Battles are often lost or won outside the battlefield, inside the mind
The Bhagavad-gita’s dramatic battlefield setting demonstrates the power of the mind. Arjuna, the greatest archer of his times about to fight the greatest war of his life, is overwhelmed by the negative emotions of his mind, thereby losing his will to fight and casting aside his bow in despair and dejection (01.46).
In today’s cultural imagination, the closest we get to warfare is in sports, which are sometimes said to be battles without the bullets. And in sports, mind games figure prominently, with teams trying to intimidate each other to get an upper hand even before the match begins. If players become overwhelmed by the pressure of the situation, they may choke and lose mentally even before the big moment arrives.
In our life too, we need to recognize the pivotal role of our mind in our daily challenges. To cope with the mind, we need to raise our consciousness above the mind, to the spiritual level, where we realize our own eternal identity and our connection with the supreme whole, Krishna.
The Gita’s message helps raise our consciousness thus. By understanding that Krishna is our ever well-wisher and that he is eagerly waiting to help us if we just turn our consciousness towards him, we stream in to higher peace, wisdom and joy that will enable us to go beyond the delusion and dejection induced by the mind.
When we understand that battles can won or lost in the mind, by the kind of emotions and attitudes that surge within us when we confront difficult situations, we feel inspired to spend the necessary time and energy to equip ourselves with Gita wisdom for fighting and winning our inner wars, thereby paving the way to win the outer ones too.