Dr Sumedha Kushwaha
While taking a flight from Delhi to Imphal this week, while fellow humans around me were drowsing to sleep, out of nowhere I was reminded of a verse from the Bhagavad Gita. This text,I feel it is more spiritual than religious in nature.
“sukha-duhkhe same kritvâlâbhâlâbhaujayâjayau
It means “Fight for the sake of duty, treating alike happiness and distress, loss and gain, victory and defeat. Fulfilling your responsibility in this way, you will never incur sin.”
What a wonderful quote, I usually think that when we treat the dichotomies of life- equivalent and alike, we reach the epitome of oneness with one’s ownself. That is, probably when we understand that the pleasure is in the process and not in the fruits of it. We then start to respect the journey of life more than being attached to the results which we shall derive out of it. We are almost there, when we understand that thus, nothing in life should be labelled as good or bad. Everything happens in order to teach us something bigger and hence, should be treated as an experience. It is so beautiful to understand that when we treat happiness and distress alike, by no means any situation or person can touch the formidable and solid self that we create out of our own being.
When we work very hard on say our own venture/business, we become very attached to it. We start treating it with more attachment that we call it our ‘baby’. We henceforth, start taking the success and failure associated with it with very personally. If we make money from it, we start becoming happy, when we lose money, we start becoming sad and this is the seed of all trouble. The venture becomes a part of our own identity and we start identifying our “own” selves with “its” results. I mean, our performance is completely distinct from our own self.
It is not just with ventures, this happens in life all the time. The people whom we are associated with, the organizations we are in, the relationships we are a part of, the roles in our jobs and so on. Detached action- which means action taken without the expectation of loss or gain and victory or defeat, is truly an inspired action. It can also mean being “in spirit” with a higher self and this action is taken after complete surrender to the supreme.
Life is simple, we complicate it by comparing ourselves with others all the time. Who has a bigger car, who has a bigger house, whose wife is more beautiful, whose children performed better in exams and yes, who earns more money.
I ask you, who on earth or heaven can set the guidelines as to what is good or bad for us or what is enough or less for us. It is solely on us to decide. Living an inspired life means being in spirit with the process. The process is that remains, success and defeat are fleeting moments. The learning/ lessons learnt while on the journey of becoming a millionaire is much more important than whether you are number one or two in the race. It’s in the preparation that lies the essence of life, victory and defeat is all in the mind. I write this with full understanding that these words probably are easy to write and difficult to practice.
A few years back, while in college, me and my friend flunked together in a minor biochemistry test. I mean a 4 on 50 was pretty bad. While walking towards the hostel gate with heavy hearts, she raised her eyebrow silently to ask if I passed or not. I nodded and said No. The fact that we failed together in the test deepened our friendship and our bond forever. We immediately burst into laughter and joked about it. Late at night, we celebrated our failure eating noodles, drinking cold drinks, singing our favourite songs and continually joking as to how she performed better than me by getting a 7 on 50. Did we fail? Yes. Did we let it determine our courage to pass in the final exam? No. Life if treated like a journey, wherein you add a line to the book every moment determines how you complete your own story. But the ending for each person alike is the ultimate and sad truth”death” in some way or the other. So, when the ending remains the same- unhappy for everyone, our detached and inspired actions can make each scene a beautiful way to look at life.
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