By Matsya Avatara Das
Sanscrit is one of the oldest and most complex languages. The richer the language, the greater is it’s capacity to formulate elevated concepts. “Vicara” in Sanskrit means “to reflect on oneself”. A similar reflection can prove to be illuminating, if it prompts us to take stock of ourselves and become conscious of our own limits and talents.
It signifies being aware of our personal responsibilities, where they begin and where they end.
It signifies learning to perceive and overcome difficulties, to recognise the limits of our field of action, the extent of our possibility to intervene, to recognise the boundaries beyond which we are not responsible for the behaviour of others.
What can I personally contribute?
To what extent can I modify the situation?
How much depends on the determination of others?
Knowing how to define our own responsibility promotes a balanced and conscientious attitude, as well as serenity in facing events with a healthy emotional distance (vairagya). Let’s examine our faults to correct, where we are lacking, errors that we should rectify and distance ourselves from other’s bad behaviour without letting it influence us. The capacity to recognise our own abilities and qualities leads to a balanced behaviour, does away with suffering and dissolves tensions. We can purify our actions if we have lied, if we have been a hypocrite, if we have behaved badly, but we cannot do the same for someone else. We can embrace and live every experience in a constructive way, transforming toxic emotions and negative thoughts through compassion towards whomever has behaved badly. However, we have a moral responsibility to distance ourselves from them. Not to do so would make us passive accomplices.
Being aware of what is going on, maintaining our inner calm and predisposing ourselves to the best of our ability to face whatever comes our way will aid us in avoiding the worst. Facing an experience “well armed”, without pretence, performing our duty to the best of our ability will benefit our evolution, regardless of the results on the material plane. To better ourselves is the most important thing, because true success is evolutionary, spiritual.
The means for evolving is an intimate knowledge of ourselves, he who does not know himself cannot recognise his own faults.
Dedicating ourselves to devotional service in a pure and loving spirit to Shri Guru and Shri Krishna is a support in times of adversity, helps us to avoid being fooled by appearances and renders us vigil to the consequences of deviant activities. We are all responsible for our own actions and those lacking in courage can compensate with faith. It is an effort to live in line with our chosen values and models, practicing them with our day to day experiences.
Shrila Prabhupada is our source of inspiration, an example of one who teaches through his consistent action as a model, one who Traditional scriptures define as an authentic “Acharya”.
Shriman Matsya Avatara