01.29 – Might our worst fear point to our best hope?
All of us have our worst fear about how things may go totally wrong. Little do we realize that this fear may point to our best hope. The Bhagavad-gita illustrates this remarkable trajectory through the example of Arjuna.
For that noble prince, the prospect of fighting against his relatives, especially his venerable elders like grandfather Bhishma and teacher Drona, was like his worst fear come true. This is evident in the Bhagavad-gita (01.29) where Arjuna describes how his whole body is trembling, his hair is standing, his bow is slipping and his skin is burning – all symptoms of an emotional breakdown caused by fear.
This breakdown impelled Arjuna to wholeheartedly seek deeper insights. Gita wisdom freed him from the misconception of identifying his relatives with their material bodies and situated him in devotional service to Krishna. As devotional service is the easiest way to attain eternal ecstatic life, it is the best hope for all living beings. Thus Arjuna’s worst fear served as the necessary impetus for his discovery of his best hope.
The same fear-to-hope trajectory beckons all of us. By using the spectacles of Gita wisdom to scrutinize our worst fear, we can find the underlying misconception. Then we can research the specific aspect of Gita wisdom that addresses our misconception. By discovering, contemplating and internalizing that wisdom nugget, we can free ourselves from that misconception. This freedom will not only relieve us of our worst fear. It will also comprise tangible, transformational realization of the relevancy and potency of Gita wisdom. This realization will increase our faith in the Gita’s conclusive teaching of devotional service, which is our best hope for attaining life’s greatest achievement: immortal joyful life with Krishna.
Thus can Gita wisdom take us from our worst fear to our best hope.