Life is a mystery which boggles everyone. It seems that we are travelling in the boat of life and navigating ourselves. Sometimes it is a smooth ride and sometimes we encounter severe storms, and whirling waters of sorrow, success, failures, and disappointments.
How do we look at our life? How should we live it?
Here is a way. We all know that our life is based on our past karmas, and our strong desires. To fulfil these it seems that God prepares a script for all of us. There are a number of things we have no control over. The family in which we are born, country, and surroundings, are predetermined. People who become our close relatives, and associates too are pre-planned. They come in our life due to their and our past karmas. Let us consider ourselves as actors participating in a drama staged by the great producer/director God. Just as in a drama, or a movie, people come on the stage and perform their roles, we too must perform to the best of our ability, in order to please God.
How can we do this? Here’s how.
Accept everything beyond our control as God given – good and bad both. It means that we should not regret, criticise, blame, or resent people or situations. God certainly does not wish us to suffer. We ourselves are responsible and we have selected this role due to our past karmas.
We should accept our family members – spouse, parents, and children as they are. We should also accept our friends, associates, employers, and employees. Some of them may misbehave or be ungrateful but they come in our life due to their and our past karmas. We have to play the role as it is supposed to be _ without getting affected in any way since it is a drama!
In dramas and movies, there are villains who create mischief and troubles. In our real life drama too, the same thing happens sometimes. Accept them as unavoidable. We have to take strong actions, admonish people, get angry and even threaten them. This is necessary and a part of our job – as an actor. However in our heart, let there be no anger, resentment, or vengeance because it will create further karmas to be dealt with in another birth.
A person plays multiple roles at home and workplace. He should consider all these roles as God-given and perform them well, with his head and heart put together in each role. Let him realise that the Great Director is watching him and will reward him.
It is also necessary to understand that ultimately everything belongs to God. Nothing belongs to us. After our job is over we have to leave everything here.
It is important that we enjoy whatever we like – good food, drinks, music, movies, sight-seeing and travelling. We should laugh and make merry, remembering that this is again a creation of God. However, there is one difference in real drama and God’s drama. In real drama, every word, every sentence and act is predetermined. In God’s drama you have the liberty to change the script. It is not absolutely fixed. A person born in a poor family need not remain poor for the whole life. He can become rich with his own hard work.
This approach will help immensely in many ways. We will get rid of most of our negative feelings of anger, resentment, worry, fear, and hatred and usher in greater freedom, peace and relaxation unknown to us. Our efficiency will increase manifold. Our selfishness and ego will be reduced considerably. In the spiritual field, it will be a great leap forward. It is well known that our attachment to worldly possessions slows down our spiritual progress. In fact it may create hurdles. With detachment, our progress in our sadhana, and spiritual attainment will be excellent. We can have the best of both worlds – mundane and spiritual!
This is the path of karma yoga as explained in the Bhagavad Gita. When Arjuna was hesitating to fight for a righteous cause, unwilling to kill many people, Krishna said that he had already killed them (because of their past karmas). Arjun was to be only an instrument, an actor participating in the drama. Let us play the role given to us efficiently with dedication and with righteousness.
By AS Dandekar, Mumbai
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