The Geeta lays great emphasis on equanimity in dealing with life. Chapter 6 verse 9, says:
“He who is of the same mind to the good-hearted, friends, enemies, the indifferent, the neutral, the hateful, relatives, the righteous and the unrighteous, he excels.”
Relationships are the most difficult to manage, but the most difficult ones are those that are the closest to us. This is the most complex because of our expectation from them. Criticism from an unknown person hurts me not, but from my close friend or family member pierces my heart!
Swami Tejomayanandaji says, “Learn to accept every individual per se, without agonising over why that person is the way he or she is.” He further explains that we accept fruits and flowers as they are. We never complain why an apple does not taste like a mango or why the rose smells different from a jasmine! We never insist that a tiger should eat grass or that a cow should eat meat. Every animal is accepted as he is. A tiger is admired for his ferocity and the deer for its friskiness. We go to a zoo so that we can admire different animals who look different and behave differently. Then why do we question the behaviour of people around us and insist that they should change? We want to be accepted as we are, yet, we do not accept others as they may be.
So the Geeta advices (samabuddhi), equal acceptance of all, keeping a calm mind in our dealings with them, without insisting on changing them. Deal with them with the knowledge of who they are. You love cuddling and petting your puppy, but would you shake hands with or embrace a tiger? Thus practicality in our dealings with all, is the intelligent art of living taught by the Geeta.
Prarthna Saran, President Chinmaya Mission New Delhi.