आत्मैव ह्यात्मनो बन्धुरात्मैव रिपुरात्मनः।। - Chapter 6, Shloka 5
MEANING: In this verse, Lord Krishna, advises Arjuna about the importance of the Self. He says, it is up to us to choose whether we want to be our own friend or enemy. Since we have that choice, we must choose to be friends with ourselves and respect our soul (Atma). As it is the only thing that can save us and guide us on the right path in the long run.
In more generic terms, this verse advises us to never compromise on our self-respect or self-love. He advises us to be our own friends. This verse advises us to honor ourselves and create an environment that will allow us to live dignity, health, and happiness.
In today’s world, people are constantly competing against one another to achieve material success. They are consumed by greed, cut-throat competition, and desire. This constant hunger for success, for material gains, and to outdo another is creating a negative environment. It is leading people to act in unethical ways, keeping them from helping one another, and leading them astray from their life purpose. Sometimes the frustration resulting from our failures also leads us to act in a manner that is harmful to another.
Despite doing everything, when we fail to achieve the targeted success or what we define as success, we tend to put ourselves down, becoming our own worst enemy in the process. This gives rise to physical, mental, and emotional ailments further weakening our ability to achieve our full potential. The tenets of the Bhagavad Gita if followed can provide relief and the motivation to go on during such times. They teach us how to live.