Are You This or THAT?

Are You This or THAT?

Working on oneself is a full-time, lifelong project, but let’s optimistically remember that we have a manual of life called the Bhagavad Gita that provides a roadmap as well as the ultimate life hacks! Having said that, it won’t do the job for us; only I can work on me.

And what an intricate piece of art life is, so delicately placed. All too often we get so caught up in the journey that we forget that it must have a destination. One must know where one is going for there to be a sense of direction and purpose. Ultimately, that goal is happiness, isn’t it? For that is where we all want to be.

So that’s been established but what next? How does one get there? Sure, I am part of this championship or tournament called life, but how do I become a champion? What will it take? Read on to know what champions drop and what champions do!

1) Pride / Perseverance

When we perform any action, it is so easy for arrogance to creep in; if not arrogance, then definitely doership. The fact that ‘I’ performed the action becomes of utmost importance to me, and I get caught up in that pride. The Gita tells us that we must work hard but without the baggage of dwelling on whodunit!

2) Attachment / Achievement

If only! The greatest obstacle on this journey is the massive weight of the attachments that we carry. They don’t let us put them down for even a moment! The only way to flee them is to face them, with a resolute mind-intellect combo. That’s when true success and achievement take place.

3) Depletion / Devotion

Our energies get sapped when all we think about all day long is what others think of us. That leads to judgment and criticism of oneself and the result is often self-loathing. Opt instead for Self-love, and yes the ‘S’ in ‘Self’ is intentional. The Gita tells me that ‘the Self in me is the Self in all’, and that Self is the greatest source of power. Being in tune with That, being devoted to and committed to knowing That and being That – this is what it’s all about!

4) Desire / Drive

We can be driven by something other than desire; it IS possible! When our altar of dedication is worthy, the sky’s the limit and the experience of turning up to be an instrument is sheer joy. Want to be driven without desire? Then know your place in the Universe and allow yourself to be a vehicle – driven by none other than the formula-One charioteer who gave Arjuna that much-needed inspiration to realise his goal.

5) Superficiality / Stability

When we want many different things or when we don’t know what we want, then we drift. But when we want one thing intensely and it is the right thing for us, then we soar. Those who drift, lack stamina and are superficial, and those who soar are stable and single-pointed.

It could be that we’re not there yet, but that doesn’t mean we are not work-in-progress. A starting point, a step in the right direction – is all that it takes to be on the journey from this to That!

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Chinmaya Udghosh