December 25 is Gita Jayanti, the anniversary of the communication of the Bhagavad Gita or Divine Song by Sri Krishna to Arjuna in the battlefield of Kurushetra, India, more than 5,000 years ago. The message of the Bhagavad Gita is relevant today as it shed light on so many social scenarios.
The clashing of Gita Jayanti with Christmas, Shiv Ratri with Carnival, Holika Dahan and Phagwa with Easter, is a call for Hindus to make the right choice and not fall prey to creolization which is a dead-end road.
“I know the garbage is not being collected on time but I cannot complain because the Mayor is my uncle,” said Daniel.
“I want to write for ICDN, but Dr. Paul Rajnath Singh said it is a racist paper,” said Rajkumar. “What is racist about it? I retorted.
“No…No… I know it not racist. I agree with the views expressed, but you know how it is!”
It is unfortunate how people put their selfish interests first and the many arguments they put forward to justify their position on issues. Dictatorship and corruption flourish in the world because too many opportunists have chosen to remain silent to secure their wellbeing.
The message of the Bhagavad Gita was delivered in a battlefield. Arjuna, the prince warrior, had to raise arms against his cousins, friends, elders, teachers, and all who were dear to him. He hesitated to fight but Sri Krishna urged him to fight them because they were in support of adharma or unrighteousness.
Arjuna provided a plethora of reasons why he should not fight and Sri Krishna told him that he was disillusioned to think about his enemies as relatives and that he would be killing them. He was reminded that the soul was eternal and cannot be killed. Arjuna was urged to fight for his own wellbeing as it was his duty to fight as a warrior.
Sri Krishna also assured him that when he fights, whether he wins or loses, he will bring good to himself, and if he did not fight he will bring shame to himself. “The world will laugh at you…the greatest warrior of the land fleeing the battlefield. It would bring ignominy to you and your forbears.”
Whatever position or duties we are charged with we must execute it to the best of our ability. It is only by performing our duty that we can discover our identity as a divine being. Numerous stories are told of individuals who achieved realization by performing their duty. There is the story of the young ascetic who came knocking at a house for alms. He felt that the householder was taking too long to attend to him and was fuming. When the lady of the house opened the door, she made the ascetic aware of his anger and all the thoughts passing through his mind and his past actions. He was stunned and bowed at the feet of the lady. Enquiring from the woman how she got such wisdom, she said that she took care of her ailing husband and attended to her household duties.
Too many are living like Dhritarastra, the blind king who had the power to stop the war. He could have laid down the rule to his sons but he was a doting father, always ready to fulfill every whim and fancy of his sons. Deep within he wanted to scold them, but he was impotent to do so. The result was the destruction of his entire clan and his rage and hurt were now directed to the victors.
The current state of the politics in Trinidad and Tobago is wanting. Too many are silent on the misconduct of this government. No one would have imagined that the Independent Senators would have abstained or voted for the Procurement Bill. Independent Senator Dr. Dillon-Remy voted for the Bill but the other eight Independent Senators abstained. Why neutrality when a Mahabharat is raging?
The Senate and more so the Independent Senators are irrelevant in this society. They are all compromised because their hands are in the cookie jar. Appointed by the President who is appointed by the ruling party, the Independent Senators have shown their colors-they understand where power lies and they are not ready to upset the status quo.
This society lack exemplars who have always sacrificed truth and righteousness for personal gains. Why should the Independent Senator go against the government? Don’t these men and women have to live and care for their families, maintain their mansions, travel in luxury vehicles, and provide their family members with trips abroad and extend invitations to their friends to cocktail parties at their homes?
When the monkey’s hand is full of nuts it becomes impossible to relinquish the jar and he is caught by the poacher. The monkey would now be trained and promoted to a domestic pet, and grow unaware of his past freedom. Playing his ‘monkey tricks” he would be fed on bananas and other goodies and reached a Ph.D. level in his little monkey world where nuts are valued more than freedom and dignity.