‘Need of the hour: Intellectually strong individuals’

Today, we see conflict everywhere. Instead of promoting a sense of unity and belongingness, religion is becoming the cause of division and discord.

Published: 09th November 2019 02:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th November 2019 10:09 AM   |  A+A-

Participants attending the first day of the discourse on Thursday | S SeNBAGAPANDIYAN

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Today, we see conflict everywhere. Instead of promoting a sense of unity and belongingness, religion is becoming the cause of division and discord. Human beings seem to be absorbed with getting ahead in the ‘rat race’, no matter the consequences. Why are we facing so many issues today? We call ourselves a civilised race, but where is our tolerance and humanity?

“Bhagavad Gita is a practical and scientific treatise. Our mission is to take the knowledge of The Gita to the youth, which is why we are holding these events,” says Sunandaji, daughter-disciple of Swami Parthasarathy, who is facilitating a four-day discourse on chapter 13 of the Bhagavad Gita, titled, ‘Nature, the Enjoyer, and Consciousness’. Organised by Vedanta Institute Hyderabad, the seminar is being held at Visvesvaraya Bhavan, Khairatabad, and ends tomorrow.

“The sun rises, day turns to night, seasons roll, and nature seems to be in perfect harmony. The question arises, who is responsible for all this? There must be some power beyond our immediate cognition that must be responsible. Take away your religion, caste, creed, your designation, standing in society, and other labels. Beneath all that, who are you? There is only one truth, one reality. That is what The Gita aims to address, especially chapter 13,” adds Sunandaji.

On the difference between intelligence and intellect, she points out, “Mere intelligence is not sufficient to lead a fulfilling life. We have intelligence, but not intellect. The rich seem to have everything but happiness. Developing intellect is crucial. With intellect, you can handle any challenge life throws at you. The knowledge of The Gita helps us overcome challenges.”

Swami Rama Tirtha, who was a contemporary of Swami Vivekananda, was once asked by a person on the meaning of ‘rest’ during his United States tour. The Swami replied, ‘Intense work is rest’. People today are on the verge of burn out, either from studies or work. Why do we eagerly wait for the weekend so we can ‘relax’? Why do we use the word ‘Monday morning blues’? Why do we get stressed at work? “For me, I don’t have a weekend. Every day is a working day, which I look forward to. If you love your work, there is no such thing as stress,” avers Sunandaji.

On students who fail in exams and get depressed, she says, “You can’t run before you crawl. A student must find his/her natural inclination and not be forced to take a course based on family or peer pressure. Once you have chosen your ‘swadharma’, stay focussed on the goal and don’t let your mind distract you. Taking drugs and getting addicted to tobacco and alcohol simply means that the mind is not under control of the intellect and has gone astray.”

Our present generation is mostly focussed on aping Western culture. Is spiritualism in India losing its appeal? Sunandaji believes all is not lost yet. “India is the land of spirituality. Our knowledge has survived for thousands of years. The nucleus remains intact. Yes, there will be a section of society enamoured by materialism. This is only a temporary phase, and spiritualism will gradually find more acceptance among the masses, provided people are made aware of it through workshops and seminars,” she informs, before signing off.

Annual discourses on The Bhagavad Gita, starting from chapter 2 till chapter 18, are organised by Vedanta at different locations in the country. Vedanta Institute Hyderabad trustees Jayashankar Krishnamurthy and Anandhi Jayashankar say the organisation also holds free study classes on The Bhagavad Gita during weekdays and weekends. For details, visit www.vedantahyderabad.org

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