“O King, at that time Arjuna, the son of Pandu, who was seated in his chariot, his flag marked with Hanuman, took up his bow and prepared to shoot his arrows, looking at the sons of Dhritarashtra. O King, Arjuna then spoke to Hrishikesha [Krishna] these words:” (Bhagavad-gita, 1.20)
अथ व्यवस्थितान् दृष्ट्वा
धनुर् उद्यम्य पाण्डवः
हृषीकेशं तदा वाक्यम्
इदम् आह मही-पते
atha vyavasthitān dṛṣṭvā
dhanur udyamya pāṇḍavaḥ
hṛṣīkeśaṁ tadā vākyam
idam āha mahī-pate
Friend1: You hear this lament sometimes, from the commentators. If there is a young athlete with star potential, expectations grow. Sometimes the loftiest, that they will break records set decades ago, and so forth.
Friend2: You know, a lot of times those athletes are able to meet that potential. Remarkable stuff. It’s interesting to see the discovery process, how scouts can accurately predict the future of a prospect. Even if the first few years after turning professional things haven’t taken off, there may be a lot of development left.
Friend1: The key is to stay patient. They will eventually get better. You also have the cases where everything gets spoiled. Maybe too much pressure. Hard partying and drinking. Crippling injuries in the beginning.
Friend2: Absolutely. In a sport like American football, your career can be finished in a single play.
Friend1: One of the laments you hear is that the talent is gone to waste.
“Oh, they could have done so much. Just imagine. What a shame.”
Friend2: Sure. That is only natural.
Friend1: It got me to thinking that every person has an amazing talent, even if they are unaware.
Friend2: You see that from the very beginning, during childhood. My kid understands the peekaboo game even before they learn to walk. I show them a few times and next thing you know they are playing it with me. My friend’s kid mimics words to perfection. They only have to hear a single time and they can repeat.
Friend1: You have to be careful with that. Don’t want to say a bad word in front of them.
Friend2: There is a unique genius inside every person.
Friend1: Then what is the best way to use that talent? I guess that is my question.
Friend2: Follow the example of Arjuna.
Friend1: Of Bhagavad-gita fame?
Friend2: Yes. His talent was the military arts. Typically, you would expect that religious life, devotional service, bhakti, whatever the preferred term, involves serious and silent worship in the temple. Deep contemplation.
Friend1: Off to the Himalayas. Living in a cave with barely any clothes. No connection to the outside world.
Friend2: Right, and so you would think that firing arrows from a bow on a battlefield is the furthest thing from pleasing the Almighty. Yet that is exactly what Arjuna did. He used his talents in the best possible way.
Friend1: What if I don’t have any talents?
Friend2: Why would you say that? I thought we just agreed on the truth that every person has something.
Friend1: Okay, but maybe I haven’t discovered my talent yet. Then what should I do?
Friend2: You can chant, can’t you? You can sing, no? Repeat the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. If you can’t do that, then at least hear. Maharaja Parikshit sacrificed his life at the end. He gave up everything and simply heard Krishna-katha in its most glorious form, the Shrimad Bhagavatam.
Always option to hear,
To Krishna coming near.
But talent inside there,
Even if now unaware.
In that direction use,
For Lord’s pleasure choose.
That highest engagement of all,
Perfection of life to call.