For those who do not know what happens in one of the greatest epic the Mahabharata, Here is a brief backdrop of that and the Bhagavad Gita. The story is a classic fight between good and evil, justice, and injustice. It is surrounded around the great warrior prince Arjuna who fights against injustice, only to be overcome by grief. He fights against everyone he has ever cared for, including his own cousins, teacher, classmates. And as grief gets most out of him he tries to give up the war, thus realizing that war never brings happiness to any party.
His Guru and Saarthi or advisor Lord Krishna gives him a lesson of the lifetime. The Bhagavad Gita essentially consists of the teaching that Krishna imparted Arjuna, it has 18 chapters with the lessons of life, emotions, ambitions, and everything else. Here is an essence of it:
You should enjoy your work
Seeking for results rather than enjoying the process is a fool’s task. Gita says that the work itself must be pleasurable than the results. Meaning that the journey is more important than the destination. All of the great achievers of different arts have been able to become great because they enjoy the process of creation itself and not just the result.
“Do not let the fruit be the purpose of your actions, and therefore, you won’t be attached to not doing your duty.”
You have to manage your emotions
Gita in a lot of portions talks about managing emotions and attachment. In most situations, panic and attachment can be one’s enemies. The Bhagavad Gita gives hundreds of examples where attachment and emotions have ruined situations. It teaches about how one needs to keep calm and think through to use logic over emotions, even in the worst of times.
“The awakened sages call a person wise when all his undertakings are free from anxiety about results.”
You can manage your emotion by doing these things
Gita suggests practicing Ashtanga yoga to keep emotions from overcoming you. It also states the importance of eating the right food. Bhagavad Gita has categorized food into three types: Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas. Sattva are the fruits, green vegetables, milk; Rajas are spicy foods and steroids; and Tamas is fatty foods and leftovers. Gita says:
“From Sattva arises wisdom, and greed from Rajas; miscomprehension, delusion, and ignorance arise from Tamas.”
Don’t try to copy someone else’s life
Everyone’s life is relative thus different. When seeing from your perspective different lives might seem easier, a warrior might think that a farmer’s life is pleasant while a farmer might think that a warrior’s life is better than his. In reality however, both lives have equal importance in the functioning of this world. Its like the famous saying that goes, the grass will always look greener on the other side. As Bhagavad Gita says:
“It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.”
Keep your goals intact
Always remember what your real goals are. More often than not we try to imitate others, here is where we forget what our own goals and dreams are. We try to become a better somebody, even if it is worthless like what happens nowadays on social media sites.
“We are kept from our goal, not by obstacles, but by a clear path to a lesser goal.”
Everyone is worth your equal treatment
Treat everyone the same and with equal respect. A whole chapter is dedicated in the Gita to this issue. The Gita says that one should even act nice to foes because that will leave you with lesser guilt and lesser emotional burdens to fight inside you.
“He alone sees truly who sees God in every creature he does not harm himself or others.”
Do good for the sake of nothing
You do not have to do good because you might get something in return. Don’t expect anything in return, just be a nice person. Gita talks about this in various forms and makes a lot of practical sense than just the morality of it.
“A gift is pure when it is given from the heart to the right person at the right time and at the right place, and when we expect nothing in return.”
Act. Don’t just think.
When we keep over-analyzing things then we forget to act upon it, it is especially common on the knowledgeable. Most of the time one becomes more comfortable in just analyzing things and talking about it rather than just working on that knowledge.
“The immature think that knowledge and action are different, but the wise see them as the same.”
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Keep your duties in check.
If you have promised something, then just do it. Don’t over-analyze and use analysis-paralysis as an excuse to achieve great things in life.
“You might like another’s duty, and dislike yours. But still, do your own duty, and not another’s, even if you can do another’s duty very well. Or you’ll go on being caught up in the field of opposites. And there will be no end to your suffering.”
There is always a bigger power than the biggest power.
According to Gita, the truth will always win, in one way or the other. People may feel dejected and might want to give up but they should never let fear overtake them. There is a supreme power that controls the universe. So, you must keep doing your duty, even though your enemy looks formidable.
“In order to deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to re-establish the principles of truth, I advent Myself time to time.”