Two seeds lay side by side in the fertile soil.

The first seed said, "I want to grow! I want to send my roots deep into the soil beneath me, and thrust my sprouts through the earth's crust above me ... I want to unfurl my tender buds like banners to announce the arrival of spring ... I want to feel the warmth of the sun on my face and the blessing of the morning dew on my petals!"

And so she grew...

The second seed said, "I am afraid. If I send my roots into the ground below, I don't know what I will encounter in the dark. If I push my way through the hard soil above me I may damage my delicate sprouts ... what if I let my buds open and a snail tries to eat them? And if I were to open my blossoms, a small child may pull me from the ground. No, it is much better for me to wait until it is safe."

And so she waited...

A yard hen scratching around in the early spring ground for food found the waiting seed and promptly ate it.

This wonderful story will make us cogitate over the powerful influence of fear of the unknown that many of us will hesitate to undertake a work, fearing its outcome. Its paralyzing effect can overwhelm anyone. Fear is one of the basic emotions in us. Even children show fear for unknown persons, things and places. Thus, the fear of unknown future, fear of possible fantasized negative events trouble us a lot. How do we find out that these are bad events? We compare possible events with negative ones we experienced.

all fear death but death as such can not cause fear. In normal circumstances, death can not be known or perceived. We fear it as we haven’t experienced it. Ignorance, too, is considered a major cause of fear. Primitive man was completely in the dark about natural phenomena such as the eclipses, thunder and lightning, the comets and the like. He feared them and held them in awe. Later, as he gained knowledge of these phenomena, the fear vanished. Interestingly, the old fears may go but are replaced by new ones.

How can we fear something which we have not seen or of whose pain or severity we have had no personal experience? What causes fear? As a matter of fact, the fear comes from the imagined pain of permanent separation from the near and dear ones and the cherished possessions, luxuries and life’s enjoyments. It is this perception of unknown outcome of the separation that causes fear in us.

From our experience, we know that change is the unchangeable law of nature. Over time everything disappears or disintegrates and is replaced by something different. Living and non-living things all change their form, shape or state over a period of time.

The Gita says that change is the law of the universe. What you think of as death, is indeed life. In one instance you can be a millionaire and in the other instance you can be steeped in poverty. Yours and mine, big and small - erase these ideas from your mind. Then everything is yours and you belong to everyone.

It further says that whatever you took, you took from God. Whatever you gave, you gave to Him. You came empty handed; you will leave empty handed.

So why to worry about the unknown? We all have experienced the futility of fear of unknown in our life.

The Gita itself provides a remedy for the fear of unknown. It says that

  • Dedicate your being to God. He is the one to be ultimately relied upon. Those who know of His support are forever free from fear, worry and sorrow.
  • Whatever you do, do it as a dedication to God. This will bring you the tremendous experience of joy and life-freedom forever.