You cannot think of a physical renunciation. Renunciation can only be of ego, of desires, of saṅga. When you are even towards sukha and duhkha, is it not virtually no sukha-duhkhas? So that evenness towards both make them ineffective. That evenness - he calls the so-called tyāga.
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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.
I would like you to discuss this subject between yourselves today and today I have recording, so I may not be able to talk to you in the evening. Tomorrow I shall try to talk. I don’t know whether we should take up a board.
The first point is that ever since birth till our life forces departs, we are always acting. Do you agree or not? There is no time when we are not acting. So activity is the very nature of life. If there is no activity, the person dies. Blood will be circulating, heat will be generated, air will be circulating, digestive process will be on, the brain signals will be given. So is there any time, scope for being non-active? No. If that is the case, where is the question of thinking about non-activity?
The same is the principle Krishna brings about sannyāsa. He says sannyāsa is not possible. If you are meaning sannyāsa keeping away from work, nobody can keep away from work. I took up sannyāsa. Have I been inactive? So, what is sannyāsa? He says Sannyāsa cannot be any activity as such. Sannyāsa can only be of the clinging that you have towards activities and its results. That sanga-tyāga alone is possible.
If karma is not possible to be abandoned, then can you abandon the result? Say in a factory, a truck is produced. After producing, the truck is not going to remain in the factory. It has to be moved to the depot and it cannot remain in the depot. It will go from there to the dealer. Dealer will not keep it; somebody will buy it. He will give to the body builder. After building the body, it starts carrying freight. Now you tell me where is a phala different from karma.
A child is born. The moment it is born, it is taken for a bath. Then it is fed. Throughout the day, the mother tries to look after the child. So is there anything called phala which is different from karma? So, it is all one stream of activity like a flow of a river. And what is your attitude towards karma, the same is the attitude towards the result. Krishna says in so many places that:
Even for a second, one cannot remain inactive. Prakṛti forces you to be active. Sattva, Rajas and Tamas keep you in active. There is no being in this world devoid of sattva-guna, rajo-guna and tamo-guna. Sattva brings light and wisdom, Rajas brings activity and Tamas brings rest, inattention and lethargy. All these together alone are acting.
We are not acting because of our option. We are acting because of nature’s compulsion. Take your breath. Are you breathing consciously? The lungs are bellowing and the air is available - therefore it is sucked in. As it is sucked in, it is left out. You tell me, where is the will for you to shun this process? You are hungry. You feel like taking food, you take the food and immediately the alimentary canal is busy digesting it. Where is the question of stopping work? What is it that we can do then? We can only take away our clinging, clinging, clinging. The clinging is what we can remove. Sri Krishna accomplishes it by introducing his yoga buddhi. What is that yoga buddhi?
When you are performing a work, certainly it is for an outcome. Whether the outcome fully appears or partially appears or very rarely a negative outcome is there, do not be bothered about it. Look into it, find out why and do the necessary repair. Suppose you are cooking an item, it is over-boiled and burnt, what will you do? You will throw it away and re-cook. See that you are more conscious. So, is there any point where you can be inactive?
Even the phala is an activity; phala not an outcome. Any outcome that you get - suppose you pass and get a certificate. You immediately start applying for a job. When you get a job, you work. So where is that passing the exam becomes a result and you keep quiet? Is it a result or it goads you to further activity? So, let us understand that activity cannot be shunned at all. If activity is there, result also will be inevitable. Now what can be done in the process? You can take away your clinging. Taking away the clinging is not something like abscess which you can operate. The clinging is evident from our different reactions to the fruition, non-fruition or adverse fruition of activity. Do you understand my language? Either it fruitions or does not fruition or has an adverse fruition or a partial fruition. When all these results come, you develop an even attitude. An even attitude means these things will not have any effect. When they don’t have an effect, is it not virtually abandoning them?
When you are even towards sukha and duhkha, is it not virtually no sukha-duhkhas? So that evenness towards both make them ineffective. That evenness - he calls the so-called tyāga. Tyāga means sukha and duhkha you avoid, but you cannot avoid them. So, you develop an attitude by virtue of which sukha duhkhas do not affect you. So it is virtually as having been renounced. Such a renunciation alone is possible is what Krishna says throughout Gita.
You cannot think of a physical renunciation. Renunciation can only be of ego, of desires, of saṅga. Now these are mental, mental and mental. I don’t know what you call them, either reaction or mental blocks, blemish etc. These can be removed. When they are all removed, you become free like a full moon and you can work very confidently.
I told you two kinds of people are there. One man will come and say, “Swamiji, I had nothing in life freely. I had to specially plan, scheme, work.” Another man says, “Swamiji, I don’t know, I am very successful in my life. God has given me everything more than I wanted. I have never struggled; everything is given by God.” Tell me, what is the difference between the two people? You mean to say the second man was lazy?
I was told of a man who is a very good surveyor in insurance. He was such a man that he used to say, “I will do my work. I will never ask for any promotion, improvement or anything.” You know he was such a good surveyor that his boss left the company and went to another and he said, “You should come to me”, and gave him double or triple salary. You tell me how it happens. Is it always by grabbing? Simply keep quiet. You have the skill. You make your effort. Let your effort be such that even your enemy will recognize it and automatically I think everything will fall in place.
It is not necessary that you have a desire. To desire is foolishness. Why should you have a desire and what you will desire? Food - is it depending upon our desire or not desiring? We go to the market. Whatever is available, we select and come back. Can you create a market and bring food and then purchase? Whatever resources you have, whatever money you have, depending upon it you will buy. I think it is the skill that brings a worth and that worth is utilized by the others. So, it is enough if you learn well and develop your skill.
You know our Institute of Chartered Accountants don’t pass students more than what the market can avail of. So, they reduce the pass. How many students they should pass is determined by them because after passing they don’t want chartered accountants to wander on the road. So, they reduce it. Everywhere it is like that. Only in Engineering, graduation etc. they don’t do it. I think we should understand the whole scheme of things very well. Nature has not provided for laziness at all.
So, when Gita says your competence is only for working and achieving your spiritual goal through work by developing the attitude of evenness - don’t think of leaving physical work and taking to a solely contemplative life. The wisdom path is one where you don’t resort to work. You study, contemplate, speak if necessary.
We are running an Ashram. In the Ashram, are we doing anything in the way of a productive activity whereby our produce is sold and an income is made? Actually, an ashram should not engage in any commercial activity. So, it is very sure that our activity is not commercial. Then what is the activity that we are doing? Our activity is solely a knowledge activity. We write books, publish journals, we speak to people giving them wisdom. So everything is revolving around and people are expected to meditate, contemplate, do reflection, read books, have satsangs. All these are knowledge activities. This is called jñāna niṣṭa.
There is no karma niṣṭa here except supportive activities like we have employed a cook who is cooking here. We are not cooking. The cooking is done by people who are given to work. Similarly, in the office, people are there. They are all given to work. They are paid also. What we do is jñāna niṣṭa. Such a jñāna niṣṭa Krishna says, “Arjuna, you cannot take up straightaway now. At present, your competence is only for remaining active.” Soon after he finished his dialogue, Arjuna took his arrow and started fighting.
Suppose after the talk, Arjuna understood everything and said, “Mahabharata war is not necessary. Let others work. I will go to Himalayas and contemplate.”, could Arjuna have said it and done it? Krishna says, “You cannot do it. Your system will not allow; your your nature will not allow you.” This being the case, how do you say that your right is only to work but not to the fruits of what you do? If anybody is active, if anybody works, the result also is his. If work is his, result also is his. But when you work in a factory where goods are produced, ‘I have produced and these are mine’, you cannot say as you are employed to do the work and you are given remuneration for it which you are looking for. So, they take the product and they gave you a substitute reward and that you use for your expenditure. Is it clear?
It is a jñāna supporting activity. You are not doing other things here. Is there anything in the way of selfish reward etc.? Here whatever work is being done, it is done as a support activity. See the cooking. It is a physical work and you have to produce good food. It is being done by cooks; we are not doing it. Our administration and management are done by so many people who are employed for the purpose. Has it been possible for any one of you to do it yourself?
I am writing letters. All my letters are wisdom letters. I read mails, that is also that. I give lectures, I write; everything is wisdom. Is it not a jñāna niṣṭa? Jñāna niṣṭa is one where your mind and intelligence are employed and everywhere there is a measure or a degree of knowledge. That is very important. Publication of a journal - the writing is a physical act, reading is a physical act, mailing is a physical act. But what is it that you are doing? You are doing a wisdom communication. I think that it is primarily a jñāna niṣṭa. And we don’t have a desire associated with it, we don’t have an ego, we don’t have possessiveness also. On the other hand, others who are employed here, every time we ask, “Have you done your work? Have you completed it? What have you done?” They are not doing a jñāna niṣṭa here. They are doing a karma but they are not doing it as a jñāna niṣṭa in the way of a yoga.
So, I think all our activities are completely knowledge activities. Now you have to make sure that it is so. If you make a mistake, that is wrong! This matter requires introspection. Why don’t you introspect and let me know? If you ask me, even the breathing I do is around my jñāna niṣṭa. That much I can tell you! Why not it be true of you also? That is the point, you are not able to feel so! That is where you are failing. You are missing the center and only looking at the circumference.
For the brahmachārins and seekers who come to the ashram, what I say is ‘Come waving your hands with nothing. Marry the ashram and come.’
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.