Perseverance. A Jeff Tritel sculpture.
Krishna’s opening words of wisdom in he Bhagavad-gita are quite fascinating. Before even discussing the intricacies of God, the soul, the universe and the nature of reality, He mentions a cardinal principle for any aspiring spiritualist. For anyone seeking inner peace and spiritual connection, Krishna explains the absolute necessity of developing unyielding tolerance.
The forces of nature, the laws of the land, and society’s trends – many such factors are beyond our control. The individuals we build relationships with are also quite unpredictable. While we seek cooperation, friendship and support from others, we may be faced with competition, criticism and enmity. Even our own body and mind torments us. Bodily illnesses as well as the numerous obstructive desires which enter our minds on a daily basis can be quite distracting. As we become engrossed in these disturbances, we lose sight of life’s bigger picture and purpose. By tolerating such things and rather investing our time and energy in our own spiritual consciousness, we fix ourselves on a more progressive path of improvement.
To tolerate does not mean to become a passive, inactive observer of reality. One may have to react to situations and instigate change, but tolerance allows one to maintain an internal peaceful equilibrium no matter how provoking the circumstances. On a deeper level, the spiritualist must come to terms with and accept life's 'disturbances' as the will of providence.
In order to achieve this tolerance, Krishna also gives the key philosophical understanding – realize that everything is temporary – the environment you live in, the individuals around you, and your own crazy thoughts and ideas. All such things simply come and go like nature’s seasons, and one should remain unaffected through spiritually inspired tolerance.