People who are enslaved to the senses and mind seek to
control those around them. Being in bondage themselves, they cannot recognize
the freedom of other people. This exercising of control over others, even in
the name of love or discipline, is just another way of clinging to life.
But one cannot limit the freedom of another, without in some
way limiting oneself.
Everyone in this world is, as Swami Vivekananda puts it,
moving from lower truth to higher truth.
In this journey of life, each will travel in his own way and
his own pace. Giving space for this is a sign of one’s own freedom.
How does one who has this inner and external freedom look
and act? The answer is found in Swami Vivekananda’s description of Sri Krishna.
Once, visualising Sri Krishna’s appearance on the battlefield of Kurukshetra,
Swamiji told one of his friends, ‘Sri Krishna ought to be painted as He really
was, the Gita personified; and the central idea of the Gita should radiate from
His whole form as He was teaching the path of Dharma to Arjuna. . . .’
himself in the way in which Sri Krishna should be portrayed, Swamiji continued,
‘Look here, thus does he hold the bridle of the horses — so tight that they are
brought to their haunches, with their forelegs fighting the air, and their mouths
gaping. This will show a tremendous play of action in the figure of Sri
Krishna. His friend, the world-renowned hero, casting aside his bow and arrows,
has sunk down like a coward on the chariot, in the midst of the two armies. And
Sri Krishna, whip in one hand and tightening the reins with the other, has
turned Himself towards Arjuna, with his childlike face beaming with unworldly
love and sympathy, and a calm and serene look — and is delivering the message
of the Gita to his beloved comrade. Now, tell me what idea this picture of the
Preacher of the Gita conveys to you.
The friend: Activity combined with firmness and serenity.
Swamiji: Ay, that’s it! Intense action in the whole body,
and withal a face expressing the profound calmness and serenity of the blue sky.
This is the central idea of the Gita — to be calm and steadfast in all
circumstances, with one’s body, mind, and soul centred at His hallowed Feet!’
Vedanta Kesari August 2017 issue.