Accepting responsibility begins with accepting responsibility for irresponsibility

Suppose a drunken person drives a car and is caught for driving drunk. Intoxication can make some drunkards so irresponsible that they may not even accept responsibility for their irresponsibility in driving drunk.

Intoxication doesn’t come only through alcohol or similar substances. It can come from misleading conceptions that infatuate people, making them do things that they would normally never do. People under the grip of sexual passion can do abominable things. Gita wisdom explains that a much more fundamental intoxication comes from the bodily conception of life, wherein we forgetting that we are souls mistake ourselves to be the body and act only for bodily pleasures, even when they run against our spiritual purposes. Despite being inebriated, we drive through the roadways of life, often unaware that we may be violating the karmic laws that govern all traffic in the universe

At the start of the Bhagavad-gita, Arjuna found himself caught in an ethical dilemma that stemmed from the intoxication of the bodily conception of life. In the Gita’s first chapter, he gave several strands of reasoning to rationalize abandoning his duty. But no matter what self-justifying alley his frenzied mind drove along, he found himself at the same dead-end of confusion and dejection, as he acknowledges in the Gita (02.06).

Fortunately, he recognized the foundational error that underlay and undercut all his argumentation. With disarming candor, he confessed (02.07) his cognitive dissonance to his friend and mentor Krishna, and asked for clear guidance. The subsequent guidance empowered Arjuna to act responsibly even amidst the most demanding circumstances and against overwhelmingly unfavorable odds.

If we too like Arjuna can begin by accepting responsibility for our irresponsibility in living under the ignorance of the bodily conception, and seek spiritual guidance, Gita wisdom stands ready to empower us. 

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 02 Text 06

"Nor do we know which is better – conquering them or being conquered by them. If we killed the sons of Dhrtarastra, we should not care to live. Yet they are now standing before us on the battlefield."

Devotion takes us beyond the rational faculty to the transformational facility
Those who exaggerate material pleasure exacerbate material trouble
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  1. Simply superb…

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  2. If one has to refer to a dictionary often in trying to understand an article, the message is lost. Simplicity has its virtue. Hare Krishna!

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    • Thank you for your candid comment.
      Yes, simplicity definitely has its virtue, but so does precision. In this article, the word ‘cognitive dissonance’ is probably the toughest, but it has a specific meaning that has no simpler substitute (“the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioural decisions and attitude change”).
      Whatever time I spend writing a Gita-daily article, I spend almost one-third or more of it in clarifying the thoughts and simplifying the words so that the articles are on an average suitable to undergraduate level readers
      Regarding the general linguistic level of Gita-daily articles, you may find this QA relevant:

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    • I think that its a great learning experience. Apart from this timeless knowledge which Prabhuji is kind enough to share with us we also get to learn different words which I haven’t even come across before thus broadening my vision and I agree that being specific matters the most in such important topics for clarity in understanding. So I don’t mind at all referring to dictionary..
      Hare Krishna! Hari Bol!
      Your servant, abhishek.

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  3. Haribol!

    I beg to differ Tamil Masni ji.

    Infact it educates us more, we learn more words, which we can also use in our life, writing, preaching.

    Keep it up ChaitanyaPrabhuji!



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    • Hare Krishna!

      I agree with Kalyani. Indeed, Developmental Psychology and Cognitive Science both affirm that learning is at its zenith when the individual is in the zone of cognitive dissonance. I am ignorant about these topics. I need to learn. And, as a college graduate, the quality and linguistic style of Chaitanya’s articles places me right into that zone of proximal development – into cognitive dissonance. Yes, at times we may require a dictionary but nothing is wrong with that. We can access it at the click of the mouse. If one is serious about these topics, one will make the effort to look up a word or phrase and to understand the context of its use in the article.

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  4. hare krsna c c das pr ji. accepting resposibility for irresponsibility underlines the principle of becoming aware of one self, who am i, from where i have come , what is my goal, and finally where do i have to ultimately go. this will increase our intoxication , the ingredient of which is love for our supreme master krsna.

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  5. Often our mind become overwhelmed with dejection when undesirable things are confronted upon and we are susceptible and even tend to find its antidote through material procedures suggested by the pervasive social mirror around us.Ignoring the recurences and our incompetency to avoid the inevitable we endeavor to get rid of the situation at any cost ignoring the real message krishna has send obscured under these troubles.

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