“Ithaca” – an Imaginary Destination of Life

“How I wish I had a million dollars!” 

“How I wish I had my own beach mansion!” 

“How I wish I were the CEO of the company I work for!” 

“How I wish I had my own sports car!”

“How I wish I could buy a private jet for myself!”

Well, so what if you had a million dollars? So what if you could have all your above dreams fulfilled? What difference would it make to you and to the world? Would you stop wanting for more once you have achieved your goals? When you make your first million dollars, after a  brief moment of happiness and pride due to a sense of achievement, what you would do would be to set your next goal at ten million. It will go on. That’s what normal people do. 

Great achievers, in fact, set goals that they are well aware they can never achieve in their lives. It is because such goals will keep them busy, on their toes, and ever motivated. 

Those who have lived lives that are full, who have rolled in money and have also seen broke days, have experienced dualities such as pain and pleasure, great ups and massive downs, grand successes and huge failures, great friends and horrible betrayers, have been fit as a fiddle and yet ill at times, or have been at the heights of power and have also been through unceremonious ousters; are the ones who can rise above all dualities, and treat equally all situations as great learning opportunities.

‘Ithaca’ is a poem written by Greek poet Constantine P. Cavafy, and translated into English by  Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. It is a poem that I first came across some three decades ago, at a time when I had not yet really set off on the main leg of my grand voyage through life. 

Looking back now, I can relate to almost every word in the poem, which strengthens my conviction that Life is indeed the Greatest Gift. Everything and everyone in it is a great learning experience. However, attachment to any of those fleeting experiences can only stall the journey towards your ‘Ithaca’, which is where, you are destined to arrive as a complete, wise, learned, well-experienced, kind, compassionate, grateful, and responsible human being.

You only live twice

You, as an individual, have only one life, but then, your life until this very moment is gone, and therefore, your life from now on could be called your second life. What if you had a teacher or guide that would show you the way into a future that is bright, enriching, and fulfilling, thereby saving you enormous amounts of time?

Such a guide is the Srimad Bhagavad Gita, which is a life-changing book that can help you have clarity in the way you think, work, and live. Anyone who knows how to come to terms with challenging situations and manage them in a deft manner is always peaceful and never under stress. When you worry, you not only create unwanted negative images in your mind which could carry the propensity of becoming reality, but by doing so, you would only be wasting time that could have been spent in a better way creating your future. You can either live every moment of your life or waste it, turning it into a stepping stone for you to get closer to the end of your sojourn on the planet. Every moment, when consciously lived and experienced, can be as rich and fulfilling as one’s entire lifetime.

Everyone goes through situations that they do not like or those that could be causing them sadness. The wise know to step outside themselves, observe the situation they are in, think calmly, and come out with a good solution. 

The two basic drives: There are two objectives that people have. The first one is the natural instinct to survive, and the second one is to derive pleasure. The three levels before attaining the final goal of realising Brahman are:

  • Body
  • Mind
  • Atman and beyond.

In the first level of the physical body, people strive to satisfy it through consuming food, working on their appearance, and attaining physical comfort. Once a person has achieved the first level, they prefer something that would be good for their mind and ego. All worldly achievements that are associated with wealth, power, position, and reputation or image come under this category. Love for art can also be grouped under this level.

Those who are satisfied with the worldly comforts they have received, then start looking for something that would satisfy their soul. This includes spiritual studies, meditation, being close to nature and also higher levels of art such as music. People who have cleared the first three steps are finally ready for Self-realisation or experiencing Brahman.

In the Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Krishna the JagadGuru or teacher of the world has cogently and lucidly explained in a rational manner the most important truths of life and death. A person with such clarity can bravely and intelligently face and handle even the toughest of challenges. However, most people find getting to read this scripture to be the main problem. 

We are all aware that some major Gita organisations distribute big fat copies of the SBG to people. However, the big question is of what use it is? People hardly cross two pages, shut the book and put it away for a later time, probably until they enter their late sixties, or until the day they meet someone like me who talks them into reading it.

The challenge: People are generally not motivated or are probably lazy to read the SBG. It could be for three main reasons:

a. They are already convinced that the SBG is too deep and cannot be learned by oneself without the help of a teacher.

b. The thought that philosophy and spirituality are for ‘old people,’ and that it does not go together with the material world of family and career.

c. The scripture, which is highly metaphorical, can sometimes go over the head of a reader who is not mentally prepared for such knowledge.

The solution: Instead of organising high-level spiritual Satsangs, or distributing fat books among people who are beginners in the subject, the best solution would be a short e-book that is tightly packed with the core information of the SBG in it, and that people could carry on their phones. This book/e-book, with well-defined sections and subheadings, is easy to read and complete within a short duration of time. It would enable the easy internalising of the ESSENCE of the philosophy of the SBG taught in it. People who have reached this preparatory stage would naturally be inclined and driven to go further and deeper into the study of Vedanta.

a. My SBG Run-through video is available for free on YouTube.

b. Capture the Essence – Srimad Bhagavad Gita Paperback and e-book editions of a short book containing brief summaries of the 18 Chapters sprinkled with the author’s thoughts and interpretations.

“Wouldn’t people be willing to invest INR 100/USD 2.99 for an E-book or INR 250/USD 8 for a paperback version on something that can change the lives of themselves and of their loved ones?” I ask myself.

The reason for fixing a  price for this book is simply because most people tend to not pay heed to things that come for free and therefore end up not benefiting from such resources. Nevertheless, I might consider looking for sponsors for printing in India copies of the ‘Capture the Essence – Srimad Bhagavad Gita’ to be distributed for free among students, young people, corporate employees, management staff, and others.

It is my fervent desire that just as I have done, others also attain spiritual and; mental freedom, feel liberated and learn to live a blessed life with great health, peace, love, freedom, prosperity, and fulfilment. 

Every journey begins with the first step. Your first step in your journey towards Vedanta to acquire Vedantic spiritual knowledge would be getting yourself a copy of: ‘Capture the Essence – Srimad Bhagavad Gita.’

It costs a mere INR 100 or USD 2.99 for the e-book or INR 250 or USD 8 for the paperback version. It is a price worth paying to change your life for the better, isn’t it?

Act now.

Click on the links below:

Amazon International

Amazon India


White Falcon Publishing

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