Saturday, May 25, 2024

Do not take anything for granted- Bhagavad Gita says nothing happens without sacrifice.

Amlan Shekhar Baruah

The Bhagavad Gita says that everything in the universe occurs because of sacrifices. So, we should not take anything in life for granted. If we want anything, we must make some sacrifices to obtain it.

Verses 10-14 of Chapter 3 of the Bhagavad Gita say:

“In the beginning (of creation), Prajapati (the Creator) created the Praja (living creatures) along with Yagya (sacrifice) and said, ‘By this (sacrifice) shall you prosper, and let this be the bestower of all your wishes. By this, you shall please/gratify the Devas, and the Devas will please you. By pleasing one another in this way, you shall achieve the highest good.’ The Devas, pleased by your sacrifice, will certainly grant you all the things you desire. Those who enjoy/use the things granted by them (the Devas) without offering them anything in return are indeed thieves. The righteous ones, who eat the remnants of sacrifice (enjoy their desired things after making sacrifices), are freed from all sins. But the sinful ones, who cook food only for themselves (enjoy their desired things without making sacrifices), eat sin. All living creatures come from food; food is produced from rain; rain comes from sacrifice; and sacrifice is born from karmas (actions).”

Nothing happens in the universe without sacrifice. Whatever we have in life is a result of either our own or someone else’s sacrifice. Nothing comes free. Therefore, you should not take anything in life for granted. Even being born as a human should not be taken for granted, because the opportunity to obtain human birth does not come for free. Any living being becomes eligible to be born as a human again in their next life only by performing good or positive karma in their life. Doing good karmas means doing good deeds for others with good intentions. If a person takes his human birth for granted, considers himself superior to other creatures, and harms them, then he is not considered worthy of human life. If a couple begets a child, it is because they (the parents) did good karmas to deserve to have it and also because the child did good karmas in its previous life to deserve to be born as a human. But if the parents take their child for granted and mistreat and abuse the child, then they lose their value as parents. In the same manner, everything else that you obtain in your life should not be taken for granted.

Let us try to understand this using an example. The elements of nature, such as water, wind, fire, thunder/electricity, sun, and the moon, are not non-living entities, but they are actually controlled by living gods known as Devas, such as Indra Deva (god of thunder and rain), Surya Deva (sun god), Soma Deva (Moon god), Varuna Deva (water god), Agni Deva (fire god), and Vayu Deva (wind god). If we take Mother Nature for granted and misuse her elements for selfish and destructive purposes, then we are also disrespecting the Devas. It is the duty of the Devas to look after and ensure the proper preservation and nurturing of all living beings living on Mother Earth. Whenever we misuse the elements of nature, it harms other living creatures. So the Devas will not tolerate any kind of misuse of the elements of Mother Nature. Therefore, if we misuse the elements of nature, like cutting down trees and destroying other natural habitats to build unnecessary structures, polluting water bodies, misusing electricity, water, fire, etc. for harmful purposes, then it becomes a duty of the Devas to teach us a lesson. Thus, the Devas give us less rain and food so that we stop harming Mother Nature. On the other hand, if we respect Mother Nature and use Her elements for doing good to others, such as planting trees, growing forests, and cultivating crops not just for ourselves but also for others, then we are contributing to the growth and well-being of other living creatures on earth. So, the Devas will be pleased and reward us with proper rain and food.

Therefore, it is important not to take anything in life for granted. If you want to achieve anything in life, you must make some sacrifices by performing positive karmas. If we try to obtain it by harming others, we may be able to obtain it and enjoy it temporarily, but ultimately, we will pay for it someday.   

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