If we reflect on our lives until now, we will find that time and again we have received prompts from around us and inside us that reveal the secret of happiness. Yet, most of us experience a sense of incompleteness in one way or another. Solitude and silence are seldom sought. We don’t know what to do with ourselves without the support of other people or even our belongings. We would rather spend time with inanimate objects than with ourselves. Where does that incompleteness come from? In what are we lacking? How come no matter what we own or possess, that void doesn’t go and that gap doesn’t get filled?
Life, which is available to be lived in completeness, in joy and in fulfillment, is actually being lived through impulses, whims, fancies and wishes, with no thought being given to how to step above desires. Even if we happen to be faced with opportunities for soul-searching, to complete what feels incomplete, we look for the first possible escape route or distraction. Little do we realize that the way ‘in’ is the way out.
We have had glimpses and moments when we have felt a certain spark; and those are usually when something ‘clicks’ with us. The best way I can describe the experience is “understanding”. The head and the heart are in tune and one feels a sense of alignment, completeness and satisfaction. It is a great thing if one can experience that at school or college, when the mind and intellect are put to work through education, but even if that doesn’t happen, one can certainly experience it through life. We can use this journey to gain knowledge of life and its purpose, and as Swami Purushottamananda of Chinmaya Mission said, ‘Understand it and then stand under it.’
A rock solid way is through reading and reflecting on The Bhagavad Gita, which has been inspiring individuals for thousands of years. It is not an ancient text meant only for a different era of people. It is a timeless conversation between Krishna and Arjuna. We are lucky that the Gita has been translated into English and that there are commentaries available, like the one by Swami Chinmayananda, which speaks to the very heart of the reader, answering questions before they’re even articulated. Teachers like him have kept this timeless wisdom available to all, with examples that we can all relate to. That’s why it’s called a “Manual of Life”. It tells us what should be known about life, particularly about how to overcome the challenges and obstacles that stop us from living the life that we want to live.
Yes, it requires time investment, but doesn’t everything? As the saying goes, ‘If you think education is expensive, try ignorance!’ Like so many things in life, let’s not immediately dismiss this as being ‘not the right thing’ for us. And if you just did exactly that while reading this (perhaps because you’re not really a book person), you could instead check out the free e-book on your phone or tablet, or the audio and video formats. In fact, it’s even available in free short video capsules. One need not even start by giving it too much time per day, but start today and keep at it. There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain. Arjuna did!