By Vidagdha Madhav Das
In the game of life, obstacles are inevitable. During the Mahabharat, even the great warrior Arjuna felt like giving up. Sri Krishna, who was Arjuna’s life-coach, spoke the Bhagavad Gita to equip Arjuna with the right attitude to handle life’s challenges.
O son of Prtha, do not yield to this degrading impotence. It does not become you. Give up such petty weakness of heart and arise. —Bhagavad Gita 2.3
O son of Kunti, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed. —Bhagavad Gita 2.14
Don’t abandon the game discouraged by temporary setbacks, but do abandon worries about the outcome, because worrying sucks your enthusiasm.
You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty. Perform your duty equipoised, O Arjuna, abandoning all attachment to success or failure. Such equanimity is called yoga. —Bhagavad Gita 2.47-48
One who performs duty without ego, with great determination and enthusiasm, and without wavering in success or failure is said to be a worker of the highest calibre. —Bhagavad Gita 18.26
Don’t be distracted by the booing of the mind
The uncontrolled mind has a natural tendency to discourage you when you face obstacles. So always strive to control your mind.
One must deliver oneself with the help of one’s mind, and not degrade oneself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and an enemy as well. For one who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, the mind will remain the greatest enemy. —Bhagavad Gita 6.5-6
Turn to meditation, for meditation helps the mind to retrospect constructively, steers you clear from the spiral of unnecessary thoughts, and helps you keep your eyes focused on the ball.
Double-team with a strong and reliable player
The game of life doesn’t depend solely on you! (understanding this can be empowering)
O mighty-armed Arjuna, according to the Vedanta there are five causes for the accomplishment of all action. Now learn of these from Me. The place of action (the body), the performer, the various senses, the endeavour, and ultimately God—these are the five factors of action. Therefore one who thinks oneself the only doer, not considering the five factors, is certainly not very intelligent and cannot see things as they are. —Bhagavad Gita 18.13, 14, 16
The game can be won despite your short-comings and weaknesses, provided you double-team with another player — God.
O Arjuna, there is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread. —Bhagavad Gita 7.7
This material nature, which is one of My energies, is working under My direction, O Arjuna. —Bhagavad Gita 9.10
God isn’t just strong, but is also a reliable friend.
For one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am never lost, nor is he ever lost to Me.—Bhagavad Gita 6.30
If you become conscious of Me, you will pass over all the obstacles of conditioned life by My grace. If, however, you do not work in such consciousness but act through false ego, not hearing Me, you will be lost. —Bhagavad Gita 18.58
To double team with God means listening to God and aligning your desires with his, just like Arjuna did.
Arjuna said: My dear Krishna, O infallible one, my illusion is now gone. I have regained my memory by your mercy. I am now firm and free from doubt and am prepared to act according to your instructions. —Bhagavad Gita 18.73
So buck up, and continue with the game of life, understanding that God’s plans for you are far more powerful than your fears…