What if I tell you that Bhagavad Gita is not only a religious text, but is the world’s first life guide? It was said that Bhagavad Gita has answers to all the questions in the world. Despite being thousands of years old, even today Gita is still relevant. So, can the youth of today, can learn something from the Bhagavad Gita? Is this still relevant and helpful?
Lesson 1: How You Can Be Like Arjun?
Students were usually very anxious before the exams and are scared and used to doubting themselves a lot. Even in Kurukshetra before the war began, Arjun was hesitant and he doubted his capability and their chances because he was facing Bhishma and his Guru Dronacharya. “He is my Guru whatever I have learned, I have learned from him so how can I be better than him in war? How can I defeat him on the battlefield?” Arjun had given up on himself before the battle.
Cracking competitive exams is quite difficult, we got a peek through series like Kota factory and Aspirants. A teacher who spends their lives teaching aspirants they’re also very capable to be in the profession they teach, but for some or other reason, their teachers end up as Dronacharya, not as Arjun. This idea often causes us to reflect on our Guru, the source of all of our knowledge. How can we ever hope to succeed if that Guru can’t pass a difficult exam? Perhaps the teacher couldn’t pass the CA final examinations.
Many teachers while explaining the importance of studies they keep drilling that “Passing is not that simple” and this thought sets very deeply in the student’s mind. Arjun has this crippling feeling as well. That’s when lord Krishna explains to him, no individual is above knowledge, Knowledge is the world’s biggest strength. Dronacharya was Arjun’s Guru, he had trained Arjun well and given him knowledge. But Arjun did not become the best archer in the world only Guru Dronacharya’s teachings. He devoted his life to knowledge; he considered knowledge to be a journey. Where people spend their lives running behind matristic pleasures. Arjun spent his life pursuing knowledge. These pursuits of knowledge made him very capable.
For students, studies are a training ground and knowledge prepares students for the war called an exam, where we have to not only face the questions on paper but also fight against all irrational questions our mind has. The weapon to fight both these is the same and that is knowledge, knowledge of the subject, and the knowledge of oneself. The combination of these two will help you become Arjun.
Lesson 2: How to Achieve Balance Life?
How to save yourself from distraction? Our world these days is filled with distractions. The phone we study on, during lockdown is the same phone filled with multiple distractions. How to get rid of a phone addiction? The Gita has an answer to this as well, Krishna says, we think that we are one individual, we are one consistent personality at all times, yet we possess three distinct attributes. Satvik, Rajasik, and Tamasik.
Tamasik means those habits and qualities which give us short-term pleasure but this pleasure gets stale very quickly. Many times, we know from within that these qualities are not good for us in the long term. Like Addiction, whether it is cigarette addiction, phone addiction, or video game addiction. If you notice, these things that give us happiness that happiness last for a short time. This happiness is not very sustainable. The second type of quality is Rajasik, these are things that we do for our entertainment or to become superior. The third quality is Satvik, these are things that are difficult for us to do. Waking up early every morning is difficult. Focusing during a boring lecture is difficult. Completing studies when an interesting match is on, is difficult, but because we take short-term pains, we get rewards in the long term.
The Gita tells us that we need to divide our habits into these 3 qualities: The first step is identifying yourself. Now this advice is quite simple and sounds very superficial do only Satvik deeds. But Gita tells us that we need to balance the 3 qualities. Our aim should be to reduce the Tamasik qualities we possess, but if we don’t succeed in this task, these habits end up being suppressed and we relapse.
The Gita tells us Doing Satvik tasks naturally gives us less pleasure so, we need to increase the pleasure we get from them. Make your studies a game. There is a concept called FLOW STATE. When the task that you are doing is too easy, you get bored. If the task that you have is extremely difficult, you give up on the task but if the task difficulty is in balance, it starts a chain reaction, and then you will not stop once you start. This is your FLOW STATE.
How will you achieve this flow state? Try to find that time of the day. When you are most productive. Find out what kind of a learner you are and do more of that Tamasik activities give you more pleasure, increase the pain you get from them make it difficult for you to access things, and Start giving negative associations to your bad habits. If you can’t eliminate them at least reduce them.
Lesson 3: How to Handle Failure?
Our education system teaches us everything but, how do we handle failure? If we get marks that are less than our expectations. How can we cope with it? The education system doesn’t teach us this vital skill. This is not only related to learning for schools, it is related to any kind of learning.
People think there is a direct relationship. The more effort you put in the better will be the result but this is not the truth. Some people are very good at maths, some find it very easy to learn new languages, and some can mug up stuff and get good marks. These people may get a good result with less effort but unfortunately, comparison always demoralizes us. The marks our friends get are more important that our marks. Are our friends ahead of us or behind us? Our families are generally more concerned with that.
Shri Krishna told Arjun, results don’t depend on your efforts alone, but they depend on many things that are not in your control so, don’t work only for a particular result. Work for the right reasons, and work hard because that is the way to move forward. Word because that is the right path.
It is a truth that a trader named God weighs out happiness and sadness for every one of us. Although we have no control over how much happiness and how much sadness we will experience today, can we just stop eating because the meal might not be as tasty? Not at all. Not every trying for the fear of a bad result is foolishness.
All this knowledge from the Bhagavad Gita has been teaching our kings the secrets of success and has given them lessons on how to deal with failure. Today, our youth can learn from the Gita that our future is defined by our actions, not by our circumstances, and get the fruits of our actions sometime or other.