Based on Bhagavad Gita Chapter 04, Text 40
By Chaitanya Charan Das
Thinking things to death refers to spending so much time analyzing a problem that the time for applying any solution runs out before one decides what solution to apply.
Such thinking things to death is the bane of over-intellectual seekers who often get caught in an intellectual paralysis due to their over-analysis of things. The Gita (04.40) warns that those who let themselves be ruled by doubts attain happiness neither in this world nor the next.
Of course, the Gita doesn’t recommend an uncritical acceptance of anything in the name of spirituality, but it urges intelligent pragmatism.
When we are sick, we can’t reasonably expect to study a full course in medicine before taking a particular medicine — the sickness would kill us. We use our intelligence to gain a basic understanding of the diagnosis and the prescription — and then we take the medicine. If it works, we continue it; else, we discontinue it.
The same pragmatic approach is needed on the spiritual path too. We have limited time — by remembering that death is waiting for us in some future corner along the journey of life, we can infuse our spiritual search with a sense of urgent pragmatism.