Usain Bolt and yaGYa - यज्ञ Gaining this World or the Other

April 8, 2012

Recently, at the Bhagavat Geeta Study group we were discussing the following portion of the Geeta
नायं लोकोऽस्त्ययज्ञस्य कुतोऽन्यः कुरुसत्तम ||४-३१||
naayaM loko.astyayaGYasya kuto.anyaH kurusattama .. 4-31..
O Arjuna (Kurusattama), even this world is not gained by the non-performer of sacrifice; how then the other (world)?

I am struck by how Śri Kŗşņa beautifully connects the spiritual and the secular. For instance, Usain Bolt, featured in the video above, could break six world records because he put in many weeks, days and hours of practice while his classmates were probably out doing what typical teenagers do. While Usain Bolt might be an extreme example, even the simple act of buying a house calls for the homeowner to have saved money by giving up on small pleasures and easy gratifications.

Some might see Mark Zuckerberg and think a 'billionaire brat' but I recall how the movie, The Social Network revealed a very focused, hard working young guy who was constantly thinking about the next big thing on facebook. How often do we hear that a politician 'campaigned tirelessly'? The reality is that if he / she wants to get elected, they have to give up the cosy lifestyle of a 9-5 job and get on the road for months at a time.

So, the insight we get from Geeta 4-31 is very clear. Whether it be in this world or the next, one must give up something to get something bigger. The yaGYa spirit simply is invoking the best in ourselves and performing the actions for a higher cause, be it society, the country or the Lord Himself. The more intense the effort, the bigger the gain. The larger the goal, the more impactful is the change in ourselves. This is the reality in the secular as well as the spiritual plane. Pujya Gurudev encapsulates it beautiful in the Holy Geeta:
Self-development and inner growth cannot be had without investing continuous and sincere self-effort. Inaction can never bring about any profit even in this world, in any field whatsoever. Without self-dedicated and selfless activity, no great and enduring profit can be achieved in this world, and therefore, Krishna exclaims: "How could a seeker hope to achieve the Highest without any conscious effort at gaining it?"
Hari Om and Namaskaar until the next post

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