3 Best Lessons From Bhagavad Gita

Lessons From Bhagavad Gita

3 Best Lessons From Bhagavad Gita
3 Best Lessons From Bhagavad Gita

Belgian philosopher Pascal Chabot called burnout” culture’s disease.” And it is certainly true that our variant of burnout — fueled especially by technology –can sense really contemporary. However, the questions of how to become mindful and how to live a fulfilling and purposeful life happen to be at the heart of virtually every religious and philosophical heritage. This month Thrive Global launched in India. Since Arianna Huffington mentioned in her open letter to India, the country has many challenges. Still, in addition, it holds many lessons for all people. “Its ancient wisdom and religious traditions are now in the centre of a global conversation about what it means to live a fantastic life,” she composed.

And a lot of this wisdom could be traced back to the Bhagavad Gita, considered to have been composed around the fifth to the second century, B.C. It is an account of an epic dialogue between a young warrior, Arjuna, and God, in the form of Krishna. While it may seem to be quite a mystical text, it comprises many lessons still relevant 2,500 decades later. Here are four of these.

1) Finding Purpose and Meaning in our job

As Arianna clarifies it in Thrive, the Bhagavad Gita investigates three distinct sorts of lives:

  • One of inaction, no goals and no accomplishments.
  • One of constant busyness and nonstop action.
  • One that is not only about acquiring achievement and standing for ourselves but a life of connection and goodness to others.

“The next life,” she writes, “which is the way we’ve been defining achievement –is obviously a huge improvement on the first, but by itself, it becomes driven by a hunger for more that is never satisfied, and we become disconnected from who we truly are, and the wealth inside us.”

And needless to say, it is the third life that is the one filled with meaning and purpose, one where we take pride in our work, and we’d do it for no benefit at all.

Through the words of Krishna to Arjuna, we’re told that it’s ideal to do the job we love, and when this looks impossible, to appreciate what we’re doing. We can do so by being detached from the results. This does not mean not doing a fantastic job, but instead sense pride and joy in the procedure itself: “You have control over doing your respective duty only, but no control or claim over the results. The fruits of work shouldn’t be your motive.” But, in addition, he adds, “you should not be inactive.”

So the lesson is that, as you ought to always have an outcome or outcome in mind, being detached from it — not defining yourself by its own failure or success — will make you all the more successful. To put it differently, we are more than our resumes and to-do lists.

2) What To Do When You Are Feeling Overwhelmed

Ever feel overwhelmed, like there is too much to do in too little time? That’s a fairly good description of modern life, with technologies accelerating the pace of our lives, both at work and at home. From the Bhagavad, Gita Arjuna is Full of uncertainty on the battlefield. His mind is overloaded with the information he finds hard to digest. His senses are assaulted by the noise and fury of the battle. His mind is unfocused, and his emotions are out of control.

We can all relate — we all find ourselves bombarded by the information, our weary eyes glued to our apparatus, our focus distracted and shot with buzzes and alarms and notifications. The sounds are different, but the job of trying to concentrate and think amid a storm is a challenge we share with Arjuna.

As a practical way of handling information overload, Krishna calls for a reflection-break, counselling Arjuna on the art and practice of meditation to efficiently grasp his own mind. The active reason, Krishna asserts, is a mob of unprocessed ideas and emotions. The only way to cope effectively with this mob is to create distance between the group and the audience.

After we become the audience, we may observe the mob without being a part of it. This viewer in us is like the display where a filmed play is projected. There are several sensations, a lot of twists and turns of emotion and information in this play — a riot of sound and colour — the drama of this film doesn’t affect the screen.

Krishna’s solution to information overload is that the rigorous discipline of observing one’s thoughts and feelings is no more than pictures on display. This is not an innate ability we are born with — it is a skill we could all nurture. We can acquire the calmness and composure of the audience with constant practice and a calm disposition. This is the custom of watching our ideas, and using a clear, neutral stance toward our feelings if they are of joy or sorrow.

Krishna is advocating Arjuna — and us — to get the habit of a reflective consciousness instead of a reactive mind. In short, his message for our time is: once in a while, be silent, and escape the hurricane by going into the eye of the storm.

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3) The Mind of a Leader: Seeing Challenges For What They’re

Concentrate, serene, decision-making, outlook — these are qualities we would all agree that any great leader needs. And yet, in our distracted, hyper-connected, always” on” digital era, they are also qualities that are increasingly difficult to come by.

From the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna advises Arjuna his most persistent problem is his preoccupied mind. And preoccupation is especially dangerous in a leader. It narrows their view and prevents them from recognizing the most crucial part of the problem isn’t outside there from the world, but within them, in their anxiety and worry and preoccupation.

It isn’t that there are no issues in the outside world; of course, there are issues. However, when a leader adds the burden of their worry and anxiety to such problems, they become even more challenging. Krishna urges Arjuna to observe the very nature and composition of his mind. A mind always distracted with worries and preoccupations can’t understand the truth of a circumstance.

So Krishna tells Arjuna that he can not fix his most persistent problems simply by thinking through them — since it is the thinking itself that is the problem! Krishna’s message to Arjuna is extremely clear: his most persistent problem is a mind that clings to fear and anxiety as a method of justifying its own existence. This type of mind will lose its identity if its persistent problems are resolved, so this mind does not want to give up its fear and nervousness.

What this signifies is that no problem exists without the mind’s active involvement. So Krishna urges Arjuna to approach his problems with an open and unoccupied mind, one uncluttered by responses, memories of yesteryear, or anxiety about the future.

This mind reflects the light like a mirror, which doesn’t respond to become conditioned by what it reflects. This mirror-like consciousness will allow leaders to observe the true nature; that’s the first step to solving it.


4) Resolution for the New Year: Kill Off What Is Not Working

New Year’s resolutions are all about the future, but they are also about the past. To see how we would like to improve, we must take stock of functioning and not work. And to do that well, we will need to be ruthless about it.

Through the Bhagavad Gita, we see Krishna repeatedly encouraging Arjuna to wage war and kill his enemies. And that gives rise to a question that is common to many people first studying the Gita: why would a divine incarnation like Krishna encourage killing?

However, as with virtually all sacred texts, you will find layers of significance going on. And in this instance, “murdering” means more than bloodshed. It is also being used to actively weeding our bad habits or distancing ourselves from toxic folks. It is about being prepared to sacrifice what’s not working to better focus on accomplishing our objective.

This is an ideal lesson for the new year — although not a resolution itself, it is a principle that can undergird your answers for how you can thrive in 2018. Let go of what is not working, kill off habits that are weighing you down. It will accelerate your progress during the new year.

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