Easy Practical Lessons in Selfless Actions
Practical lessons on Selfless actions
Extracts from Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Mr. Rangachari, a Telugu Pandit in Voorhees’ College at Vellore, asked about nishkama karma. There was no reply. After a time Sri Bhagavan went up the hill and a few followed him, including the pandit. There was a thorny stick lying on the way which Sri Bhagavan picked up; he sat down and began leisurely to work at it. The thorns were cut off, the knots were made smooth, the whole stick was polished with a rough leaf. The whole operation took about six hours. Everyone was wondering at the fine appearance of the stick made of a spiky material. A shepherd boy put in his appearance on the way as the group moved off. He had lost his stick and was at a loss. Sri Bhagavan immediately gave the new one in his hand to the boy and passed on.
The pandit said that this was the matter-of-fact answer to his question.
When a child held something to be offered to Sri Bhagavan by the parents, they cajoled the child to offer it to Sri Bhagavan. The child did so gladly. Sri Bhagavan remarked: Look at this! When the child can give a thing away to Bhagavan (God), it is tyaga (giving up unselfishly).
See what influence Bhagavan has on children also! Every gift implies unselfishness. That is the whole content of Nishkama Karma (unselfish action). It means true renunciation. If the giving nature is developed it becomes tyaga. If anything is willingly given away it is a delight to the giver and to the receiver. If the same is stolen it is misery to both.
Dana, dharma, nishkama Karma are all tyaga only. When ‘mine’ is given up it is chitta suddhi (purified mind). When ‘I’ is given up it is jnana (self-realization). When the nature to give away is developed it results in jnana.
Again a little later, a young boy came all alone, unescorted by his parents. He had come from Chengam in a bus. Sri Bhagavan remarked, “The boy has left his parents to come here. This is also an instance of tyaga.”