How to perform work without doership
Mr. Ekanatha Rao: How can anyone reconcile such activity as self-enquiry with the wage-earning which is a necessity for worldly people?
M.: Actions form no bondage. Bondage is only the false notion, “I am the doer.” Leave off such thoughts and let the body and senses play their role, unimpeded by your interference.
M.: One must realise that he is not the doer, but that he is only a tool of some Higher Power. Let the Higher Power do what is inevitable and let me act only according to its dictates. The actions are not mine. Therefore the result of the actions cannot be mine. If one thinks and acts so, where is the trouble?
D.: The Gita was taught for action.
M.: What does the Gita say? Arjuna refused to fight.
Krishna said, “So long as you refuse to fight, you have the sense of doership. Who are you to refrain or to act? Give up the notion of doership. Until that sense disappears you are bound to act. You are being manipulated by a Higher Power. You are admitting it by your own refusal to submit to it. Instead recognise the Power and submit to it as a tool. Or to put it differently, if you refuse you will be forcibly drawn into it. Instead of being an unwilling worker, be a willing one.
“Rather, be fixed in the Self and act according to nature without the thought of doership. Then the results of action will not affect you. That is courage and heroism.”
Thus, ‘inherence in the Self’ is the sum and substance of Gita teaching. Finally, the Master Himself added, “If a man be established in the Self these doubts would not arise. They arise only until he is established there.”
D.: Then of what use is such reply to the enquirer?
M.: The words still have force and will surely operate in due course.
A devotee asked about Karma Yoga.
Sri Bhagavan said that the man should act as an actor on the stage. In all actions there is the Sat (Reality) as the underlying principle. “Remember it and act.”
A lady devotee:
Lady: How to practice meditation?
M.: Keep off thoughts.
Lady: How to reconcile work with meditation?
M.: Who is the worker? Let him who works ask the question. You are always the Self. You are not the mind. It is the mind which raises these questions. Work proceeds, always in the presence of the Self only. Work is no hindrance to self-realization. It is the mistaken identity of the worker that troubles one. Get rid of the false identity.
A devotee asked: I often desire to live in solitude where I can find all I want with ease, so that I may devote all my time to meditation only. Is such a desire good or bad?
M.: Such thoughts will bestow a janma (reincarnation) for their fulfilment. What does it matter where and how you are placed? The essential point is that the mind must always remain in its source. There is nothing external which is not also internal. The mind is all. If the mind is active even solitude becomes like a market place. There is no use closing your eyes. Close the mental eye and all will be right. The world is not external to you. The good persons will not care to make plans previous to their actions. Why so? For God who has sent us into the world has His own plan and that will certainly work itself out.
There are some buildings in the Asramam. They used to have some plan which somehow could not be followed in entirety.
Therefore a devotee who was involved in this and the Sarvadhikari did not agree on many details and there used to be trouble between them. The devotee was once highly disgusted with the state of affairs. He asked Sri Bhagavan what could be done under the circumstances.
Sri Bhagavan said: “Which of the buildings was according to a plan made by these people here? God has His own plans and all these go on according to that. No one needs to worry as to what happens.”