Talking the Talk? Walk the Walk- The Bhagvad Gita in Daily Life

After listening, one must reflect and then meditate on what one has imbibed, according to Indian philosophy. I was reading a sample lesson of the Gita course by the Chinmaya Mission online. I liked the format, where one had to reflect on how the lesson from the Gita helps in daily life. If I were to reflect on how the Gita has helped me in daily life, here’s what I have to say-

Karma yoga

Work

Sometimes, every day feels like a war. Locking horns with family members is never easy. This conflict can tear us apart internally. We all face the dilemma Arjun does, to some extent. Perhaps that’s why we can identify with him so easily.

At such times, remembering that we should do our duty and what is right is helpful. I find that when I’m worrying about a future outcome that I have no control over, it helps to tell myself that I should not be attached to the result. I immediately feel calmer.

Even at work, we often feel bad that a colleague who sucks up to the boss moves ahead. I’ve told myself at times like these that I should do my work and not worry about praise, appraisals and comparisons with others. Eventually, work does get recognized.

Work has its own joy. We should depend on ourselves for emotional support and of course the universe. Another aspect of the Gita that resonates with me is that we should follow our nature. I tried to get in a different career stream, but I wasn’t happy. Now that I’m back to writing, I’m more at peace.

Meditation

With all the distractions that clutter up our minds, meditation helps us get focus. I often have trouble sleeping or get up unexpectedly in the middle of the night. Meditation makes me feel fresh, even if I have slept less.

I have a hot temper, so I’m trying to not get disturbed by occurences. Extremes aren’t good, so depressive tendencies are to be avoided, I tell myself. This line spoke to me too- we should not meditate on the wrong things, but use our concentration positively.

During exams, turning a blind eye to sense objects and being disciplined, helped me in doing well. I was more of a hedonist earlier, but I’ve realized like chocolate, sometimes pleasure can be sweet initially but later leave a bitter taste in the mouth.

Also, if a loved one passes away, my favorite Gita shlok- about just as we change clothes for our body, we change bodies, but our soul’s eternal- comforts me.

In a lighter vein I really identify with sattvic eating when I diet- which is constantly now! I do feel bad or tamasic when I have stale food. On a serious note, the idea that sattvicta extends in all aspects of life- like speech- was new to me and I’m trying to follow that.

Some aspects of the Gita feel dated to me though, like the caste system. Also, being a logical person I’m not much of a believer in God. Although, we still don’t know the cause of life, so I would say I’m an agnostic.

Thanks Yamini for pushing me to write this! People, please read her wonderful blog on Sanskrit words for the A-Z Challenge.

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