Before playing your part, understand what play you are a part of
Suppose someone practices meticulously for a play, but for a play other than the one they are meant to be a part of. Despite their practice, they will find themselves frustrated.
We all go through life with some conception, often subconscious, of what play is going on and what our part is in it. We may think of ourselves as citizens in a national play, scions in a dynastic play, businesspersons in a financial play and so forth. We strive sincerely to play our part well. And life seems fine … for some time. But then, things start going wrong. One by one, doors start closing on us. Perplexed, we ask ourselves: What is going on? What am I meant to do?
At the Bhagavad-gita’s start, Arjuna encountered similar frustration (01.30). The Gita explained to him that he hadn’t got his play right. He was a soul, an eternal part of God, meant to play a part in God’s plan. He didn’t have to reject his parts such as warrior or Kuru scion, but needed to subordinate them to his eternal part. Becoming illumined, Arjuna picked up his bow (18.78), ready to play his part as a warrior as a part of his part as a Krishna-devotee.
We are parts of a big play, an eternal play. Within it, we are also parts of several smaller plays in this lifetime. In these plays, dead ends may stymie us. But in the ultimate play, some door is always open – whatever our situation, we can always find a way to serve Krishna. To progress from perplexity to positivity, we need to remind ourselves of the big play. When we persevere in our eternal part, we gradually learn, by Krishna’s grace, how we can best play our parts in other plays.
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