Philosophy

What should we do with our Senses?

What should we do in this ‘materialistic’ world where sensual delights are alluring our minds all the time? Irresistible is money with its myriad avatars. A beauty-conscious world that scratches its head for days to make a nail tip beautiful is equally seductive. Tasty foods are aplenty and hard to ignore. Sensual pleasures are inviting and mocking our resistance. The mind is oscillating here and there and it seems to be at the edge of its surrender to these hyperactive senses. What should I do? Should I surrender or should I resist? Here we bow down to D. V.

Bhagavad-Gita in the Life of Krishna: The Nomadic Teenager

Krishna led a simple life, possibly due to his humble beginnings. While much has been made of his expensive clothes by latter day scholars, the texts don’t give any indication of it. His clothes were yellow in color (पीताम्बर) – perhaps he wore that as a contrast to his dark skin. His ornaments were minimal; he adorned himself with a garland of wild flowers and a peacock feather on his diadem.

Bhagavad-Gita in the Life of Krishna: The Polymath

Krishna grew up in Gokula with cowherds and was a true ‘son of the soil.’ From his earliest days, he developed a close connection with nature. He learnt to respect the environment even as a child. There is an episode in the Bhagavata Purana where he paid respect to the great Banyan tree (BP 10.22). He respected a tree, a cow, a human being. He respected the whole of creation. Even when he fought against the great snake Kaliya, Krishna didn’t kill him; instead he rehabilitated him (BP 10.16-17). He played the flute with great virtuosity.

Bhagavad-Gita in the Life of Krishna - Childhood

There are a few rare individuals who don’t have a ‘formative age’ – they seem to be born complete. They are born with wisdom. They don’t require an internal evolution, for they are already evolved. They don’t need any enhancements. Krishna is one such person. While Krishna’s childhood antics are described in detail, we don’t know his thought process during his early years. What we can see, however, is that right from the start he was one who embraced life with its ups and downs. He accepts life choicelessly; good and bad outcomes don’t bother him (BG 2.50).

Bhagavad-Gita in the Life of Krishna: Introduction

For many of us, Krishna is the epitome of sanatana dharma. His every thought, word, and action embodies the spirit of Hinduism. It is no surprise that his wartime counsel to Arjuna is revered as the greatest summary of Hindu thought. We can never be sure if Krishna spoke the exact words of the Bhagavad-Gita as we know it today, but it seems likely that at least the core message of the text was spoken by Krishna. We have all been in situations where a despondent friend has asked us for advice.