The Bhagwat Geeta covers a dialogue between Lord Krishna and the Pandava warrior Arjuna during the war known as Mahabharata. Arjuna, a representation of the youth, inquires and compels Lord Krishna with questions that plague him, ranging from the most mundane to questions regarding life itself. The knowledgeable Lord Krishna patiently provides him with all the answers, which makes the Bhagwat Geeta ripe with lessons that we can learn in order to lead a better life. We will be taking a look at ten such life lessons to learn from the Bhagwat Geeta.
Ten Life Lessons to Learn From the Bhagwat Geeta:
Responsibility plays a major role in our everyday lives. Every person in the world has a certain number of responsibilities they must heed in order to be respectable members of society. These particular responsibilities could range from everyday tasks to major tasks, which make the world a better place. It is crucial for anyone to show these responsibilities respect and give their best efforts to fulfilling them.
This respect for responsibility can be learned from the ‘Dharma’ concept that is discussed in the Bhagwat Geeta. ‘Dharma’ happens to be a vague concept and therefore lacks a concrete definition. While in earlier ages, it was believed to refer to a higher order of law, later it came to be understood as something that is necessary to be followed if an order is to be ensured in the universe and society.
If you succeed in achieving the goal of respecting and fulfilling your responsibility, you are successfully followed your ‘Dharma’, which will help in improving your life.
Selfishness has been seen as a vice since the beginning of life. Selfishness can cause you to narrow your world-view until it only concerns you and lose sight of the other people in your life. You must keep reminding yourself that there are meagre goals and dreams in life which can be achieved alone. Just as help from other people can transform your problems and provide you with the right solutions, help from you could also lighten someone else’s burden of problems. Though, the help given by you must not be due to your selfish motives, but out of the goodness of your heart and your desire to help.
This selflessness can be learned from the teaching of ‘Nishkamakarma Yoga’, which believes that our actions should not have ulterior motives behind them. According to this concept of ‘Nishkamakarma Yoga’ there are certain obligations you have towards other people and the world in general that you must defer to. These obligations should be fulfilled without any self-fulfilling ideas in mind.
Tolerance is an integral virtue that one must follow. There are people with different opinions and different ideologies everywhere. The only thing most people have in common with each other is being different. To succeed in life and create better relationships, you have to practice tolerance. Even when there is something you do not agree upon, you must remember to bring up the issues in a manner that is respectful of the other person. Practising tolerance can be done without compromising your own ideals.
There are many instances in the Bhagwat Geeta, where Lord Krishna inspires Arjuna to be tolerant towards people while also being mindful of his duty and not giving up on his beliefs.
Maintain Balanced Consciousness
Balance is necessary for any walk of life. Everything is good as long as it is practised in moderation. To lead a better life, you must find balance within yourself and your mind. Wisdom is an incredible tool, but in an unbalanced mind, it cannot prove to be much help. However, in a mind that is stable, wisdom can help you in achieving whatever you set out to achieve. You must use the wisdom available to you to understand the difference between what is good and what is bad. With this knowledge, you can set you can embark on your journey toward a moral ideal.
The idea of a moral ideal often referred to as ‘sthitaprajna’ in the Bhagwat Geeta, comprises of forming a moral identity for yourself and following it to achieve success in your quest of becoming a better person.
Absolve Yourself for Material Pleasures
We live in an era where material possessions determine a person’s worth and happiness. Though that is definitely not the case, it has become the reality for many people. It is essential to remind yourself that material possessions have no influence on the condition of a person.
According to the Bhagwat Geeta, in fact, material possessions are what are holding people to this plane of existence. If you wish to find true peace and happiness, you need to understand that it cannot be achieved through material means, it can only come from within yourself.
Embrace and Accept Change
Change is inevitable and constant always. There is nothing that is immune to the effects of change. There are two approaches you can adopt towards change, either accept it and adapt to it or resist it. If you wish to live an efficient life, it is a good idea to accept change and adapt to it as well as you can. Change is sometimes good and sometimes could be bad, but it is still inevitable. So, instead of resisting it, you can find ways to become more adjusted to it and move forward.
In the Bhagwat Geeta, which practically takes place on a battlefield, change is no stranger. Changes provide a certain challenge to us in many ways and learning from them and accepting them can help tremendously.
Do Your Duty without Pride or Ego
Duty could refer to anything you may deem important enough to conduct. There are certain duties that everyone has to carry on account of being human beings, while there are also other specific duties one has to conduct in their professional and personal lives. Pride and ego are two very considerable obstacles you may face in your path towards performing your duties. It is integral that you learn to recognize when pride or ego are throwing hurdles at you and find a way to avoid them.
In the Bhagwat Geeta, the concept of ‘Dharma’, also interpreted as duty, is adamant on the stance of not letting pride interfere with the duties of an individual. Pride could lead you to make bad decisions and be a hindrance to your goal of performing your duty well.
To truly find success in anything, you have to first find a way to be disciplined. Achieving your goals with no discipline could be quite difficult, at times impossible. Setting a goal is not enough, you have to ensure a plan to get to it and that requires time and discipline. Even after the formulation of the plan, it must be followed closely and slowly it will help you get where you want to be.
The importance of self-discipline is emphasized time and again in the Bhagwat Geeta. It is one of the many things that make Arjuna a good warrior and help him in his battles.
Whatever Has Happened is in The Past
There will always be times when things do not go according to plan or times when you make mistakes. This is normal, and there is no reason to worry about it. Once something has passed, it cannot be brought back again. You cannot keep dwelling on the past and forget about the present. The only way to succeed in this battle of life is to let go of the past and live in the now.
On the battlefield, thinking of the past could have meant the difference between life and death. The Bhagwat Geeta, therefore, passes on the teaching of thinking only of the future and present but learning from the past.
Never Give Up
Difficulties and challenges are frequent occurrences in our lives. Everyday, there is at least one shortcoming we overcome and learn from. These challenges can be present in every aspect of life, from professional to personal. There might be difficulties in your search for the right career or problems in your relationships. No matter how hard things get and how bleak the situation may seem, you must remember to not give up. Success can be achieved through perseverance. All you need to do is understand the problem, look at it from every direction and keep trying until you succeed.
In the Bhagwat Geeta, Lord Krishna reminds Arjuna of his duty, every time he doubts himself or finds it too difficult to go on. You can take comfort in knowing that even a warrior as capable as Arjuna had doubts and needed reassurances in his decisions.
There are many more things you could learn from the Bhagwat Geeta, but these are the ones that will help you in living a better efficient life.
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