endless worries — till death. (16.11) Now turning to behaviour, God has alerted us about sense enjoyment; these must be appropriate. Do we pay attention; more is better is the motto. And the result is unavoidable suffering in the forms of health problems and moral issues, if these are of the sensuous types. People in high places fuel media frenzy these days in this regard.
In spite of all scriptural warnings, impure conduct is the norm. it is considered smartness if one can take advantage of another. Truthfulness — a noble trait is not a strong point with many. What happens to such persons? They are not trusted, which limits them in many ways. Some people resort even to cruel acts and these are punished by higher divine authorities, who are aware of all we do. Accumulation of wealth by unjust means is similarly not a long-term asset because such wealth will not be able to save us from divine wrath. Our scriptures almost scream at us for being dutiful. The human birth is meant to be appropriately active, but somewhere we are more attracted to comforts and avoidance of our duties. Dharma should be our guiding force but our whims take its position, because either we don’t know what it is or refuse to follow it. Same goes for gaining spiritual knowledge and becoming really wise.
Yes, ego is intrinsic to our bodies like the mind and intelligence, but should we not try to control it? Maybe, we have not realized this fact. Please do; time is running out.
Bishnoi is a spiritual writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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