5 key Life-Changing Lessons from Bhagwad Gita for Competitive Exam Aspirants

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By Smartkeeda
7 Feb 2023
As quoted by Sadguru, a renowned speaker, poet, mystic, and yogi who has the power to transform lives around the world, "Youth is not the time and age for you to seek certainty. You must equip yourself to handle uncertainty. For this, you need a spiritual process".

If we talk about competitive exam aspirants, spirituality plays a great role in facilitating the development of student's positive qualities and handling the anxiety they face during their preparation phase to a great extent.

The most popular spiritual book in India –  “Shrimad Bhagavad Gita”, a part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata, in which Lord Krishna enlightens Arjuna with his wisdom. It teaches many life lessons that can be easily applied to our daily lives. It teaches us to confront life situations head-on. Bhagavad Gita has been a guide for Mahatma Gandhi and many leaders of the Indian Independence movement as it propagates the best words of wisdom.

In this article, we, at Smartkeeda are going discuss the 5 key life-changing lessons, from the 5 verses of Shrimad Bhagwad Gita, that would help the aspirants understand the intricacies of life, the struggle phase of their preparation journey, and how to deal with the unfavorable situations of this period.

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1. Too many distractions / Lack of Concentration / An Inability to Control mind

lack of concentration competitive exams smartkeeda
उद्धरेदात्मनात्मानं नात्मानमवसादयेत् |
आत्मैव ह्यात्मनो बन्धुरात्मैव रिपुरात्मन: ||

Meaning: Elevate yourself through the power of your mind, and not degrade yourself, for the mind can be the friend and also the enemy of the self.

A lot of students lack concentration due to the distractions around them. Digital distractions are everywhere we look, Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms that are just a click away. This is how these platforms take you to the whirlpool of entertainment and snatch away your valuable time.

  • While solving a question, a notification pops and you feel like, let me just reply to this notification.
  • Next, let me see how many people watched my story.
  • Or, it would just take a minute to see the story of my friend and the cycle goes on.
Distraction isn’t a lack of focus; it’s simply allowing yourself to become focused on something other than the task you are working on. You know exactly what the need of the hour is, but you still keep yourself away from it just for the sake of little entertainment. At the end, this is very much frustrating as it disturbs your study schedule and makes your tasks take much longer than they should.

According to Lord Krishna, the Mind Can Be Your Best Friend Or Foe, It Can Elevate You To Great Heights Or let you ruin your life. For the one who has conquered his mind (Self), it is a friend, but for the one who has not managed to conquer it, the mind will remain a foe. Therefore, to succeed in our lives, we must create healthy relationships with our minds. If we can not keep a balance in mind, it leads to disturbances and affects our body and soul.

2. Examination Anxiety / Stressing Over the Results

Examination anxiety competitive exams smartkeeda

कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन।
मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि।।

Meaning: You only have the right to do the work, but not on its fruits. Don’t make the fruits, a motive for your actions. Do not get comfortable with (attached to) inaction.

Many of you must be having anxious thoughts about situations where your preparation might not be fruitful, or the case if you failed a particular exam. A fear of failure can be a major barrier to achieving your goals.
One of the biggest reasons why aspirants get disheartened while confronting challenging situations is that they start stressing over the outcome. Self-doubt, tension, and a feeling of worthlessness come along with the thoughts of the outcome.
  • What will happen if I am unable to score 20+ on this section?
  • What if I fail this test? My whole year will get ruined!
  • What will happen if I fail to achieve this milestone?
First, you need to shift your focus toward the process instead of the outcome right from the preparation phase. Obsession with the outcome can turn your motivation into student anxiety. Work or actions done with a constant expectation of rewards create bondages of anxiety, restlessness, greed, dissatisfaction, etc. Whereas, something done without focusing on the rewards puts one in a positive frame.

Also, you should constantly remind yourself that you are trying your best. Success and Failure are both a part of life and whether the failures are pleasant or not, it doesn’t make you any less valuable or loveable as a person. When we are not in the clutches of the result, we are open to trying new experiences, experimenting, and taking risks. Therefore you should focus on what is under your control instead of worrying about the results.

3. Missed the Cut off by a Very Low-Margin

मात्रास्पर्शास्तु कौन्तेय शीतोष्णसुखदु: खदा: |
आगमापायिनोऽनित्यास्तांस्तितिक्षस्व भारत ||

Meaning: The contact between the senses and the sense objects gives rise to fleeting perceptions of happiness and distress. These are non-permanent, and come and go like the winter and summer seasons. O descendent of Bharat, one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.

For aspirants, the absolute meaning of this shloka is “Nothing is permanent in this world”. Tough time does not stay for long. The bad phase passes after a certain period. Learn to tolerate them without being affected by them.

A lot of times, aspirants miss the final cutoff by a very small margin. This situation can be extremely stressful for any aspirant. Many students feel like it is the end of the world as this little difference in the marks of the candidate and the cutoff takes away a lot of time the candidate has devoted to that exam. Remember, everything happens for a cause or good reason. Whatever happens in life happens for good and there is always a cause or reason behind that.

Aspirants must keep in mind that these failures are temporary, just like their successes. What remains constant is the Knowledge & Experience that you had gained over the period of time and NOBODY can take that away from you.
This kind of stoicism can help students look at things objectively and stop taking failures personally to their heart. This perspective can also promote an attitude of trying over and over again instead sinking into a state of depression.

4. Lacking Discipline

Discipline in competitive exams smartkeeda

नात्यश्नतस्तु योगोऽस्ति न चैकान्तमनश्नत: |
न चाति स्वप्नशीलस्य जाग्रतो नैव चार्जुन ||

Meaning: O Arjuna, those who eat too much or eat too little, sleep too much or too little, cannot attain success in Yog.

A huge section of the aspirants does not pay any attention to the “Self-Discipline” part during their preparation journey. Many of them maintain a poor and irregular sleep schedule that leads to many diseases like Insomnia, Cardiovascular disease, Obesity, and even depression. Also, unusual eating habits developed by the students while staying away from home prove to be fatal for their preparation phase.

Students must learn the art of maintaining harmony between the mind and body (Yoga) even during stressful times. A neglected body will ditch you on the day of the exam by falling ill. And a neglected mind will punish you by performing sub-optimally during exams.

  • Indulge in some physical activity: According to research, physical activity can help lower your overall stress levels and improve your quality of life, both mentally and physically. Exercise is one of the most effective ways to deal with and handle stress and anxiety.
  • Get plenty of sleep: Sleep deprivation negatively affects your performance and significantly drops your ability to recall information. Therefore, to handle stress,  a good night's sleep before your exam should actually be one of your top priorities.
  • Take healthy meals & drink ample amounts of water: You must assure that to take healthy meals at the right time. Also, ensure that you're drinking enough water every day. Hydration has been associated with energy levels and physical endurance, as well as concentration and focus. Staying hydrated is therefore important to enable children to regulate their ability to function and to get the most out of their day.
 As the saying goes, ‘Your level of success is determined by your level of discipline and perseverance”. A disciplined routine on what to study and when to study goes a long way to helping you to succeed.

5. Giving up Too Soon

यथा दीपो निवातस्थो नेङ्गते सोपमा स्मृता।
योगिनो यतचित्तस्य युञ्जतो योगमात्मनः।

Meaning: Like a lamp does not flicker in a spot where there is no wind, similarly, the concentration of a controlled mind (a meditating Yogi) is unwavering.

In this quote, Krishna says, similar to a lamp that does not flicker in a windless place: one should practice keeping his mind steady and should not allow the failures in your path to snatch away your motivation

The biggest problem of the current generation of aspirants is their inability to be patient for longer periods. They think of giving up as soon as the results are not as per their expectation. They feel like it would be easier to give up rather than risk more failures.

See, Patience is the key factor to conquering this fierce competition. The competitive exams not just check your knowledge, but also your ability to handle challenges and your reaction to them.  The patience to face such adversities comes with practice.  With practice, you get the foresight to expect obstacles in your path and to deal with them diplomatically. But you need time and effort to master it. No matter how intoxicating the victory or how painful the failure is, you should try to keep your mind calm and composed. Undoubtedly, it is difficult to restrain the mind, but it can be controlled by practice and detachment.


Dear Aspirants, we hope these verses from Shrimad Bhagwad Gita and the teachings of Lord Krishna would banish your confusion, allay your fears and infuse you with strength, inner peace, stability, and inspiration to keep chasing your goals with utmost honesty.

Now that we have provided you with the required motivation and wisdom, you can kick start your preparation now with the help of best mock tests available at Smartkeeda. Stay calm and prepare consistently. Right preparation with the right attitude will definitely help you achieve your dreams. 

Click here to attempt a free mock test now!

All the best!!

Thanks & Regards
(Team Smartkeeda)

Smartkeeda (author)

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