Constancy of purpose often necessitates change of strategy
India dominated world hockey from the 1920s to the 1970s. Its success came from its wizard-like expertise in using the hockey stick. But after artificial turfs were introduced in the 1970s, success required strength and stamina more than stick wizardry. As India didn’t or couldn’t develop changed strategies to meet these new requirements, its position in world hockey soon declined from supremacy to mediocrity.
This example illustrates that achieving the same purpose – in this case, winning at hockey – sometimes requires adopting a changed strategy. This principle applies in spiritual life too, especially in making spiritual wisdom relevant and appealing for society.
The Bhagavad-gita reveals such resourcefulness when it expands Arjuna’s vision beyond the two strategies for spiritual growth known to him – the path of action, which he thought would keep him entangled; and the path of renunciation, which he thought would liberate him. Considering Arjuna’s context, he was poised to fight a war necessary for establishing dharma. Accordingly, Krishna harmonized spiritual strategy with dharmic necessity and introduced Arjuna to a third option: neither action, nor renunciation of action, but renunciation in action. The Bhagavad-gita (05.11) indicates that we can pursue purification and spiritual elevation by using all our resources, even our senses. The Gita’s thought-flow culminates in devotion, wherein absorption in the all-attractive Supreme Krishna is declared the best way for being renounced internally while performing action externally. Action with such devotional service attitude comprises the best way for both growing spiritually and contributing socially.
Applying this devotional spirit of inner renunciation and outer contribution, Gita exponents regularly devise strategies customized for their time-place-circumstance. For example, contemporary Gita teachers may use the latest social media to take spiritual wisdom to people’s homes and phones.
By similarly adopting tailor-made strategies, we can assist in fulfilling Krishna’s timeless purpose: sharing spiritual wisdom with everyone.
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