Despite technological advancements and materialistic growth, nobody is happy today.While physical illness and associated sufferings have been taken care of to some extent, society is plagued with psychological illness. It is a vicious circle of psychological disorders giving rise to new types of physical illness. Most of us are unhappy,which implies that we are missing something at a subtler level. Some of these subtler aspects have been brought out clearly in the Bhagwad Gita.
The Gita is a dialogue between Krishna, the teacher, and Arjuna, the deluded disciple, on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Arjuna realises that it is futile to wage war as his entire family will be killed and winning such a war will not bring him any fulfilment. This was the dilemma which gave rise to his emotional outburst and put him in a state of inaction, and then he looked to Krishna for advice. We are all in the mental state of Arjuna today.This state of indecision, inaction, and confusion gives rise to our sufferings. In the first verse of chapter six in the Gita,Krishna talks about detaching oneself from the result of his action as one method of remaining peaceful. While performing our daily activities, we are not aware of their positive or negative consequences. It implies that we do not have any control on the outcomes of our actions. Therefore, our expectations of results become the root cause of our suffering. If the outcome is in accordance with our desire, we feel joy, and if not, we feel sad.A person, who does not nurture an expectation about the outcome of his actions, is devoid of the fluctuating states of joy or sorrow.He remains peaceful in all possible outcomes. Krishna designates such an individual as sthitapragnya (Gita 2:56),a person who has transcended duality. But, our life today is driven by targets and achievements.This contradicts the basic premise of creating a sense of detachment from the results of our actions.
It appears that our life is not fulfilled unless we set goals and work to achieve them. However, any such desire-based activity is bound to create turbulence in our mind and, consequently, we suffer.So, Karma Sannyasa, inculcating an attitude of detachment from the fruits of action, will free us of bondage with action and help to achieve a state of mental tranquillity and lasting happiness. The human mind is said to generate more than 70,000 thoughts in a day. Some of the thoughts, which are entertained frequently, become stronger, and give rise to desires. So we experience different emotional states, like anger, in case of failure to achieve our expectation; fear of losing the object of desire, once acquired; and jealousy. The dynamics and interactions between thoughts, desires and emotions have been explained in the Gita 2:62-63.The root cause of all human desires is thought.
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