The Power of Perception
Remember Madonna’s legendary track “Frozen”? The mesmerizing beats take you to another level even as the enchanting lyrics touch your heart...
You’re so concerned with how much you get, you waste your time on hate and regret... You’re broken, when your heart’s not open...
But hey, I’m digressing. (The song never fails to carry me away!) What I have been thinking these days is what is going to make up the content for this post...
Sometimes, even the best of deeds by a "perceived" rival/enemy are given the litmus test. "There must be SOME reason why THIS has been done THIS way"... The habit of taking everything concerning "that" person with a pinch of salt, chewing over notions and intentions...
I’ve said this before – Situations are objective, it is our perceptions and interpretations that color our beliefs a particular way. So many times misunderstandings occur coz we think we know people and their purposes. How fallacious!
We have flashbulb memories. Take the Mahabharata for instance. We are all content at believing the great war happened coz of Draupadi. But how many of us find it worth our while to actually go back to the records and see the inevitable sequence of events? That it was actually Shree Krishna, the master manipulator, who instigated Mayaa to build a palace that would generate envy among those who set eyes on it. Duryodhana, thus, green with envy, played the game of dice to win it, and then when everything was lost, fingers pointed at Dear Dro. We could also mull over Yudi’s role in the entire affair; had he not been so righteous, simple and naive, he would have seen through Duryodhana’s ploy to ruin the Pandavas, and would not have put Dro at stake. Or to consider Kunti’s part in the saga; the war would never have occurred had she revealed Karna’s true identity and lineage. (This is why Karna cursed her, that no woman would be able to keep a secret hereafter. And don’t we all know how effectual the curse still is!)
So, you see, blaming Dro and holding her responsible for the massacre isn’t the most accurate thing to do... If we put ourselves in her shoes (rather in her saree), then we’d understand how much humiliation and sadness she underwent... The grass is always greener on the other side, and others always appear luckier than the self.
That and a hundred other instances, show how our perception isn’t faultless, and there are two (or more) sides of the same coin.
We see Krishna as God, the Almighty, the Omnipotent who controls everything. How many of us know that He was as helpless as any other person, cursed to pine for His childhood love Radha? Beyond the realm of life, they could meet, but Krishna could not give up his body and soul before He had fulfilled his duty on earth, that of ridding it of evil.
Give people the benefit of a doubt, even the notorious folks. Be open. Ask candidly. Answer honestly. If someone lies to you, it isn’t too difficult to find out. But if one is telling the truth, you may manage to stay away from inhumane and imprudent blunders. The world is bad, but don’t abandon faith and belief just yet. We can’t live with misgivings all our life. We can’t mistrust all and sundry, and attempt to be happy and serene. It hurts when someone breaks our trust, but what hurts more is not being trusted despite being truthful. It kills the urge to turn over a new leaf if people keep misunderstanding everything you do or say. (My fav teenage line was – If you don’t trust me anyway, why should I explain or tell you anything at all?!!)
Krishna was a smart one. He used His knowledge about people, their behavioral and thought processes to create situations where His ends were achieved. And He got off scot-free coz He had played no part in the actual proceedings! Like He wanted Arjuna and Subhadra to meet and fall in love. Had He done so himself, He would have to bear the ire of his elder bro Balarama. The wily fellow, hence, asked Arjuna to pose as a muni, and exploited Bala’s deep reverence for their kind to land him a place in Subh’s garden, after which the Gandharva vivaha happened pronouncing Arjun and Subh man and wife.
Also, during the Rajasuya yagna that would declare Yudi the emperor of India, Kri purposely asked Dury to be put in charge of the overflowing treasury. He knew this would infuriate the Kaurava yuvraj and make him jealous.
What does it all add up to?
(No, not that we can ever be half as smart as Krishna, but we could sure do with some more wisdom and tolerance.)
One, that we should ponder before we act/operate; hasty decisions are often unwise.
Two, that before we form judgments about people, we must be sure of having the correct information and interpretation.
Quite a sermon!