Chakra Living

The Gita helped me think more deeply

by Subhadra-mayi dasi

Posted November 26, 2003

The Bhagavad-gita only came very recently into my life, even though I had lived in temples for almost ten years. Being outside the institution the last three years has led me finally to the Gita. It's the Gita's teachings that has made me move out of the institution in the first place.

Sounds strange? Not to me. Bhagavad-gita was always with me and my time in ISKCON has been a big fight against the currents of how the institution interprets the teachings and how I read the book.

My reading taught me the importance of contemplation, of being thoughtful, although being independently thoughtful may be a more correct term.

It took me all those years to realise that, in order to do so, my only choice was to move out. Not bitter nor with any resentment at all, because everything happening around me gave me the maturity and the crystal-clear understanding of what my choices were.

Bhagavad-gita has also been my best friend, in showing me that being 'disobedient' to the institution doesn't mean being disobedient to Krishna. It has nothing to do with it; the front cover of the book itself showed me that. After all, Arjuna was standing there pretty much on his own, a huge army of his former friends and relatives on one side, ready to send him to the eternal hunting fields. Krishna was there too with His teachings right next to him. If one stops looking at the enemies he faced, on the other side there are a whole lot of people there to his aid.

That picture alone is very much like my life. At one point I thought ISKCON was my only family, until I found what Krishna wants from me and my former family members stood together in an army against me. Suddenly I was all wrong because I didn't follow the herd. But still, like Arjuna, I had Krishna's teachings right with me and, looking around me further, I saw another army, standing at my assistance to help me fulfil Krishna's instructions. Just this alone I learned from the front cover.

How much more I learned when I opened the book with that new perspective! So yes, Bhagavad-gita has saved me too. It saved me from thinking that just sticking around, putting in a few hours work, wearing sari, tilak and neckbeads will result in my becoming a devotee. Instead the Gita has pushed me to live a life of contemplation, while facing a war and battlefield, i.e., my life. Indeed, this book has saved me, is still saving me and will continue to save me day after day, as long as I allow it.