02.15 – If we let all that happens matter, then we don’t let all that matters happen

by August 4, 2013

We sometimes make small things unnecessarily big. When we are on our way to office, unseasonal rains delay us and upset our schedule for the day. We get so irritated that when we finally reach the workplace we are drained – not as much by the inconvenience as by the irritation. Our depleted mental energy makes us underperform. What matters to us – good performance – doesn’t happen because we let all that happened matter.

Keep small things small  – that’s a central teaching of the Bhagavad-gita. The Gita (02.15) assures us that those who stay sober and undistracted amidst life’s joys and sorrows achieve eternal existence. We are souls on a multi-lifetime journey searching for beauty and joy in worldly things. Gita wisdom explains that all beauty and joy is found in its fullest and best in Krishna. This insight transforms our journey into a pilgrimage as we redirect our heart’s compass towards Krishna.

During this devotional journey, if we let our thoughts get caught up in life’s inevitable ups and downs, then we can’t think about Krishna or our service to him. Thereby we lose the opportunity to increase our devotion to him. And that is all that will matter at the end of our life.

From the perspective of eternity, the worldly things that excite or agitate us today won’t matter. If we let them matter too much emotionally, then we don’t let the supremely consequential matter of increasing our devotion happen. Our refusal to let dualities consume us emotionally helps us not only at the end of life but also throughout life. The resulting composure helps us respond less impulsively and more maturely, thereby contributing more and achieving more even during this life. And we also achieve Krishna at the end.


O best among men [Arjuna], the person who is not disturbed by happiness and distress and is steady in both is certainly eligible for liberation.

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