How to live amid danger

We often worry when visiting dangerous areas infested with terrorists or infected by pandemics. If fear overwhelms us, we can remember that we can never be totally safe – to be alive is to be in danger. In fact, the only people beyond danger are the dead people.

We constantly  face danger at various levels, from the physical to the national. At every moment, our body needs a sophisticated defense system to resist countless germs bent on killing us. Soldiers at the borders keep away various aggressors who can end our lives in a moment.

Contemplating how danger is an inescapable reality, we can be grateful that we are alive when life itself is so fragile and so many arrangements which we are not even conscious of help keep us alive. With this grateful attitude, we can be cautious without becoming paranoid. Otherwise, we will live filled with constant fearfulness and moroseness (Bhagavad-gita 18.35). 

Gita wisdom explains that the soul is beyond the various dangers that afflict the body. The biggest danger for the soul is to be consumed by bodily consciousness and to thereby lose the opportunity for spiritual awareness that life presents us. If we practice time-tested processes of yoga, we can expand our consciousness and realize our core indestructibility. When we are situated in that realization, even the greatest dangers won’t disturb us (Bhagavad-gita 06.22). That state of consciousness is life’s supreme achievement: the foundation of endless love and joy, With spiritual knowledge, we can move forward positively and purposefully in our life-journey toward making the best use of our life, for our and others’ good.

And we can all achieve that state by responding to danger proactively: not by shrinking in fear, but by moving purposefully in our spiritual journey.

One-sentence summary:

To be alive is to be in danger – be grateful for being alive, not fretful about being in danger.

Think it over:

  • How are we constantly in danger?
  • How can we see danger positively?
  • Which danger troubles you the most? How can you see it positively?

***

18.35: And that determination which cannot go beyond dreaming, fearfulness, lamentation, moroseness and illusion – such unintelligent determination, O son of Prutha, is in the mode of darkness.

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