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Hinduism's Message That It Is Okay To Fail

1434 words - 6 pages

In a very anti-consquentialist position, Hinduism's overarching tradition conveys the message that it is okay to fail, so long as you fail at the thing that you ought to be doing. The duty placed on each person by the soteriological idea of dharma, laws for a harmonious world, centers on one's best attempt to fulfill one's own place, even imperfectly, rather than trying to be or do the works of someone else. This idea of varying paths and duties extends to the path each ought take to reach moksha or liberation as explicated in The Bhagavad-Gita. Moksha, the ultimate goal, signifies freedom of the soul from illusion and suffering and joing with atman, the eternal self. For “when one discovers the inner self... the self merges into its trancendent source and one experiences unspeakable peace and bliss” (Fisher 77). The reach towards this liberation takes the form of different yogas, spiritual and physical disciplines that provide an ordered path towards spiritual awakening and revelation. Three main forms of yoga in Hinduism are bhaktiyoga, the path of devotion, karmayoga, the path of desireless action, and jnanayoga, the path of wisdom. Through examination of the fulfillment and goals of bhaktiyoga, karmayoga, and jnanayoga, it is made apparent that the varied Hindu tradition, which includes 330 million deities, provides and encompasses a myriad of diverse paths to liberation, moksha, and the eternal self, atman.
The path of devotion, bhaktiyoga, focuses on the surrender of the whole self in intense love of the deity. The desire for this love and companionship can be found throughout the tradition of this ancient religion, as demonstrated in the Brhadaranayaka Upanisad's creation myth where the creator god, taking human form and finding himself alone, “found no pleasure at all; so one finds no pleasure when one is alone” (3). From the initial yearning for companionship comes the devotion to an absolute deity which can provide the highest form of companionship and fulfilment. Bhakti comes from the sanskrit root bhaj, “to share.” At it's heart, this discipline of devotion seeks to share an intimate connection with the divine and receive understanding. The intense devotion to the divine in an ideal practitioner continues at every time and in every fashion, “he who sees me everywhere and sees everything in me will not be lost to me and I will not be lost to him” (The Bhagavad-Gita 6.30). Connection to the deity helps the worshipper move towards moksha as the focus on the gods allows the gods to grant understanding and free the worshipper from doubt. This intense love and personal connection is exemplified in the practice of darsan where the intent of the worsipper is to “stand in the presence of the deity and to behold the image with one's own eyes, to see and be seen by the deity” (Eck 3). Bhaktiyoga is a path of constant awareness of what is higher and greater than oneself, finding meaning in humble devotion.
The view of all actions as sacrifices...

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