Focus not on the wrongdoer; focus on the ultimate doer
When somebody treats us unfairly and hurtfully, we naturally feel angry, even vengeful. But such an attitude traps us in negativity, whereby we hurt ourselves more than anyone else.
To break free from such self-sabotaging negativity, Gita wisdom recommends that we focus not on the wrongdoer, but on the ultimate doer. The ultimate doer is Krishna, whose overarching plan is for everyone’s all-round well-being. By acting in a mood of service to him, we can assist in furthering his plan. Additionally and much more significantly for our context, he is expert enough to further his plan even through wrongdoer’s misdeeds, provided we focus on our right deeds: on striving to serve Krishna devotionally.
This mood is demonstrated by the Pandavas in the Mahabharata. They underwent horrendous atrocities: attempts were made on their life through poisoning and arson; they were defrauded of all their wealth; and their wife was publically dishonored. Even after subjecting them to such pain, their tormenter, Duryodhana, was neither remorseful nor conciliatory. His brazenness made war inevitable.
In the ensuing war, the Pandavas fought vigorously, but not vindictively. Guiding them towards such a mood, the Gita (11.33) urges Arjuna to fight, but only as an instrument of the divine. This mood is explicated later in the same chapter (11.55): those who work without any animosity towards others attain Krishna.
Therefore, instead of obsessing over wrongdoers, we can lift our vision to the ultimate doer and pray for guidance, “Krishna, what are you trying to teach me through this? How do you want me to serve you in this situation? Right now, how can I take a positive step ahead?”
By such a prayerful attitude, we will discover invaluable lessons, develop divine virtues and deepen our transcendental devotion, thereby growing towards a life of eternal love with Krishna.
Think it over:
- What is wrong with focusing on wrongdoers?
- Krishna is the ultimate doer – what does this mean?
- How can we focus on the ultimate doer?
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