04.42 – Why is the sword sleeping in the hand?
Imagine a medieval warrior with his hand on the sword by his side surrounded by marauders attacking innocent civilians and charging to strike him. If his hand on the sword stays motionless and if we happened to be there, we would most likely try to arouse him with the call: “Why is the sword sleeping in the hand?”
The realized teachers of Gita wisdom similarly arouse us with a call is to intellectual arms.
The Bhagavad-gita (4.42) compares its spiritual knowledge with a sword (jnana-asina) that can cut to pieces all worldly illusions and doubts. When we study the Gita, we acquire this sword, thereby becoming equipped to counter the onslaughts of illusions and doubts on common people as well as on ourselves. These onslaughts come in our times through the contemporary education and culture that aggressively spin fantasies about material pleasures, and relegate God to irrelevance, if not non-existence.
All of us have the power to fight these onslaughts; we just need to use the sword of Gita wisdom in two ways:
- Rigor in application: To the extent we are lazy in applying Gita wisdom in our own lives, to that extent we are like the warrior who lets the sword sleep while himself being under attack. When we apply the knowledge rigorously to cultivate sustained devotional remembrance of Krishna, we use the sword to unmask and repel the deceptive worldly propaganda.
- Vigor in outreach: To the extent we are lethargic in sharing Gita wisdom with others, to that extent we are like the warrior who lets his sword sleep while watching civilians being attacked. When we share the knowledge vigorously, we use the sword to save our fellow humans from being misled by illusions and doubts.
When we can do so much good for ourselves and for the world, why should we let the sword sleep any longer?