Don’t Be Afraid. ~ Vrindavan Rao

Via elephant journal
on Apr 1, 2013
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ang fear

Everyday Bhagavad-Gita: Fear.

Verse 1.29: My whole body is trembling, my hair is standing on end, my bow Gandiva is slipping from my hand, and my skin is burning.

 Your pulse begins to race, your mind spins and before you know it, you’re gripped in it’s clutches: Fear.

The reason fear arises is due to our identification with the material world. In particular, the material body. That’s right, that prized possession of yours which you decorate everyday and identify as your “self” is the cause of fear. It actually makes sense if you stop and think about it. Every single thing we are afraid has some connection with our body. Whether it be direct physical harm to our bodies, a wrong perception of our body, or the bodies of those who are close to our body, etc.

As a result of that fear, our bodies exhibit their fearful conditions in many ways. And, as most of us have experienced, there’s no way to prevent this from happening, just as the presence of heat in the body results in redness.

And, although many self-help “experts” and persons claim to have tricks for overcoming fear, they can’t claim to eradicate it completely. Why?

Because they are all presenting material solutions.478px-Albert_Einstein_Head_Cleaned_N_Cropped

Albert Einstein once said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Similarly, fear is a problem we have due to our identification with the material, e.g., our bodies. Hence, trying to overcome fear while identifying with the body is an futile attempt to solve a material problem on the material platform.

Guess what? It can’t be done!

Spiritual intelligence and knowledge is the only real solution.

This is the gift the Gita bestows upon the eager and sincere reader. It gives us the knowledge and evidence that we are not this body; instead we are spiritual beings having a material experience and part of that material experience is having a material body which is a cause of so many of our problems.

And so, if we can actually realize the teachings of the Gita and put them into practice, then we are pulled out of our illusions. We gain a new perspective and more importantly, come to perceive our true identity and the crux of our existence:

Material identification is what binds us and causes us to suffer and the Gita provides us a way out.


Vrindavan RaoVrindavan Rao was born into the bhakti tradition and grew up enveloped in it. However, her personal discovery of the bhakti path began in 2004 when had the opportunity to go to a Vedic College in Belgium and from that time she has embraced it completely. Her love for travel has given her the opportunity to study Vedic texts, such as the Bhagavad-gita, in places such as India, Canada, Belgium, Ukraine and the United States under the guidance of several advanced practitioners. She especially loves the Gita and refers to it as her “Guidebook for Life” since it contains practical answers for complicated questions and is currently writing a daily blog on every verse of the Gita.

Her background is in science and she not only has a Bacherlor’s degree in Biochemistry, but also a Masters in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology. In her free time she loves to write, read, give presentations, sing and work out.

Editor: Thaddeus Haas

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17 Responses to “Don’t Be Afraid. ~ Vrindavan Rao”

  1. Dangerous Linda says:

    i agree with you that fear comes from identification with the body. i do not agree with you that 'all self help experts are presenting material solutions.' i am a self help expert, of sorts, and i offer spiritual solutions to every day challenges such as fear 😉

  2. Vrindavan says:

    Hi Linda! Fair enough….I should change that to "most"! 🙂 Wonderful to hear that you are offering spiritual solutions. We need spiritual solutions to answer material problems.

  3. galenpearl says:

    I am reading the Bhagavad-Gita for the first time from start to finish. I think for an English speaker, the translation is key. It is so poetic and beautiful. And universal. Thanks for your insights.

  4. Vrindavan says:

    That's amazing Galen! Yes, the translation is key. Are you reading the Bhagavad Gita- As It Is, as translated by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada? In my opinion, it is the most complete and authentic.

  5. galenpearl says:

    Oh, good! That is exactly the one I'm reading! I'm happy to have your endorsement.

  6. Suzy says:

    I so agree that spiritual intelligence and knowledge is the only real solution.
    Each time the fear comes through these words bring me comfort "Hoi hai vahi jo Ram rachi rakha, ko kare tarak badahaye sakha" (Whatever happens is willed by the Lord, he who dwells on his misery, unnecessarily increases it)

  7. Vrindavan_Rao says:

    That's beautiful Suzy! Thanks so much for sharing. What you say is so true. By spiritual knowledge one starts to realize that everything serves to teach us a lesson to help us grow spiritually and by remembering the Lord, one can automatically overcome any kind of fear.

  8. James Carpenter says:

    Vrindavan, thanks for sharing this. Lately, I've been thinking a lot about how, in almost any situation, there is some sense of what I should do (it's usually a whisper), but I usually ignore it and go on my merry way, body-self obsessed and all that. This was a very beautiful piece, and I think I might dust off my Gita because of it! Thank you.

  9. patrickoscheen says:

    I try to listen to the spirit inside. this is a wonderful expression of your heart and talent!

  10. harikirtana says:

    When we ask ourselves "why am I afraid?" and follow the trail to the end we find that all fears ultimately roll back to fear of death: an experience that is the exclusive province of material bodies. And, since psychology as it's currently studied, taught, and practiced, even within new age and modern yoga community contexts, is based on the assumption of consciousness as a product of matter, we are not likely to receive much meaningful help from coaches and counselors who buy into that paradigm. Thanks for highlighting the fact that the Gita's arguments are based on an unconventional premise and, consequently, offer us a different kind of thinking from that which created our propensity for fearfulness. Always a pleasure to read your entries, Vrindavan.

  11. Jessica says:

    Loved the quote by Einstein and the message of this post. When we stop and consider that we are spiritual beings in a material world then the truths in your post become so apparent. We'll never find peace or happiness using material solutions to fill the emptiness , pain , fear or other emotions and thoughts that can sometimes freeze up our joy and sense of purpose and are symptoms of the illusions that bind us from seeing things as they are.

    Your mention of spiritual knowledge being the solution reminded me of these words from Srila Prabhupada in his purport for 4.38 of the Bhagavad Gita:

    " Ignorance is the cause of our bondage, and knowledge is the cause of our liberation. This knowledge is the mature fruit of devotional service, and when one is situated in transcendental knowledge, he need not search for peace elsewhere."

    Another Great post! 🙂

  12. Vrindavan_Rao says:

    Thanks so much James! It's so true that all of us have a sense of what we need to do, but often we ignore it. I love how the Gita highlights that and teaches us the path by which we can realize who we really are (i.e. the soul) again. So happy if this inspired you in any way to dust off your Gita!

  13. Vrindavan_Rao says:

    Thank you so much Patrick! Words to live by- listen to the spirit inside. 😀

  14. Vrindavan_Rao says:

    Thanks so much Hari Kirtana! You hit the nail on the head- bhakti texts (like the Gita) are based on the spiritual and not the material perceptions and paradigms that we've adopted. The greatest thing we can learn from bhakti is that material problems require spiritual solutions. Therefore, like you say – there's a wealth of wisdom and help we can derive from the Gita. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and add your insightful comments.

  15. Vrindavan_Rao says:

    Thank you for sharing that beautiful section from the purport of 4.38 Jessica! I really like what you said – just by stopping and reflecting one can easily realize that material solutions at best are temporary. Our challenge is that we don't even realize that those solutions are temporary and therefore keep turning to them even though they never measure up. The Gita is so amazing because it not only takes those challenges we face into account, but it gradually enlightens one as to our original nature (that of being an eternal spirit soul) and offers us a solution as to how we can always feel satisfied and happy! Sounds like a great solution to me! 😀

  16. Here is an article, Galen, that reveals a bit more into the benefits of finding the translation that speaks to you the most:

  17. galenpearl says:

    Thanks, Catherine! I'll take a look. And thanks Vrindavan for the additional information.