Who is Prasad Rangnekar? I don’t know. He’s an Indian dude with wisdom to share. I’ve very much enjoyed two of his posts on elephant journal. The latest one (No Clarity, No Direction, No Problem), in particular, speaks to me, as holidays approach, and I have no plan 8 months after quitting my job (yikes). I am in perfectly fine spirits (we’re getting a dog! I have time for yoga, to cook, to sleep!), but boy oh boy do I want to do something. What? how?
Mr. Rangnekar calls this the “Arjuna syndrome”, these moments in our lives when the only thing the brain is filled with is confusion, frustration and dejection.
[Arjuna was a warrior/prince in the Bhagavad Gita. On the battlefield about to war with his own cousins, he is confused and filled with moral dilemma about fighting his family, who rule in tyranny over a disputed empire. His chariot driver, in the form of Lord Krishna, intercedes and drops some practical life tips for Arjuna in a concise explanation of Hindu and philosophy–telling Arjuna that he must follow his moral duty to uphold righteousness.]
Mr Rangnekar reminds us what Krishna’s eternal message to Arjuna was: “…The practice of detached action is the key to all round health of ailing Arjunas like us…[allowed to sink in through regular day to day practice]… Sri Krishna says “Yogastha Kuru Karmani” means, being rooted in Yoga keep doing your work. What means being rooted in yoga? It means being clear about your intent and focusing your mind, body, energy in direction of the intent…
…Krishna also mentions not to be attached to the fruits of our action (sangam tyaktva)….Gita says that the error is in the premise that fulfillment of desires can make a person happy…This is because the course of fulfilling desires is either an endless pit or has the ability to lead us in direction of self destruction….In order to renounce our attachment to something lower, we need to know what to drop and to attach ourselves to something higher. This higher could be God, nation, community, family or even the purity of the intent in itself….
…Over a period of time we keep widening the scope of our intent and thus the scope of work happening because of it. “Love” becomes the basis of action and not some paltry selfish pursuits…Reminds me of a beautiful saying of Swami Vivekananda, he said “Duty is seldom sweet. It is only when Love greases its wheels that it runs smoothly, it is otherwise continuous friction.”
I’m familiar with this philosophy. Wrote a paper about it in college. One major takeaway from my yoga teacher training was: the importance of discipline, a daily home practice. How many times must I be told, in how many different ways?
Daily practice. Intent. Non attachment. This will be my mantra for today.