Be single-minded, not single-geared

Suppose we decide to drive by a particular path to a particular destination. If that path is blocked, we will flexibly choose an alternative path.

While the necessity of flexibility is self-evident for external paths, it is not so self-evident for inner conceptions. When we pursue a particular purpose, we sometimes conflate commitment to that purpose with attachment to a particular strategy for fulfilling that purpose. If we thus become single-geared, we mistakenly equate a block in executing that strategy with a block in achieving that purpose. If that block seems immoveable, we may become frustrated, even devastated, thinking our purpose thwarted. However, that purpose may still be achievable, provided we differentiate between being single-minded and being single-geared.

The Bhagavad-gita (02.41) urges Arjuna to be single-minded in purpose. In his context, it specifies (11.33) that purpose to be fighting for the cause of establishing dharma. When the actual war begins, Arjuna is resourcefully flexible in choosing different battle strategies on different days, even on different phases of the same day, depending on how he could best gain an upper hand over his vicious opponents.

In this messy world, when we strive to translate our intention into execution, we need an insightful combination of fixity and flexibility. Gita wisdom explains that we are at core parts of Krishna, meant to delight in harmonizing ourselves with him through loving service. Understanding this makes us single-minded in the purpose of serving him.

Further, the Gita explains that Krishna makes himself accessible in multiple manifestations, thus making his service extraordinarily inclusive in form. By appreciating this universality of the principle of service, we can break free from stereotypical conceptions of how things need to be done. No matter what circumstances confront us, we can find ways to serve in appropriately adapted forms, thus unstoppably growing in our inner devotion and outer contribution.

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What the uninformed see as restriction, the informed see as protection
What is craved within gets carved within
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1 Comment

  1. JAPA concentration makes you single minded

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