Don’t stay crying in the night – start crying for the light
A child lost in a strange dark place may start crying helplessly, but an adult similarly lost will instead of collapsing into tears look for light.
We are all lost in the darkness of material existence, being unaware of our true identity or our ultimate destiny. Society assigns us some roles and some goals, which we dutifully pursue. But sometimes life’s perplexities expose the superficiality, indeed the futility, of such socially-assigned roles and goals – and we realize that we are lost in utter darkness.
Such was the predicament of Arjuna at the Bhagavad-gita’s start. Faced with a fratricidal war, he saw no way ahead – everything seemed inauspicious (01.30); and nothing, not even victory, seemed capable of offering relief (02.05). He found himself lost in devastating darkness. Though his eyes filled with tears, he soon started crying for light by seeking the counsel of Krishna (02.07). Arjuna’s question about life’s defining purpose, dharma, was no casual query; it was the desperate call of a soul seeking light amidst metaphysical darkness. In response to that existential cry emerged the wisdom of the Gita, wisdom that illumined not just Arjuna but the entire world for all time to come.
When life perplexes us, most people stay crying in the darkness of delusion and indecision. Some philosophers rationalize their crying by propagating atheism, cynicism, nihilism – all philosophies of meaninglessness; all childish ways of responding to darkness.
The Gita demonstrates the way to a more mature and fruitful response. When perplexed, we can cry for light by turning to the supreme counselor internally and externally: internally by prayer and meditation, and externally by consulting Krishna’s representatives. When we strive to thus elevate ourselves in Krishna consciousness, that elevated consciousness will help us gradually see the light of timeless wisdom shown in timely guidance.
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