Leadership Lessons from the Bhagavad Gita #42 – De-clutter

Chapter 2, Verses 68, 69, 70.

तस्माद्यस्य महाबाहो निगृहीतानि सर्वश: |
इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेभ्यस्तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता || 68||

tasmād yasya mahā-bāho nigṛihītāni sarvaśhaḥ
indriyāṇīndriyārthebhyas tasya prajñā pratiṣhṭhitā

Translation : Therefore, one who has restrained the senses from their objects, O mighty armed Arjun, is firmly established in transcendental knowledge.

या निशा सर्वभूतानां तस्यां जागर्ति संयमी |
यस्यां जाग्रति भूतानि सा निशा पश्यतो मुने: || 69||

yā niśhā sarva-bhūtānāṁ tasyāṁ jāgarti sanyamī
yasyāṁ jāgrati bhūtāni sā niśhā paśhyato muneḥ

Translation : What all beings consider as day is the night of ignorance for the wise, and what all creatures see as night is the day for the introspective sage.

समुद्रमाप: प्रविशन्ति यद्वत् |
तद्वत्कामा यं प्रविशन्ति सर्वे
स शान्तिमाप्नोति न कामकामी || 70||

āpūryamāṇam achala-pratiṣhṭhaṁ
samudram āpaḥ praviśhanti yadvat
tadvat kāmā yaṁ praviśhanti sarve
sa śhāntim āpnoti na kāma-kāmī

Translation – Just as the ocean remains undisturbed by the incessant flow of waters from rivers merging into it, likewise the sage who is unmoved despite the flow of desirable objects all around him attains peace, and not the person who strives to satisfy desires.

The link to the above verse is – https://www.holy-bhagavad-gita.org/chapter/2/verse/70.

My interpretation – The most interesting part of the Bhagavad Gita is, there is no talk of renunciation !! The emphasis is on doing one’s dharma (can be interpreted as pursuing your purpose) and while living amongst family, friends, war and peace, you keep up the journey towards “nirvana” or the ultimate truth or what’s more easily understood – “get out of the cycle of death and rebirth”. There is no prescription of which “God” will get you across, there is no prescription of how to live one’s life. There are examples given about the consequences of every action and thought.

The above three verses basically talk of staying focussed on your journey towards your individual truth and not getting swayed by all the other attractions along the way. We have been focussed on de-cluttering at home and in the process, we realise that we have cluttered our life with too many possessions. The challenge of too many possessions is they leave you drained of energy and take up all your time in their upkeep. For instance, if you have hoarded books (we did:):)), you need to dust them regularly, and at any given point in time, you really can read just one ! Sure, some of us are voracious readers, and may be reading two or three books at the same time, but again, at a given point in time, we can read just one book… we can have as many books open as we feel like. The rest of the books become a distraction.

Clothes, books, houses, cars, art objects, trinkets, gadgets … we keep buying so many things and spend all our time just maintaining them. Minimise clutter, minimise distractions and spend time on whatever is your purpose in life. If you don’t know your purpose, atleast spend time on what you love to do and not clutter your time with “things”.


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