Do we need to lose our way to find our way?
Life sometimes brings us to a dead end. In the face of overwhelming obstacles, everything seems lost. Not knowing where to go or what to do, we feel as if we have lost our way completely.
This was Arjuna’s predicament at the start of the Bhagavad-gita (02.08). He felt that all the much-touted goals of life – attaining an unrivaled kingdom on earth or even residence on the heavenly planets – were futile. They would bring him no joy or even relief in the face of the ominous emptiness that awaited him ahead. This utter disorientation made him not just receptive but desperate to receive Gita wisdom and thereby find his true way– the way of devotional activism for his and everyone’s well-being.
That way is not just Arjuna’s way but everyone’s way. We are not material bodies meant for uncertain, temporary enjoyment followed by certain, permanent extinction. We are eternal souls meant for everlasting happiness. To progress along the way towards that happiness, we need to use worldly things not for our own material pleasure but for Krishna’s service. Arjuna continued as a prince, but by devotionally utilizing his royal power, he attained not just temporary material prosperity but also eternal spiritual prosperity.
To find our true way as did Arjuna, we need to lose our false way, our preconceptions about becoming happy through material prosperity.
Thankfully though, we can lose those preconceptions without having to meet a devastating dead-end in our material life. Gita wisdom can help us to foresee this dead-end. It also makes comprehensible and accessible the devotional way of living. By choosing that way, we can live for Krishna here so that we can live similarly forever– for our own deepest fulfillment and for the highest service to others.
“I can find no means to drive away this grief which is drying up my senses. I will not be able to dispel it even if I win a prosperous, unrivaled kingdom on earth with sovereignty like the demigods in heaven.”