If we don’t give up our attachments voluntarily, we will have to give them up involuntarily
At the start of the Bhagavad-gita (01.01), Dhritarashtra asks: What did the two armies assembled for fighting do? Herein, the unspoken query was: did his sons, the Kauravas, win against the Pandavas?
Sanjaya answers in the Gita’s last verse (18.78) prophesizing victory for the side that features Krishna and Arjuna together, thus implying Dhritarashtra’s imminent bereavement. Prior to the war, when Vidura, Vyasa, various sages and Krishna himself had counselled him, he could have voluntarily relinquished his unholy attachment. But he refused to renounce voluntarily and so was forced to lose involuntarily.
We all have a Dhritrashtra-like mentality which makes us obsessed with our pet attachments. We may be attached to, say, wealth, but no matter how much we scheme to hold on to it, we will lose it inevitably at death, if not earlier. When we lose things involuntarily, we gain nothing except lamentation.
Thankfully, such devastating deprivation doesn’t have to be our fate; Gita wisdom offers a spiritually enriching option. It explains that we are indestructible spiritual beings, who are eternal parts of the all-attractive supreme spiritual reality, Krishna. Whatever our particular attachment, it is a misdirection of our soul’s longing for our Lord. Our present lifetime is a precious opportunity to redirect that attachment to him by practicing bhakti-yoga diligently. Through such practice, if by the time of death, Krishna has become our strongest attachment, we rise to indestructible spiritual reality to be united with him for a life of eternal love. Even if he hasn’t become our foremost attachment, still we carry whatever devotional attachment we have developed to our next lifetime to build on it there.
Understanding that material loss is inevitable at death, why not spiritualize our consciousness and thereby prepare ourselves to receive the ultimate spiritual gain?