How dejection can inspire a spiritual connection

The Bhagavad-gita’s first chapter is often titled as arjuna-vishada-yoga, which means the spiritual connection (yoga) that was stimulated by Arjuna’s dejection (arjuna-vishada). 

How can dejection inspire a spiritual connection? To understand, let’s consider the content of the Gita’s first chapter. When Arjuna was about to fight the war for which he had been training his entire life, he felt that the costs of the war far exceeded its rewards. That thought left him disoriented (01.30) and paralyzed (01.46). When he realized that none of his arguments showed him a feasible way ahead (02.06), he sought spiritual wisdom submissively, earnestly, urgently (02.07). And thus the Gita was spoken, which equipped him with the insights and the practices for establishing his personal spiritual connection with the ultimate reality. 

What applied to Arjuna also applies to all of us. Dejection can provide us a forceful, even painful, prod to explore something beyond the material things that usually consume our consciousness. Why do we need such a prod? Because the world externally allures us with many mundane things and our mind internally pushes us toward similar things. This double pressure is usually irresistible. 

However, while we are pursuing worldly things, sometimes a huge reversal strikes us. We feel dejected — the path we have charted for our life seems to be a dead end. Giving us hope amid such times, the Gita’s first chapter shows that we don’t have to wallow in negativity; we can use that dejection to stimulate us for exploring something else, something more meaningful, something that resonates with our spirit. 

Just as Gita wisdom empowered Arjuna, it can empower us with resources to rise from dejection to spiritual absorption, energization and contribution.   

One-sentence summary:

Don’t let dejection paralyze us; let it stimulate us to develop our spiritual connection. 


Think it over:

  • How did Arjuna’s dejection lead him to a spiritual connection?
  • Why do we often need dejection to develop our spiritual connection?
  • Recollect a time when you felt dejected. How can the present you use Gita wisdom to guide that past dejected you? 


01.30: I am now unable to stand here any longer. I am forgetting myself, and my mind is reeling. I see only causes of misfortune.


Author: Chaitanya Charan

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