Your own friend, your own foe

Posted on July 26, 2010 | Author: K Vijayaraghavan | View 429

One who chooses to conform, also saving for the rainy days, is rewarded with a sinecure living besides company of friends — good or the good weather ones. The home pot is also sure to be kept warm for generations.
Only the spiritual seeker, earnest but confused, has to wander ‘between two worlds one dead, the other powerless to be born’. He would, perforce, have to find alibis and excuses, in case he fails to obtain eventual fulfilment.
It is to such wavering, though evolved, souls that two consecutive verses in Bhagavad Gita [VI, 5 and 6] are directed. The first is a brutally frank statement, suggesting that it is afolly to depend on support from others or to blame external factors or compulsions.
This verse notes that one should uplift one’s self by the power that he has within, not ever becoming depressed or cynical or ever giving excuses, because ultimately one is his own enemy or his own friend.
This verse, on the face of it, would appear to be a repeat of various exhortations to fortitude, assertiveness, resilience and forbearance. At best, these would offer pleasing titillations but rarely can be applied in practical life.
However, the very next verse gives true practical delineation of how one can actually become one’s true friend and collaborator, and how he can ensure that knowingly or otherwise, he himself does not sabotage his own true objectives and aspirations.
This verse points out that one who has won over his self through his own efforts would become his own ally in progress, while one who has not done so will become his own foe, himself inviting obstacles and problems.
The above verse, thus, gives broad hints to each aspirant, who could, with intelligence and application, divine, how, unwittingly though, he had, as applied to his own case, allowed retarding forces to sneak in.
This analysis would be the basis to evolve a course of action that would prompt this imaginative thinker to make needed changes towards things, relationships and commitments.
Learning thus from and being the better for past mistakes, he would find in his own refined and empowered self within, that true friend, philosopher and guide. Indeed, it was, therefore, not vainly said that you can be your own friend or also choose to be your own foe!
This choice purely is yours because options and opportunities are aplenty for the one who acts well and in good time!

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