God's the choice

If there was a choice between looking up to God himself, or to someone who is a representative of God for getting what we want, then what should be the answer? Whom should we choose? What will be the right pick?

NEW DELHI, August 31, 2012 - We always look to others for help or advice. Even at times when we claim that we have made an independent decision, it is often based on someone else’s experience or teaching.

In fact, we are living in an age where advisors outnumber seekers! In India in particular, there are innumerable preachers and religious gurus that people look up to in search of a direction for the lives.

I am not judging the quality or authenticity of these gurus. I am also not suggesting that we should not learn from the experiences of our elders. Neither am I claiming that no one in this universe is worthy of helping us find the direction we seek in our lives.

I am asking a question:- If there was a choice between looking up to God himself, or to someone who is a representative of God for getting what we want, then what should be the answer? Whom should we choose? What will be the right pick?

When the epic battle of Mahabharata was to be fought, this question came to the fore for the warring parties.

On the one hand were Pandavas, five brothers who were fighting to gain their lost glory, dignity and throne back. On the other were one hundred brothers, the Kauravas, for whom it was a battle of egos, of false pride, and of unrealistic expectations. Pandavas and Kauravas were estranged cousins. Born in the same blood, and yet out to kill each other.

But despite these clear differences between the two, almost in black and white, Lord Krishna wanted to give them each a fair chance.

So he called one brother each from both sides to ask what they wanted. What did they expect from him?

As Duryodhana, the clever Kaurav head came to see Krishna first, the lord gave him the first chance.

‘what do you seek from me ‘, Krishna asked?

‘how can I help your side of the battlefield?’

‘demand one of the two offerings I have- me or my army of soldiers’ he said.

‘either you can have me by your side. All alone, without any weapons or wow to take part in the battle’

‘or you can have my army’, the lord said.

For Duryodhana, it was perhaps the easiest choice of his life. He even ridiculed the Lord in his mind for his frivolous offer.

‘doesn’t he know what my choice will be? Why would I choose him and not his glorious army that comprises millions of soldiers, thousands of sophisticated weapons and everything that makes it the strongest army in the universe?’ he wondered!

And instantly came his reply.

‘I want your army my lord! I will let my cousin brothers have you!’

The outcome of Mahabharata was written that moment itself.

Pandavas, who had lone Krishna by their side won the epic battle that lasted several days, and saw one of the bloodiest days in the history of mankind.

The Kauravas lost. All one hundred brothers died. And so did their entire glorious army.

And there lies the answer to my question. It’s the lord himself we must seek.

May he be the guiding light of all our dark thoughts. May we seek him in our endeavors.


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Manu Arya

If I knew the answer to ‘who am I’ I would not have had the need to write this bio. But until I do, I can just say that for me, everything in life hangs by a thread of faith and destiny. Add a pinch of hard work to that, and you’ll have your choice of life served on a platter to you!

It’s magic to be born and brought up in India of today. A society that offers a blend of traditional with the modern, mystic with logic, religion with secularism, and science with faith; India is the place to be! For several years, people from across the world have knocked at India’s doors whenever they needed a bit of soul-searching. But today’s soul-searching comes with a twist! While India is no more just a land of snake-charmers and elephants, it continues to offer its vibrant culture, traditions and history to the world in a modernized, re-packaged manner.  I welcome you to join me in my journey of soul-searching in the current times. I can guarantee you that even if we get lost, we’ll get somewhere!


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