Thelma and Louise

Thelma and Louise Film

Recently, in the midst of three evenings of sublime teachings on the Bhagavad Gita, Lama Marut suggested that the students consider the predicament of the eponymous characters at the end of Thelma and Louise. My thoughts traveled back to the air conditioned summer theater and the racing heart that anticipated their decision which ends the film. The Bhagavad Gita, as you’ll remember, is the story of the valiant warrior, Arjuna, and the crisis he faces when arriving at the battlefield; the Kulukesetra; the field of Karma. Instead of looking down and seeing a gathered enemy, he sees the faces of his own family. Deeply distraught and overwhelmed by the impasse, Arjuna turns to his charioteer, Krishna to help him decide what to do.

Much like Arjuna, Thelma and Louise, face a daunting impasse. At the end of their long run and wild escapades, they must decide to turn back, into the hands of waiting police or to drive their ’66 Thunderbird into the abyss of a deep canyon. What is intriguing to the careful dharma student is that Thelma and Louise refuse to give back the freedom they have enjoyed in the course of the film and instead surrender to the unknown. When we can see that because we live in Samsara we are like Thelma, Louise and Arjuna, we live constantly in the grip of choices that could never satisfy us. That is, of course, until we surrender.