The entire world is in turmoil today. Brother kills brother, and the strange fact is that no one can stop it. All over the globe, men, women and children die like flies. The USSR which began with the philosophy that "religion is the political opium" is nowhere today. Reports say religious belief is now blossoming in this vital area of the world which once disowned God so vehemently. Even in the last days of Gorbachev, the then prime minister working under the almighty Gorbie, mentioned in a speech the name of God not less than 18 times.

The only panacea seems to be the word of God as revealed in the Bhagavad Gita. Kahil Gibran said, "God has bestowed upon you intelligence and knowledge. Do not extinguish the lamp of Divine Grace and do not let the candle of wisdom die out in the darkness of lust and error. For a wise man approaches with his torch to light up the path of mankind."

No man is ever born good or bad. The vastly differing characteristics among humans are those acquired by their thought and action based on value choices. Man has been given free will by God, who always provides the needed inspiration. As man's partner and charioteer of his soul, He guides him. But it is man who has to act under the Lord's inspiration, exercising rightly his free will – the gift of God.

It is man and not God who is responsible for the way he exercises this free will. When he exercises the choice in favor of the lower value, he becomes evil (demonic). When his choice falls on the higher value, he becomes godly (daivic). The tamasic man of lethargy or the rajasic man of restless activity can redeem himself and become sattvic (balanced) when he acts from the base of true knowledge of himself (Gnanayogavyavasthitih – steadfastness of pursuit proceeding from true knowledge).

We all want peace, but most of the time we are restless. We all want happiness, but it seems to be eluding us all the time. We all want calmness of mind and intellect, but we are agitated most of the time. True rest, peace of mind and happiness can be gained only by the liberation of the mind from the strong grip of ego (ahamkara) which is possible only through God's grace – that is, when we acquire the true knowledge of God and wholeheartedly worship and love Him.

Ultimately it is Clod's grace alone that can save us, by granting us the power of self control, knowledge and peace of mind and protecting us from temptation, weakness, doubt and confusion. Ahamkara, the root evil, the cause of all wrong identification, is removed only by Ishvara prasadam (divine grace). Even jnana (wisdom), said the Lord, is named by His grace only – His reward for our devotion.

"On those who are ever devoted to Me and who worship Me in love, I bestow that knowledge with the help of which they attain Me. Taking pity on them, I, residing in their hearts, dispel by the brilliant lamp of wisdom, the darkness born of ignorance." Bhagavad Gita 10:10-11.

Thus the Lord never lets us down.

Article copyright Himalayan Academy.