Resenting reversals locks us in ignorance, accepting reversals opens the door to transcendence
When things start going wrong, we often feel resentful: ‘Why is this happening to me? Why do things always go wrong with me? Why is life so unfair?”
Faced with reversals and the resulting resentment, we usually seek rational answers to make sense of things. But rational answers are often elusive — the workings of karma can be too complex to comprehend (Bhagavad-gita 04.17).
When resentment starts overwhelming us, we start sinking into the mode of ignorance. To accept one thing as everything is a perception in the mode of ignorance (18.22). To see the frustration of our plans as the frustration of our entire life is such a perception that locks us in ignorance.
What is the way out of the prison of such ignorance? Acceptance.
Acceptance becomes easier when we seek knowledge of transcendence from wisdom-texts such as the Gita. If we contemplate that we are indestructible souls existing above our situations and above our emotions, our consciousness expands beyond the threat of that reversal. Further, if we contemplate that our all-benevolent Lord Krishna is expert enough to bring good out of the bad, our consciousness expands further to look for some way forward amid the reversal: “Even if my plan isn’t working, Krishna’s plan is still working. Let me cooperate with his plan. Let me do whatever little I can to make things better, in a mood of service to him. Let me do his will.”
The Gita itself demonstrates how its wisdom empowered Arjuna with acceptance, thereby raising him from the perplexity of ignorance (02.06) to the clarity of transcendence (18.73). Similarly, the Gita stands ready to open the door to transcendence for all of us.
Think it over:
- Why is resentment a perception in the mode of ignorance?
- How can knowledge of transcendence increase our acceptance of reversals?
- Do you feel resentful about something right now? How can you use Gita wisdom to replace resentment with acceptance?
18.73 Arjuna said: My dear Krishna, O infallible one, my illusion is now gone. I have regained my memory by Your mercy. I am now firm and free from doubt and am prepared to act according to Your instructions.
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