All bluff, no stuff; that’s enough

The Bhagavad-gita (16.17) describes the godless to be self-complacent and impudent (atma-sambhavitahstabdah). They throw morality and spirituality to the winds for the sake of pursuing self-centered pleasures. To further their egocentric ends, they create a façade of being know-all and do-all; of knowing all that matters and being able to do all that matters. Their external self-assuredness may impress us; we may even feel tempted to become like them.

Gita wisdom helps us see through the façade by showing how the godless, despite their aggressive posturing, are doing nothing new. They are playing the oldest game that there is to play:  playing god. And they will meet, sooner or later, the same old result that all such imitator gods have met: frustration, devastation and destruction. They will be frustrated on being outclassed by others; devastated on being defeated repeatedly; and destroyed when death ends their egomania permanently. The sixteenth chapter of the Gita explains that even at present while they flaunt their glory externally they are internally tortured by the innumerable and insatiable desires that burn within their mind and senses.

Thus, when we look at such people with the eyes of the Gita, we will see that behind all their bluff, there is no stuff. Naturally, we will feel, “That’s enough.” Far from being impressed by them, we will feel concerned for them. Instead of becoming tempted to join the game of playing god, we will become more determined to return to our original position as eternal servants of Krishna and relish the security, serenity and ecstasy thereof. And we will pray that they too quit their doomed game and return to Krishna’s merciful shelter. 

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 16 Text 17

“Self-complacent and always impudent, deluded by wealth and false prestige, they sometimes proudly perform sacrifices in name only, without following any rules or regulations.”


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The Gita is an intellectual adventure with an emotional climax
Reality is more fascinating than what we have been allowed to believe

Author: Chaitanya Charan Das

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