For my generation and for the GenX, the Millenials and even the children of today Lord Krishna can be called a life coach, who walked the talk so to say.
My love affair with Lord Krishna started when I was a child, I remember reading tales of this mischievous young boy. His stories based on his life captured my imagination like no other. Now I see my eight-year-old kid fascinated with this god who is so naughty. But now the mature me can see the life lessons imparted through ‘His life’ rather than the stories themselves. Today I want to share some noteworthy lessons I learnt from the illustrious life of Lord Krishna.
Never give up your passions
The biggest lesson I learnt is that no responsibility is big enough to give up what you love most. Look at what all that Lord Krishna had to do, he had to rule a country, a war to fight, and demons to conquer along with various other commitments, still he managed to include music into his life. We all know his love for his flute and how he mesmerised everyone around him with lively tunes. This is a life lesson, an important one which we modern people have forgotten, he teaches us never let a passion take a back seat on account of commitments. Let’s not forget the joy they bring to us in our lives, the balm that they become when our brains get fried.
Selfless service for society
Two of my favourite stories about him was when he fought Kalia, the arrogant serpent who had made River Yamuna his home and as a result the people of Vrindavan got poisoned. Seeing this, child Krishna confronts him, not caring about the risks involved for him and emerges victorious. The second story tells us about a time when Krishna balanced the mountain Govardhan on his little finger when torrential rains sent down from heaven by an angry Lord Indra threatened the villagers. From these two stories we can learn that in life, we need to serve the society we live in not through compulsion but from the goodness of our heart.
Honour your commitments
When Lord Krishna came to know the truth about his birth, he gave up his comfortable life, his love for Radha, and the people he had grown up with to fulfil his commitment towards his parents. He also honoured his responsibility towards his kingdom and his people at the same time. So, yes we need to honour our commitments and always hold itat highest priority.
Be a true friend
Think of what does it mean to be a true friend? Sudhama was Krishna’s childhood friend. He was a poor man and could hardly make ends meet. He once visited his friend Krishna hoping to ask for some assistance. But in the last minute he didn’t have the heart to impose his problems on his friend so he kept quiet.When he returned home Sudhama was astonished to see a palatial house, rich clothes and costly jewellery. Lord Krishna being the genuine friend he was, understood Sudhama’s condition even though Sudhama did not utter a word. That is the meaning of true friendship.
In the present times our society is facing cut throat competition and people have put friendship locked away and are married to their work instead. Remember friendships formed during your youth soon begin to fade into oblivion if they are not nurtured. Lord Krishna valued his friendships and treated his friends, rich and poor, with a lot of love and genuine affection, so should we.
Uphold righteousness or dharma at all cost
One of the most important incidents in Mahabharata is the disrobing of Draupadi in front of the entire court. Lord Krishna, whom she considered her brother, presented her with an unending saree. This does teach us that in life we have to try to uphold dharma.To protect the dignity of women and children. He is acknowledged for his active involvement in defending women’s rights and that’s probably why he continues to reside in the hearts of women till date.
Strategize with ethics
Since childhood we are taught that ethics lend a direction to our actions. Ethics is what determines our choice between a principled life and immoral life. We know during trying times even the most ethical of people get swayed and contort the fine line between right and wrong to fit their purpose. When the Kurukshetra war was in full swing, Lord Krishna knew that the Pandavas didn’t stand a chance against the mighty Kaurava army. He was familiar with the Pandavas’ disdain for unethical methods as he was sure about the Kauravas who wouldn’t hesitate to stoop low if the situation demanded. As a strategist he never broke any rules but bent them to the Pandavas’ advantage. Take for an example when Krishna sent Shikhandi, an eunuch, to stand in the front of Arjuna, while he shot his arrows knowing fully well that Bhishma Pitamah would never harm a eunuch.In a similar manner while being a principled worker who never breaks the rules, should be capable of proceeding with life while cleverly veering around rules to benefit the society at large.
Be humble, be simple
We all know Lord Krishna was the king of the splendid Dwarka, yet this heavenly being did not hesitate to take the role of a charioteer during the Kurukshetra war. Lord Krishna’s life embodies simplicity and his role as a charioteer is testament to that. In our lives we need to clear up the clutter and unwanted elements only then can we identify what is really important in a much better way. This action can change your very lifestyle for good and it also stops attracting people in love with your possessions rather than you.
Parents above all
During the present times when children digress from their duties towards their aged parents, Lord Krishna shows us what the correct path to follow is. When he came to know of his real parents and the torture they underwent under King Kansa, when he became an adult he defeated Kansa and fulfilled his duty towards his parents.
Today we fail to acknowledge the time, money, effort and most importantly the love that parents invest in their children’s well-being. Instead we consider them a burden. Maybe today’s society needs to take a leaf from Lord Krishna’s life.
Maintaining balance in life
Lord Krishna’s life was like a whirlwind due to various circumstances he had to face, yet we can not fail to notice is his equanimity. That internal balance which is necessary for our survival.We have to strike a balance or equanimity through good and bad, joy and grief, praise and censure and be it friend or foe in our lives. Have you ever read about an agitated or irritated or angry Lord Krishna, no, because calmness and composure especially during the downs in our life is very important. Remember panicking or the like is not going to deliver us from challenging situations.
Smile it takes nothing
Today modern day life coaches teach us to keep smiling through difficult situations in life. But I say Lord Krishna is indeed our first life coach. Look at the troubles that Lord Krishna faced through life that make our troubles appear miniscule in comparison, yet he faced them smiling. Lord Krishna’s smile was a constant feature. Indeed it is a wonderful lesson to be learnt.
(The views expressed are the writer’s own)
Smita Singh is a freelance writer who has over 17 years of experience in the field of print media, publishing, and education. Having worked with newspapers like The Times of India (as freelancer), National Mail, Dainik Bhaskar and DB Post, she has also worked with Rupa& Co, a book publishing house and edited over 30 books in all genres.
She has worked with magazines like Discover India and websites called HolidayIQ and Hikezee (now Go Road Trip). She has also written for Swagat (former in-flight magazine of Air India), Gatirang (magazine of Maruti Udyog), India Perspectives (magazine for Ministry of External Affairs) and Haute Wheels (magazine of Honda).
After turning freelance writer she wrote on art and architecture for India Art n Design. She also worked for Princeton Review as a full-time Admissions Editor and then IDP Education Private Limited as an Application Support Consultant. Smita has her own website called bookaholicanonymous.com which supports her love for books and reading!
You can reach her at: [email protected]
(Lead collage with images from the net)