- From the day we join training academies to be transformed from a rookie boy cadet to a trained Officer warrior (gentleman ?) by a process of unparalleled rigorous & thorough training, we are taught to be achievers. In academics, military subjects, sports etc. Achievement is good but a warrior is human & humans need nourishment. The body needs physical nourishment; mind needs mental nourishment, our innermost feelings like hopes/fears/dreams/emotions need reference points and sorting ofcourse our atma/soul/conscience needs righteous reinforcement.
- Among the entire species that inhabits planet earth, only humans, being on top of the evolutionary ladder are the one’s who can think, imagine & rationalize. They do not exist only for hunting /gathering food, given a chance a human wants to expand, grow and make a sense of the happenings around him to find meaning in life. Human beings are also territorial.
- We all are aware within us the atma/soul/conscience exists which acts as a judge /policeman/gatekeeper to gently remind us of right conduct/empathy and duty. This is the Kshestragna.Since atma is intangible, immeasurable & cannot be quantified in the physical world, it gets a short shrift, most often neglected, leading to one sided growth.
- As Officers we are programmed to achieve. Everything from day one has to be quantifiable. Marks, grades, courses, appraisals, ranks, power, pelf, perks, size of bungalows and brass on the uniform. This is the Kshetra (territory). Because the atma resides in a physical body it perforce gets to be defined with individual achievement or property /expanded self.
- A hierarchical organization like the military infuses a fierce competitive spirit of chasing the “pot of gold at the end of the rainbow”, in a mistaken belief that the next rank/ more power will bring us greater happiness/ satisfaction even if it is I- Me –Myself or a self serving mode. We need to realize that we really feel expansive or big when we touch others lives positively or contribute to something/cause bigger than our own puny self. Our own personal glory /achievements will yield diminishing returns unless the Kshetragna is well catered for.
- To grow as a balanced human being & more so a warrior who has an exalted value system of sacrifice & duty it is imperative to understand that growth is both external & internal. The Kshetra (external achievements) & Kshetragna ( inner expansion) have to be in sync. One cannot exist at the cost of the other. In fact both have to be developed in tandem. Many miserable failures today in higher ranks are due to skewed growth externally. They may have all the fancy titles, awards, property & material possessions but feel emptiness/ hollowness in their twilight years. Some carry the burden of guilt to their graves for having done nothing worthwhile & having harmed the deserving subordinates in their own career progression.
- Introspection, empathy & sensitivity to the environment is the key to balanced growth as a warrior. It is the Kshetra & Kshetragna that requires wholesome nourishment. Without quantifiable external achievements how would one achieve a sense of self worth / identity? And without righteous internal nourishment how does one make peace with himself. A harmonious / aligned (internally & externally) individual will not only bring glory to himself but will also be a constant source of inspiration to others .
In fact Lord Sri Krishna while narrating the Holy Bhagvat Gita to Warrior Arjuna in the battlefield of Kurukshetra delves on this behavioral aspect of humans. I have made an attempt to explain its connotation in modern times.