As promised, here I am starting a study of the Bhagavad Gita and applying it to OCD (and other undesirable physical/mental states, if you will).
I would like to mention here that the information that will follow in this series of discussions is in no way authorized by Vaishnava scholars. It is most definitely not a literal interpretation. It is simply an attempt to take Lord Krishna’s words seriously and use the knowledge He has distributed to overcome problems in my life. Readers can similarly fill in the blanks with their own personal problems and try to approach it through the lens of the Gita. I have searched online for such an application of the Gita’s wisdom but never found any. Similarly, lots of search results have appeared on my blog, looking for advice from the Gita with regards to OCD. Thus I hope and pray this will be a learning experience for me as well as fellow sufferers who are seeking support from Krishna and the Gita. I hope this does not offend anyone in any way and beg your forgiveness if I accidentally do so in the future. In which case I would appreciate being made aware of my errors so I can correct them.
Before I begin, I would just like to say a little prayer: Dear Krishna, I want to thank you for you have mercifully given us this eternal knowledge in the form of this scripture known as the Bhagavad Gita. I am starting a new study of it, applying your teachings to overcome my poor health and OCD. Lord, please help me to understand your teachings and to apply them well. Please help me to avoid offending you or anyone else. Please let this be a great learning experience for all those who take part in it and let it strengthen our faith in you. I pray, God, that we may be able to overcome these problems with your help. Lord, fill us with divine revelations from you through this study and give us the senses to hear, see and understand you. I realize that your pure devotees do not have any requests from you, except devotional service, but I am far from being a pure devotee. I am in distress and I have come seeking your refuge. Please give me shelter at your feet, Lord, for there is no one for me but you.
I am going to be referring to Bhagavad Gita As It Is by AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada. A good website for it is: http://www.asitis.com
Bhagavad Gita Verses 1-20
Dhritarastra is asking Sanjaya about what is taking place on the battlefield who sees it through his special gift of vision. He describes the armies on the battlefield to Dhritarastra.
So here we are, ready to fight. The question is: did you choose Krishna to be on your side or did you choose His army? If you chose for Krishna to be on your side, let me tell you now, you will emerge victorious. This is Krishna’s promise to us. Let us get ready now to face the demons, with Krishna on our side to guide us and support us. As Sanjaya describes the armies are on the battlefield, ready for war. So right now, let’s step onto the battlefield, ready to take on OCD.
Our army comprises of Krishna, knowledge, light, truth, balance, sensibility, rationality, humility, patience and tolerance.
The opposing army comprises of our problems, OCD, poor health, illnesses, stress, anxiety, depression, dishonesty, and lack of will power.
The opposing army is strong. They have proven to be victorious over and over. Duryodhana believes that our side is limited in strength and prowess and that the enemy will surely emerge victorious once again like they have over many others before. Like Duryodhana wanted to rule over the Pandavas and their kingdom, our problems want to take over us. They do not want us to be free. Many people have given over their lives to illnesses and depression. Some have given up their lives because of it. Others have lost their lives to it. But we shall do neither of these. Krishna is on our side and we will emerge victorious, no matter what Duryodhana or OCD or our problems think!
The war is about to begin. We are about to take on the enemy. Everyone draws their conch shells, signifying the start of the battle. The conch shells of the opposing army are no doubt mighty, but the conch shell of Krishna is the mightiest of all! Thus when our army blows the conch shells, it shatters the heart of the enemy (BG 1.19). OCD, illness and depression don’t stand a chance against us. Already just with the blowing of the conch shells, they have weakened. Victory belongs to those who surrender to Krishna!
But like Arjuna stumbled before them, hesitating to fight them, will we? Should we? Should we also refuse to fight in the battle and simply give up? We’ll find out in the next post!