Moon Landing and Earthly Realities

As we celebrate the successful Chandrayaan mission to the moon, it’s important to remember that there’s more to consider. The dharma tradition has a proper occasion to celebrate and then continue to perform purushartha for the next unresolved missions. It encourages us to acknowledge achievements and keep striving for other goals.

Celebrating the Chandrayaan mission to the moon doesn’t eclipse other greater realities. The integrated realities compel one to explore the vast universe but we also need to deal with the messy and challenging aspects of life.

Collective celebration for too long makes one forget personal responsibilities as a political leader, teacher, student, farmer, warrior and worker. Landing on the moon does not make these duties disappear. But at the same time exploration and empowerment have to continue.

Bharata struggles with a mediocre education system, wherein children are learning useless subjects while adopting an unhealthy lifestyle. Even if there are benefits in such education, it only reaches a small section of society.

Where are those teachers and parents who empower their children to passionately pursue what is good for them and for society? The judiciary’s handling of millions of cases looks pathetic, as if they can never be resolved.

It’s interesting how the moon can inspire us, but back on Earth, we see families fighting over tiny pieces of land, filing false cases out of ego. They spend millions of rupees to harass others and not achieve anything productive.

Our reliance on politicians, sportspeople, the entertainment industry, and hyper-spiritualists is unreasonable and unsustainable. But the truth is, they can achieve very little, even with sincerity. Each of us needs to take responsibility for our growth, like our great teacher Sri Krishna prescribed to Arjuna. Sri Krishna does not fight for us; He empowers us to battle and succeed. What a lesson!

Therefore, when achievements are highlighted and ground realities are neglected, we turn into mere intoxicated spectators. The dharma tradition teaches us to balance both. There are timely festivals to celebrate specific achievements after hard labour. Just like farmers celebrate harvesting seasons and students celebrate vivaha samskara after qualifying through vidya.

The spiritual practitioner begins his day by energizing his profession and ends it with gratitude. Narada Muni’s instructions to Pandavas and Sri Rama’s instructions to Bharata are worth reading. It’s all about finding the right balance between responsibilities and celebrating success. It’s a harmony of earning, growing, enjoying and sharing everything which we have.

It’s interesting to note that, according to Jyothishya Sastra, the moon represents our mind. In the Bhagvad Gita Sri Krishna says: “One must deliver himself with the help of his mind, and not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well.” (BG 6.5)

“For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his mind will remain the greatest enemy.” (BG 6.6)

Ultimately, the kind-hearted Bhagavan Sri Krishna is putting the responsibility of growth in the hands of each individual. Our moon landing is a task in itself. Sri Krishna inspires us but expecting Him to create miracles for us, is nothing less than crashing our Own little Chandrayana. But He also promises that through diligent efforts many have achieved the perfection of integrated life.

Therefore, we offer our gratitude to the dharmik scientists who did their job as expected and offered their gratitude to Ishwara. Let us take inspiration from them to work relentlessly in our field of learning and expertise, with dharma in the centre, teachings of the Gita as our disposition and gratitude in our hearts for being upakaran or instrument to the Supreme Brahman.

– Govinda Das