DEALING WITH ADVERSITIES: BHAGAVAD GITA HAS ANSWERS

DEALING WITH ADVERSITIES: BHAGAVAD GITA HAS ANSWERS

SHAGUN BHUSHAN

Misfortune is a part of life

Adversities and setbacks are as much a part of life as are our victories and achievements. Untimely loss of a loved one can cause the worst misery; unemployment and financial strain lead to a great deal of distress; feud with family members or friends, too, is unfortunate; losing one’s fortune at the hands of some fraudster can be heart-breaking; loss of limb or a faculty in an accident is a horrible misfortune—the list goes on.

In today’s world with the worldwide Coronavirus death toll reaching a whopping 41.4 lakh and counting, human misery due to the pandemic seems never-ending. More so for the ones who are left behind to grieve. There are businesses that are totally ruined, people who have suffered job losses and salary cuts, and people who have faced despair and hopelessness ̶ leading to depression.

Dealing with distress

It is also true that different people adopt different ways to deal with their sorrow. Some tend to get so overwhelmed by their adversities that they lose all ability and will-power to fight it, wallow in self-pity, and declare themselves to be defeated. Some try and drown their worries in some form of an addiction. Some others blame the Almighty or their family or even the entire cosmos for their misfortune and remain angry for the rest of their life. 

But we know that none of these approaches work. So what is the ideal way to deal with adversity? What kind of an attitude would be considered best that would help the people to face their distress, survive the circumstances, and emerge unscathed and stronger. The Bhagavad Gita shows the way here too, just as it has answers to all the questions faced by humanity.

Bhagavad Gita shows the way

īśhvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛid-deśhe ‘rjuna tiṣhṭhati

bhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāni yantrārūḍhāni māyayā (Chapter 18, verse 61)

The Supreme Lord dwells in the hearts of all living beings, O Arjun. According to their karmas, he directs the wanderings of the souls, who are seated on a machine made of the material energy.

When Arjuna beseeches Sri Krishna about his confusions about why wars had to be fought and blood to be shed; Krishna gave him a very simple explanation. He told Arjuna that the Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart and is directing the happenings of all living beings. This would imply that nothing happens without a reason and the will of the Almighty is behind all that happens; be it good or bad. 

Krishna explains that he himself sits in the heart of every living being. The soul changes bodies and forgets but the super-soul as witness of the past, present, and future activities, remains forever. This means that people who confront ill-luck and adversities in life face them for a reason. They are destined to face these. 

It is then up to the individuals themselves to make the most of the situation ̶ either drown in self pity and sorrow and let the problem take over your life; or make the most of it and emerge as a winner. The living entity gets what he deserves based on his karma, under the supervision of the super-soul. The living entity has to work under the control of the Lord. Therefore one’s duty is to surrender completely to the Lord’s wishes. The Supreme godhead who resides in every heart will relieve the being of all miseries of the material world. 

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