In our bustling lives, where the constant noise of daily routines often drowns out our inner voices, leaving little room for reflection, the profound wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita often remains unexplored. However, for those seeking to infuse their creative endeavours with a deeper sense of purpose and inspiration, there is a valuable resource that can illuminate this sacred text in a modern context.
‘Bhagavad Gita for the Creative Soul,’ on Audible not only unlocks the timeless teachings of the Gita but also offers tips from Saurin Desai, a creative wordsmith, who guides us on how to navigate the complexities of life and infuse your creative pursuits with gratitude, understanding, and empathy, offering you a roadmap to a more enriched and purpose-driven creative journey.
As we celebrate Janmashtami, here are a few learnings to help you unleash your creative potential:
Navigating Impostor Syndrome & Authenticity:
Chapter 3, Verse 35: “sreyan sva-dharmo vigunah para-dharmat sv-anusthitat sva-dharme nidhanam sreyah para-dharmo bhayavahah”
Meaning: In the quest of life, it's wiser to embrace your own responsibilities, even if you execute them with imperfections, than to flawlessly execute tasks that belong to others. Indeed, it's far more commendable to navigate the course of your own obligations than to wander down another's path!
Pro Tips: Some important things to have on your to-do-list are self-reflection (especially defining what you want to do and what you don’t), journaling, reading, community (seeking or joining a community of like-minded individuals for inspiration and motivation), mentoring, intuition (practicing to listen to your inner voice), and last but not the least, gratitude.
Creating Without Attachments:
Chapter 5, Verse 10: “brahmany adhaya karmani sangam tyaktva karoti yah lipyate na sa papena padma-patram ivambhasa”
Meaning: With devotion and righteousness, the individual who fulfills their duty without clinging to the outcomes, offering them to the Supreme Divine, remains untainted by sinful deeds, much like a lotus leaf remains unblemished amidst the lake waters.
Pro Tips: Setting and following schedules (following timetables and deadlines, identifying tasks, and setting time for solo and collaborative work), optimising technology (noting through pen and paper is a good practice, however, digital management softwares help multifold in task management), saying ‘no,’ being clear in setting boundaries, and deep experimenting (because creativity is a solitary act, however, need not be a lonely one).
Working with Attention & Awareness:
Chapter 6, Verse 34 “cancalam hi manah krsna pramathi balavad drdham tasyaham nigraham manye vayor iva su-duskaram”
Meaning: The human mind often resembles a restless, unruly force, steadfast and formidable. It's as though taming this inner tempest is a greater challenge than mastering the very winds themselves.
Pro Tips: Minimising online distractions (by working on paper or switching off the internet), keeping your phone on silent mode (not attending calls unless on a break), practising mindfulness and meditation, reminding yourself that happiness is independent of completing an activity or simply engaging in it and writing everyday can prove helpful in increasing focus and having clarity of thought.
Staying Motivated & Persistent:
Chapter 9, Verse 27: “yat karosi yad asnasi yaj juhosi dadasi yat yat tapasyasi kaunteya tat kurusva mad-arpanam”
Meaning: This translates to the belief that by dedicating your creative endeavors to a higher purpose or soul, one can find enduring inspiration and unwavering devotion!
Pro Tips: Expressing creatively, finding inner peace, and happiness, creating a positive impact on the world, pursuing personal growth, exploring spirituality and philosophy - if a project fails to fulfill at least three of these criteria, consider reevaluating it or politely declining. This exercise may help you align creativity with purpose, giving you clarity and fulfillment, bolstering your motivation and allowing you to remain persistent.
Managing Creative Feedback:
Chapter 2, Verse 14: “matra-sparsas tu kaunteya sitosna-sukha-duhkha-dah agamapayino 'nityas tams titiksasva bharata”
Meaning: In the tale of existence, the fleeting moments of joy and sorrow, their eventual vanishing, are akin to the passing of winter and summer seasons. They emerge from our senses, and it is essential to cultivate the capacity to endure them without letting them disrupt our inner peace.
Pro Tips: Patiently overcoming emotions (faced during rejection, achievement, and loss), changing your outlook to a realistic one (thinking of rejections as speed bumps - that may slow you down but won’t stop you as long as you keep moving; thinking of appreciation as a downward slope - where you can enjoy the ride but realize that it won’t last forever), and lastly, keeping your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel are effective in keeping track of the goal you are working towards.
Dealing with Creative Burnouts:
Chapter 6, Verse 17: “yuktahara-viharasya yukta-cestasya karmasu yukta-svapnavabodhasya yogo bhavati duhkha-ha”
Meaning: One who exhibits moderation in eating, recreating, working, and resting can alleviate physical and mental sufferings through the practice of the yoga discipline. Yoga signifies the art of uniting or connecting. It embodies the journey of connecting with one's inner self, forging bonds with other souls, and ultimately attaining a union with the divine consciousness known as the "supersoul."
Pro Tips: Rediscovering bliss (to do what feels blissful - it could be as simple as reading a book, watching a film, having a cup of coffee, or even doing nothing), taking care of physical health (checking into health with any discomfort), spending time with family and friends, seeking support, setting realistic expectations, giving yourself a break (taking out more time for and prioritizing yourself) are definitely helpful when dealing with burnouts.
May the rhythm of spirituality continue to harmonize our creative souls with the universe, inspiring us to create, evolve, and thrive in both our artistic and spiritual endeavours.