Don’t point fingers – move fingers on prayer beads

Whenever we face problems, especially problems that we feel are caused by others, we point fingers at them.

However, different people see the same situation from hugely varying perspectives. So, even when someone’s culpability seems obvious to us, it doesn’t seem that way to others.

Even more problematically, pointing fingers makes us feel victimized and helpless. The more we point fingers at others and the more they deny culpability, the more our resentment and consequent misery increases.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that the culpable are to be always let off scot-free. Sometimes, especially when someone’s mistakes are grievous, they need to be disciplined – not just as retribution, but also to deter them, and others, from acting similarly. Such was the context in which the Gita exhorts Arjuna to punish the wicked Kauravas.

And yet the Gita complements that exhortation with a telling caveat: aversion to faultfinding characterizes the godly (16.02). How much more, than, does this caveat apply to us in our routine interactions with others when their infractions are minor and their intentions aren’t malicious.

Gita wisdom explains that when well-intentioned people uncharacteristically hurt us, they may be functioning as unwitting instruments of our own karma. If giving them the consequences of their actions is not our dharma, then we will do well to let the infractions pass and focus on our own spiritual evolution.

The best way to focus thus is by cultivating devotion for our all-attractive Lord, Krishna. Devotion gives us the most fulfilling object for contemplation, thus offering us a healthier, happier alternative to choking in resentment.

So, when faced with problems, we can replace our default pointing fingers at others with conscientious moving of our fingers on our prayer beads. By thus connecting with Krishna, we can outgrow resentment and respond to the problem wisely.

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