Living resentfully is like driving with the brake pressed

Suppose we see someone pressing the brake of their car and also trying to drive the car ahead. We will consider their actions absurd.

Sadly, we ourselves succumb to a similar absurdity. When things go wrong, we become resentful, asking “Why did this happen?” Like a car wheel moving noisily at the same place, our mind moves round and round this question, leaving us tormented and frustrated.

As long as we hold on to the resentment, we waste enormous amounts of emotion and energy, being unable to think clearly or act constructively. The Bhagavad-gita (18.35) identifies such self-destructive thought-patterns as perverse determination in the mode of ignorance. Thus understanding the pointlessness of resentment, we can get the intellectual impetus to let go of it.

To more effectively let go the resentment, we need to shift our focus from the situation to Krishna. Gita wisdom explains that Krishna is the Lord of everything – he can bring good even out of the bad, as illustrated in the Mahabharata.

When Abhimanyu was killed brutally, Arjuna felt furiously resentful, lashing out at his own brothers for failing to protect his son. But then, by Krishna’s consoling, comforting counseling, he let go of his resentment – and redirected his emotion towards bringing down the manipulative warrior who had caused the death of Abhimanyu. With Krishna’s guidance, Arjuna fought so heroically the next day that he won one of the biggest battles of his life.

Similarly, when we devotionally let go of resentment, our energy will break free, enabling us to act constructively in a mood of service to Krishna. And he will guide us to progress prudently for bringing good out of the bad.

When we thus focus not on the frustrating situation but on Krishna’s transcendental benevolence, we stop feeling resentful, and our actions become fruitful.

Think it over:

  • How does resentment make us drive with the brake pressed?
  • How can bhakti wisdom help us overcome resentment?
  • How did Arjuna channel his emotion constructively?

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Our abilities are our endowments, not our entitlements
Humility learns even from success; pride, not even from failure
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