Those who judge a horse by its harness can’t harness its potential
When people want to get a horse, they look at the pedigree of the horse – not the quality of its harness. The harness’s quality may tell something about the horse’s present owner, but it doesn’t tell much about the horse per se. It may well be a thoroughbred circumstantially with an indigent owner. By seeing beyond the harness, discerning horse-buyers harness the horse’s latent potential.
A similar discerning attitude is recommended by Gita wisdom. The Gita begins with the fundamental injunction to look beyond the body, seeing it as an external dress, and focus on the real person – the soul, part of Krishna. The Bhagavad-gita (05.18) illustrates this enlightened vision through a dramatic example of spiritual equality – a vision that sees beyond the ethnic, ethical and educational differences that conventionally create rigid walls among people. In fact, this spiritual vision even breaks through the walls that separate humans and non-humans, seeing in all living beings a spark of spirit. That spark, Gita wisdom reminds us, is similar to the one that animates our bodies. Everyone has the capacity and deserves the opportunity for developing their full spiritual potential – a development that can enable them to manifest their dormant virtues and tap their latent abilities, thereby contributing to individual and social well-being.
This universal vision doesn’t restrict itself to passive observation, but extends to active inclusion. The Gita (05.25) mentions that such spiritual seers work for the welfare of all living beings, doing good for them according to their mentality to receive that good.
In a world torn by sectarian conflicts rooted in superficial differences, the Gita equips us to: see beyond externals to the spiritual potential of everyone; encourage them to harness that potential; and thus contribute to promoting social harmony and spiritual progress.
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