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Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Gita - A Manual for Living

I can almost hear you all thinking "Oh God!!! Now what!" on reading the title.

Don't worry, I am not going to preach The Gita. Well, at least not in its entirety.

Reading the Gita and its interpretations by ourselves can get pretty boring.

I have been interested in Gita's main philosophy, "Do your duty without expectations" since college - this was the topic given for an essay competition.

While my husband was posted in Madurai, I had the opportunity to attend Gita classes(conducted by Chinmaya Mission) for 3 years. And then, on and off for 2 years in Trichy.

There was this interesting thing happening whenever I attended a discourse - live or recorded.
No matter which sloka was dissected and analyzed on any given day, no matter which Swamiji was giving the discourse, there was always something said, that was a direct answer to a problem I had, or a gentle reminder, that I was being insufferably arrogant.

I have experienced this strange phenomenon time and again.

A case in point - the school I worked for in Trivandrum, organised a convocation for UKG students. I was asked to prepare the script for compering the entire programme and to train three 6th grade kids for the compering. I was also asked to write a short profile of each of the 150 kids in UKG. I gave the job my all!

The D-day arrived - and everything that could possibly go wrong did!

The auto I took broke down mid-way and I had to wait half an hour for another auto. One of the kids I had trained for the compering did not turn up. The other 2 kids misplaced the script and there were only 15 minutes left for the programme to begin. Luckily I had my rough draft, I begged a couple of other teachers to help and we got the script ready in time. The programme too, inspite of a couple of initial hitches, was a great success with the parents. The other KG teachers were all praise for me and so were the Principal and the co-ordinator.

During the staff meeting the next day, the Principal praised all the KG teachers, and naturally, I was expecting her to single me out for some extra praise. I even went as far as preparing a short speech to thank the teachers who went out of their way to help me. I was piqued when the principal did not even mention my name.

When I went home, I switched on the TV to watch a GITA discourse telecast by DD Podigai. (DD telecasts this programme Mon to Fri between 6.30 and 6.45 A.M and P.M.)

Guess what the day's discourse was about???

Do your job and do it well. But never think you by yourself are the only reason the job was well done.

That's hard. Isn't it? But that about sums up what I am trying to say. I won't go into further details. But this statement I felt, was especially meant to bring my arrogance down a notch or two.

Incidences (coincidences?) like these reinforce my belief in an omnipotent force out there constantly teaching us, how life should be lived.
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