Sunday, March 22, 2009

My tryst with Gita

I have always been told by many people that Gita contains a wonderful philosophy which can help an individual in leading a more fulfilling life. Many people have given their interpretations of Gita. Many business schools, administrative service training academies and mentoring institutes have Gita in their curriculum. I used to ask myself what is so wonderful about it. Some days ago I had a chance to watch a video of Mahabharata (The one which was broad casted on Door Darshan) on Youtube. This video contained the part in which Arjuna shuns his Gandiva (His bow) saying that he can not kill his own relatives and Lord Krishna talks to him and conversation is the source of Gita. My interpretations for everything in that episode can not be put here in a post. I would therefore rather discuss things that he mentions about Karma Yoga in that episode. My personal opinion is that the learning can really be very helpful in today’s world. Everybody is free to agree or disagree.

My Interpretation:

There can be 4 states of any individual:

1- He does not have a goal in his life and is not working therefore: He is dead almost.
2- He does not have a goal and is still working: He should think why?
3- He has a goal and is not working: What is he waiting for? Better start now.

4- He has a goal and is working for it: (Most of us fall in this category and teachings from Gita about KarmaYoga are most relevant for persons in this category.) There can be two ways how an individual who comes in this category approaches his goals:

a) He works very hard to achieve a goal. He cares a lot about the goal. The goal become so important to him that achieving it or not achieving it becomes center of his thought process. He does not want to imagine a situation in which he fails to achieve a goal.
He becomes obsessed with success, he fears failure. He always works to avoid failure. He stops enjoying his work in the process and sometimes hates it also. If seen carefully it is not that he doesn’t like to work or the work, it’s that he doesn’t like to work with a constant fear of failure. He doesn’t like a sword hanging over him always.
It is a thing that is going to continue life long. When does he stop and live peacefully then? Where is his share of happiness then?

Gita recommends other way:

b) He works hard towards the goal but he is almost indifferent to achieving it or not. (I know it’s a difficult thing to believe, I mean if we are indifferent to a goal why would we work hard at all. But it is possible. I know some people who do it like this continuously and I have seen them happy even after tremendous work pressures, possibly this is one of the reasons why Gita is philosophy of life for many successful and happy individuals). An individual works hard because he wants perfection in the work that he is doing and that is his motivation. He improves by the virtue of his work not by the virtue of things he achieves.

As an individual grows in life, he is going to do things with higher and higher stakes for all. If he continues to care too much about his goals, when is he going to be happy? So to me what Gita says makes sense: Work with perfection and Become Indifferent to goals. Rise above them.
The things those I have put here in this post are just a part of my over all interpretations. The things in Gita are said in even bigger context. Though, I am skeptic about some of them and would like to find more about them.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Please have a look.

"I am an Indian, I love India." But why should I? What is so lovable about it? It is a poor country. 22% of its population goes hungry to sleep. 35% of its population does not know how to read and write. It is rated 128 in Human development index below than most of the poorest nations of the world. It might have had a wonderful culture but today it looks culturally confused. It might have had "Unity in diversity", but some past incidents raise serious doubts about my statement. Its not the safest place of the world to be in, at least some of the recent terror attacks bolster this opinion. Then what is good about it? I think it is a wonderful place to be born in and moreover we are damn lucky that we have a birth date that is 1947+. We are a free country. We do not work under anybody's rule. We are not Sudan. We are not Iraq. We are not Pakistan. We live under our rule. I might not have had the best of the education available in the world, I might not have had best of the living conditions of the world but I have been allowed a chance to fight to become what I am today. No unfair condition has been imposed upon me that could have stopped me from fighting to become a better individual.
Was it possible under British rule? Did they not rape Indian women at their own will? Did they not plunder our villages and were they not responsible for disasters like Bengal Famine? Why is everything different today? Are British people inherently so bad that they did it to us? No, Let me make this fact very clear that they did it to us because we were slaves. Because we did not have any say in the course of the things. So what is different today? Why do our rulers not come and torture us at their will? Why are we not shot today in public meetings mercilessly as it was done in Jalian Walan Bagh. It is only because we have right to elect our leaders. It is only because we are a democratic country. It is only because we employ our rulers to rule us.
But How many of us use this right? How many of us do actually go and choose our own leaders? How many of us do actually have a say in deciding who is going to drive our country? I am happy that many of us use this right and go to vote. But are rest who do not vote still not slaves? Are they still not under somebody else's rule? Are they not giving a chance to somebody else to decide their lives? Are they not insulting all those Indian people who fought very hard for our freedom which we don’t understand the value of? Are they not making a mockery of all those Indians who died as the consequences of British rule? Are they not ignoring the fact that India was divided and remains divided as the cost of our freedom? Do they really understand that we are not Sudan because we are a functioning democracy and we have right to vote.
Decide yourself who you are? Are you a responsible citizen of India or an irresponsible slave who has very little control on his life? Choice is your. I can only give a suggestion and my suggestion is: PLEASE VOTE. DONT MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY.