13.22: Processing the Raw Material of Reality into the Finished Product of Realization

by May 13, 2012

Life’s realities sometimes seem to slap us with pointless problems and senseless sufferings. To aid us in responding positively, Gita wisdom offers us an encouraging insight: the world is a school and the events of our life are integral parts of the curriculum.

The Gita shares this insight not as a nebulous sentiment, but as the key element of a coherent worldview that helps us understand systematically how life’s educational process works and what we need to do to learn.

When untoward events happen, many of us become paralyzed in our thinking and functioning by feelings of resentment. This resentment often becomes our primary obstacle in unleashing the learning potential of life-events. The Gita frees us from this resentment by pointing out Krishna’s benevolent role amidst life’s apparently malevolent events.

The Gita (13.22) states that Krishna as the Supersoul in our hearts oversees and permits whatever happens to us. We know that whatever happens to us is caused by our own past karma. This verse points out Krishna’s specific role in the unfolding of our karmic reactions: he is neither the active imposer nor the passive spectator. He is the proactive selector who ensures that those reactions come upon us in ways that educate and elevate us.

To accelerate our education, the Gita explains that Krishna aids us both externally and internally. Externally (15.15) through the Vedic scriptures he informs us about the overall direction and destination of the learning trajectory. And internally (10.10) through his indwelling presence he guides us about how we can enrich ourselves with realizations amidst specific life-events. Gita 10.10 also highlights what we need to do to progress along the learning trajectory: cultivate a loving attitude instead of the default grudging attitude.

When we thus take Krishna’s guidance in facing life, then every moment transforms into an enriching experience as we process the raw material of reality into the finished product of realization.

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