Tag Archives: Gita

In Life, Keep Small Things Small, Big Things Big

From Bhagvat-Gita Chapter II, Verse 5:

Suppose while we are driving on a crowded lane, we notice someone driving wildly on an adjacent lane. If we get angry at their irresponsible driving and start gesticulating and yelling at them, we may run into danger on our own lane.

We need to keep small things small. But how do small things become big in the first place?

To understand, let’s compare our mind with a computer screen. There, while we are focusing on one thing, many other thoughts pop up. If we uncritically dwell on such stray thoughts, we get distracted, sometimes distressingly or even dangerously distracted.

However, keeping small things small is not easy. Why not? Because the pop-ups in the mind frequently don’t come with any dismiss buttons – we can’t easily drive thoughts out of our mind.

What, then, can we do about such stray thoughts? Neglect them. To neglect small things, we need some big thing to attend to, remind ourselves of that thing’s importance, and direct our attention toward it.

A pertinent psychological principle is this: the more we dwell on anything, be it a small thing or a big thing, the bigger it becomes in our consciousness, thereby making other things small. If we focus on keeping big things big, small things concomitantly stay small. Even if some small thing remains in our mind, it can’t distract us.

It’s easy to see all of the above makes sense and is secular, applicable to what one considers as big in one’s life. Of course Gita has its own assertions on the subject of what’s big and what’s small in life.

End

A Queen Understands Bhagavad Gita!!

…like how!!!

Ambiguity, thy name is Sanskrit! Perhaps a little more than most other natural languages. A poet’s/reader’s delight and a (lexical) parser’s nightmare.

A mere reordering of words below yields a delightfully new perspective! Read on:

There lived a Queen who wanted to understand Bhagavad Gita – its essence.

‘How many shloka’s (verses) make up the Gita?’ She asked a Pundit at her court.

‘700, my lady,’ he said.

She summoned the minister: ‘Kindly get 700 gold coins ready from the treasury. Tomorrow as the venerable Pundit here explains each shloka, he be given a gold coin. That makes it 700 coins.’

700 gold coins for him? The Pundit was elated at his good fortune. He returned home in high spirits and pulled out all his notes for perusal so he may best explain the shloka’s to the Queen.

Next day he made it to the royal court at the appointed time. His eyes popped on seeing before him the pile of glittering gold coins on a plate.

He mentally prayed to Lord Krishna to be on his side and help him out in his endeavor. And thus he began in a booming voice with the first shloka: ‘Dharma kshetre Kuru kshetre…’

(Meaning: At a place where Dharma reigned supreme, at a place belonging to the Kuru’s…)

The Queen was moved to tears on hearing this.

‘Please stop right there, say no more, Sir,’ she addressed the Pundit.

The Pundit paused.

The Queen turned to her minister: ‘Get the palanquin ready, we leave immediately.’

Had he offended the royalty in any manner? He didn’t think so. Not able to make any sense of what was happening, the Pundit pleaded: ‘My lady, we haven’t even started…’

‘Where is the need after you’ve explained so concisely, so beautifully the essence of Gita? Please do take these 700 gold coins. Not a moment more to be wasted here…I’m off to do exactly what you bade.’

’The Pundit’s head went for a spin. Vexed, he cried meekly: ‘What did I explain?’

‘What more after your excellent sum up of Gita – when you said ‘Dharma kshetre Kuru kshetre…it just leaped at me…I could make out the message therein right away: Kshetre kshetre or ‘at place after place’ dharma kuru or ‘do dharma (charity).’  So well said. Beautiful. I’ve decided to follow it right away. And so here I’m taking off…’

An interpretation absolutely unheard of! Why did it not occur to him? Thoroughly humbled, the Pundit offered the coins back to the Queen, requesting her to use the same for the charity she was setting out to do. And, renounced the worldly life in pursuit of Knowledge.

End

Source:With grateful thanks to tamilandvedas quoting a monk from Ramakrishna Mutt.

What Begins In Anger Ends In Regret (A Story For Children)

A long time ago during the reign of the Tokagawa Shogunate a samurai set out on an errand.

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Precisely one year ago to the day he had lent 10 koku to a fisherman in a small coastal village nearby, and today was the day the fisherman had promised he would repay the debt.

The samurai arrived in the village at noon and upon inquiring at the fisherman’s home he was told by the fisherman’s wife that he would find the man down at his boat working on his nets.

Upon seeing the samurai coming up the beach the fisherman threw himself to the ground and bowed his head to the sand.

“Get up,” said the samurai, “As agreed it has been one year and I have come to collect the money you owe me.”

“I have not forgotten my debt to you,” said the fisherman, who now stood but with his head still bowed, “but it has been a very bad year for me and I regret that I do not have the money I owe you.”

Hearing this the samurai, who was not a man known for his patience, flushed with anger and quickly drew his sword, preparing to kill the fisherman then and there. “Why should I not simply slay you instead?” shouted the samurai as he raised the deadly blade above his head.

Fearing that his life was at and end and having nothing to lose the fisherman boldly spoke out. “For some time now I have been studying martial arts,” he replied, “and one of the lessons that my master teaches, is never to strike when you are angry.” “I beg you,” said the fisherman, “give me one more year to pay you what I owe.”

Thinking about what the fisherman had just said the samurai slowly lowered his sword. “Your master is wise,” said the samurai, “as a student of the art of the sword I too have heard that lesson many times, but sometimes I get so angry I act without thinking.”

Putting away his sword the samurai spoke in a voice that was use to being obeyed. “You shall have another year to repay your debt to me,” he said, “but when I return if you do not have all the money you owe me I shall not hesitate to take your life instead.” and without another word he turned and walked away.

Having left the village later than he intended to it was already dark by the time the samurai arrived home. Seeing no lights on in the house he crept in quietly not wishing to wake the servants or his wife. As he entered his bed chamber he noticed there were two persons lying on his futon, one he recognized as his wife and the other from their clothing was unmistakably another samurai.

Swiftly he drew his sword and as his anger quickly grew he moved in to slay them both. Just then, as he was about to strike, the fisherman’s words came back to him, “never strike when you are angry.” This time I shall follow the lesson he thought to himself, pausing he took a deep breath and tried to relax, then on purpose he made a loud noise.

Hearing the sound both his wife and the stranger immediately woke up and when his wife had lit a candle he found himself face to face with his wife and his mother who had dressed up in his clothes and another set of swords.

“What is the meaning of this,” he demanded, “I almost slew you both.”

His wife quickly explained that when he had not returned by night fall they decided to dress his mother up in his clothes so that in the event that an intruder entered the home they would be frightened off at the sight of a samurai in the house.

A that moment the samurai realized that his habit of “striking without thinking” had almost cost him the life of his wife and his mother.

One year later the samurai again walked down the same beach towards the fisherman. After exchanging the proper formal greetings the fisherman said, “It has been an excellent year my Lord, here is all the money I owe you as promised, and with interest.”

“Keep your money,” replied the samurai, “You do not know it, but your debt was paid to me long ago.”

End

 

Notes:

I looked hard for a quote on how anger impairs judgment to round up the story. This pithy one from Benjamin Franklin was the best I could find: “Whate’ers begun in anger ends in shame’.  Wasn’t too satisfied, so the search continued. Finally this beautiful and apt slokha from Bhagawad Gita (2.63) came up, capturing the inevitable progression resulting from anger:

Gita 2.63

Meaning: From anger incorrect knowledge (to justify one’s anger?) happens, instructions learnt over time to control senses and mind are forgotten, intellect is compromised resulting in one’s ultimate fall. This is based on the straight (not metaphorical) interpretations of various guru’s.

A preceding slokha is amazingly insightful on what anger is.

Story from: “‘DR. MAHESH’ drmaheswar_2013@yahoo.com [enjoythepics]” <enjoythepics@yahoogroups.com>