The Bhagvad Geeta defines who is a gyani (sage) as follows – “One who remains unattached under all conditions, and is neither delighted by good fortune nor dejected by tribulation, he is a sage with perfect knowledge.” It is very difficult to implement in life. The practical approach for trying is – “Pandemic has happened, we are in lockdown. This is our current reality. We cannot change it, isn’t it? What we can do now is detach ourselves from this reality and look at what can we do as a professional and as a person.” If we approach situations in this manner we can be Gyani in professional life – a saint in suit. Here is a very small example with me how I failed in it recently and learnt a lesson.
My recent experience
My daughter – Adviti – has been kind enough to teach me some lessons on a regular basis. She reminded me of a Shloka of Bhagvad Geeta – “who is a Gyani (sage)?” Recently we gave her a slate and chalk so that she can scribble some things on it. She is too young – 2 years only – to write something useful. So, to keep her entertained, I make caricatures, animals or some drawings. It is a slate; it needs cleaning to scribble something next time. I am a very terrible painter, this has been a learning experience for me how to make something worth its salt. Slowly,2 I started drawing things that at least have some resemblance to the original. Now, I have started making something which is of at least some value – or I feel it is so.
Initially it was ok for me, the drawings were awful and she was rubbing stuff. Yesterday I copied one of the drawings from her coloring book. I fell in love with that and as usual Adviti rubbed it clean. I tried to stop her, because I was very happy with the drawing. Probably for her there is no definition of beauty or ugliness. For her everything is equal. In fact there is a probability that the drawing I made was not worth it but I fell in love with it because I made it. So it was a lesson for me to let go and be equanimous in such situations. By the way, the picture on the side is about 2 month old, I make better drawing now 😀 😉
Who is a Gyani (sage)?
दु:खेष्वनुद्विग्नमना: सुखेषु विगतस्पृह: |
वीतरागभयक्रोध: स्थितधीर्मुनिरुच्यते || 56||
duḥkheṣhv-anudvigna-manāḥ sukheṣhu vigata-spṛihaḥ
vīta-rāga-bhaya-krodhaḥ sthita-dhīr munir uchyate
One whose mind remains undisturbed amidst misery, who does not crave for pleasure, and who is free from attachment, fear, and anger, is called a sage of steady wisdom.
य: सर्वत्रानभिस्नेहस्तत्तत्प्राप्य शुभाशुभम् |
नाभिनन्दति न द्वेष्टि तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता || 57||
yaḥ sarvatrānabhisnehas tat tat prāpya śhubhāśhubham
nābhinandati na dveṣhṭi tasya prajñā pratiṣhṭhitā
One who remains unattached under all conditions, and is neither delighted by good fortune nor dejected by tribulation, he is a sage with perfect knowledge.
I remember above shlokas of Bhagvad Geeta that she is effectively teaching me without even realizing. The lesson is “who is a Gyani (sage)?” I got too attached to the drawings – very trifling things – that would be gone over time. Whenever she wiped those I felt miserable, though I know these drawings are transitory.
It is easy to relate to the slate and scribbling. It becomes difficult to apply this wisdom to our daily life. In our daily lives we are attached to the “bigger things” be it our certificates, designations or possessions. It’d be good if we learn this lesson for our daily life.
Source – Bhagvat Geeta and the translation (Holy Bhagavad Gita).