Being calm and peaceful when everything is calm, everything is peaceful, has no meaning. Being peaceful when everything is peaceful is dull and boring. You should create some trouble. You should have some fun. You should have some mischief. When everything is absolutely fine and peaceful and quiet, being peaceful has no meaning, but when everything is falling apart, then being quiet and peaceful – that peace has value. A bottle of water has more worth in a desert than when you are surrounded by water. When you are sitting by a spring, then a bottle of water is of no value to you. One handful from the spring is good enough to quench your thirst.
When there is chaos, there is confusion; when there are problems all around you, then calmness is needed the most; wisdom is most valuable then.
When people blame you, when they don’t understand you, that’s when you need the inner strength to smile. When things don’t go the way you want them to, that’s when you need the endurance, the strength and. courage to remain unperturbed. What brings that courage in you is exactly what Krishna said: samatvam yoga ucate (2.48). That equanimity is the test of your yoga.
There is an incident about Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi’s life companion, Kasturba Gandhi, was on her deathbed. Doctors had given up hope. They said, “Just a few hours or minutes – that’s it, for her to live.” At that time, Mahtma Gandhi came out of his kutir and told Pandit Sudhakar Chaturvedi, “Read that verse from Bhagwad Gita for me.” When he recited the Gita, Gandhi said, “Today is your Bapu’s test. Today is my examination. I will know whether I will be able to handle the loss of Kasturba.” As he was saying this, tears rolled down his eyes. “Whether I am equanimous or not, today is the testing day.” Yoga brings that balance, so that an event doesn’t shatter you.
Just observe, how your mind goes, how it flares up, for nothing! How it creates a mess all around. One moment it’s high, another moment it’s down. Bipolar is an extreme condition, but those who are not doing yoga, they are all, in some manner, in a bipolar state. Yoga is the answer for these psychological troubles. Samatvam yoga ucyate (2.48). Yoga is the equanimity that wells up in you, that comes up in you, stabilizes your consciousness.
Excerpts from Gurudev’s commentary on Bhagavad Gita