If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse. There have been generations of Hindu idlers who used religion as a great way to escape from their duties. They lived as beggars in saffron with matted locks, calling themselves “renunciates” they wasted their precious lives in self-denial and self-exile, while secretly thinking of sense pleasures and the family they had left behind in a grand gesture of self-sacrifice. Such people are termed as “hypocrites” in the Gita.
Misinterpretation of our scriptures by self-proclaimed pundits gave rise to the idea that the Hindu religious man must exile himself from the world and live in some Himalayan cave minus even bare necessities, away from everyday contacts with joys, sorrows, achievements and failures.
The Gita is a practical treatise on psychology and an in depth research into the human mind. Gita must always be read in context with its first chapter, where Arjun, the protagonist appears in the battlefield, like us, to win his kingdom,power, money, status and take revenge. At the sight of formidable foes, he panics. Donning the mantle of noble renunciation, he tries to take a moral high ground of not fighting,and sacrificing all for his evil cousins. Krishna’s advice to him in one line is:
“From whence this cowardice? Get up and fight for your rights,but with a calm mind and no anxiety for the outcome which will ensure skill in action and victory.”
The famous verse 1 of chapter 6 of the Gita clearly states :
“He is neither a sanyasi nor a yogi who lacks in enthusiasm or is action less”
Such a mind, purified by selfless action becomes a sharp weapon for single pointed and firm resolve that clears the path to glorious victory.
Prarthna Saran, President Chinmaya Mission New Delhi.