Don’t let the sword sleep in the hand
Suppose medieval warriors with their hands on the swords by their side were surrounded by marauders, who were attacking innocent civilians and charging to strike the warriors themselves. If their hands on the swords stayed motionless, the question would naturally arise: “Why is the sword sleeping in the hand?”
The realized teachers of Gita wisdom similarly arouse us with a call to intellectual arms. The Bhagavad-gita (04.42) compares its spiritual knowledge to a sword (jnana-asina) that can cut to pieces all worldly illusions and doubts. When we study the Gita, we acquire this sword to counter the onslaughts of illusions and doubts. These onslaughts come in our times through the contemporary culture that aggressively spins fantasies about material pleasures, and relegates God to irrelevance, if not non-existence.
All of us have the power to fight these onslaughts; we just need to use the sword of Gita wisdom in two ways:
- Rigor in application: To the extent we are lazy in applying Gita wisdom in our own lives, to that extent we are like the warriors under attack who let the sword sleep. When we apply the knowledge rigorously to cultivate sustained devotional remembrance of Krishna, we use the sword to unmask and repel the deceptive worldly propaganda.
- Vigor in outreach: To the extent we are lethargic in sharing Gita wisdom with others, to that extent we are like the warriors who let their swords sleep while watching civilians being attacked. When we share the knowledge vigorously, we use the sword to protect our fellow humans from being misled by illusions and doubts.
When we can do so much good for ourselves and for the world, why should we let the sword sleep any longer?
“Therefore the doubts which have arisen in your heart out of ignorance should be slashed by the weapon of knowledge. Armed with yoga, O Bharata, stand and ﬁght.”