The Importance Of Discretion And How To Cultivate It

Seeing Clearly

by Jayaram V

Notes: I have translated the Bhagavadgita twice. The first one was a loose translation. The second one was a word to word translation with a detailed commentary. The commentary is however different from what you will find here. In this section I will share with you my thoughts about the knowledge, philosophy and wisdom of the Bhagavadgita as I understand it from my perspective. Jayaram V


Discretion means the ability to distinguish things. When we do not have discretion, we will make a number of mistakes. Such mistakes can in the end prove costly. Sometimes simple mistakes due to lack of discretion can lead to conflicts and misunderstandings. Simple commonsense plays an important role in discretion. If you have commonsense you will avoid making mistakes or behaving indiscreetly in public or on social networks. However, as we observe in our daily lives, not all people use commonsense.

Discretion is not the domain of humans only. It is predominant in those who think logically and use their reason rather than emotions to solve their problems. Even animals possess some discretion, which they use wisely to choose their food, identify threats and distinguish friends and mates from potential enemies. The power of discretion comes with birth. We can see its play in a month old baby who can recognize familiar faces and know how to respond to a smile, pain, or a threat.

You can improve your discretion by improving your clarity of thought. You can train your mind to perceive things clearly without the usual filters of the mind. One of the major obstacles to clear thinking and thereby to your discretion is attachment. If the mind is filled with desires and attachments, it is difficult to think clearly. Your judgment will be clouded by them, which prevents you from discerning things as they are rather than what you expect them to be.

Most of the time our perceptions are colored by our thoughts, desires, attachments, fears and expectations. If you can get rid of them, you will think clearly. The Bhagavadgita suggests that you must possess discretion. It arises from intelligence, which in turn arises from the purity of your consciousness. The purer you mind and body are, the greater will be your intelligence and your ability to make right decisions.

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