Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda

Venkatesa Daily Readings Vol 1 — Problems

May 15, 2024


       At the end of The Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says very plainly to Arjuna, "I have told you what I think is right. Go away and think it over. Sleep on and then do what you want. You are free."

      This is also the lesson of the beginning of Genesis. God gave every human being freedom, and respecting this freedom, even He does not interfere.

      This creates a paradoxical situation (paradoxical in its literal sense of being beyond teaching). Adam and Eve were free to obey or disobey. And then they were told to eat what they liked, but not eat the apple. Obedience meant refraining from eating the forbidden fruit. But one can never be sure if such obedience is based on fear, or voluntary submission to the order because one wants to obey.

      Most of us take problems for granted. Life is problems. Without problems there is no life. Having come into this problematical existence, I am trying to untie the knots. However, as with the ball of tangled wool or wire, when you think you have undone the knot, you find that you have several more on your hands. You have in fact made it a little worse. This continues and you get fed up and throw it all out. Although we may not notice it, this is what happens to most of us in our lives.

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