August 25, 2013

Don’t Play By the Rules.

Everyday Bhagavad-Gita: Rebel Yoga.

Verse 2.38: Do thou fight for the sake of fighting, without considering happiness or distress, loss or gain, victory or defeat — and by so doing you shall never incur sin.

We live in a world filled with duality.

It’s impossible to experience happiness without distress, or victory without defeat. In other words, to understand one thing, you need to understand the opposite. So what do we do?

Inevitably, we try to minimize the “bad” and maximize the possibility of getting the “good.”

However, Krishna is presenting something quite interesting here. He’s telling Arjuna, “Don’t play by the rules.” What rules is He referring to? Those that come attached with living in this world.

Did you know that yoga is all about not playing by the rules? Perhaps the rebel in you is rejoicing; I know my inner rebel does.

By acting in ways that increase the chances of us being “happy,” we are conforming to the rules of the material world. Instead, Krishna is informing Arjuna, “There is another option!” Instead of searching after happiness, and trying at all costs to avoid distress, Krishna presents the concept of balance.

Instead of thinking of oneself and the “happiness” or “distress” that will come according to the action we perform, Krishna is suggesting that Arjuna act for the sake of acting. Interesting concept, isn’t it? The message Krishna is sending is: Focus on doing the right thing, not on doing things right.

What happens as a result?

Instead of living for the future, you are forced to live in the present. Observe yourself the next time you are doing something. More often that not, when we act with the intention of getting a result “for me,” i.e., money, fame, happiness etc, our minds tend to jump automatically to that desired result. It becomes hard to focus on the task at hand. However, if we act for the sake of doing something properly, our mind doesn’t wander as much.

How is this balance, you ask? One could argue, “Isn’t this actually going in the complete opposite direction? You’re simply suggesting we give up all self-interest.” Not really. The complete opposite would be to simply not care at all which is not what balance is about. The motivation to act still remains, it’s just centered on performing the activity the best we can.

So go ahead and be a rebel! Take the opportunity to focus on doing the right thing, and not on doing things right.

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Editor: Thaddeus Haas


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Martha Orlando Aug 27, 2013 8:59am

Wonderful inspiration as always! Yes, we should focus on doing the right thing and not worry about doing it right. 🙂

Joe Sparks Aug 26, 2013 5:30am

Nice article! Each of us has available tou s, at every moment, accurate knowledge of what is the right thing to do at that moment, if we will examine our own logical, responsible thinking( which is always functioning at some level). We do know what is the right thing to do, always. We can always check on this knowledge and act accordingly. Thanks.

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Vrindavan Rao

Vrindavan 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 she had the opportunity to go to a Vedic College in Belgium and since 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. In addition, you can keep track of all the happenings of Everyday Bhagavad-Gita on Facebook and via Twitter.

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.