Application - that is what 'Workings-days' are about!
VEDANTA IN ACTION.
This is the title of a publication from CM which, whilst it of course has items by Gurudev, also includes selections of writing from other well-esteemed Gurus from the Vedantic tradition as well as leading businessmen. Its focus is the working life. We shall be exploring these essays for the next few weeks on Workings-day as, clearly, they pertain directly to the premise of this section of AVBlog! As ever, you are encouraged to read back over previous posts, to ensure full benefit.
Part 2:Fulfillment Through work
Efficiency in Action (Gurudev), cont'd
Wrong Responses to the World.
Different individuals react to external challenges differently and with differing results. One may act in the world and rise to some level of standing and success; but another struggles and gets nowhere. Failures are justified by saying the world is a bad place. Also, majority of us are escapists and when we meet with failure, we want to attribute that failure to a cause outside of ourselves…'there was no help - there was no fair opportunity - the environment was not conducive'… and so on. However, when we analyse our personality, we are likely to find that if we are failing and our actions are not bring about the desired results, it is not because of the world but because of our own false and wrong responses to the challenges it throws up for us.
Success and failure in the world are but our own. The same situation, the same sun, moon, stars, climate, nature… are available to us all. Yet each has a different result with all measure actually being the same. The difference is within the individual. It is only because of not knowing how to meet the challenges and appropriate reactions in the one person, whilst the other has the innate qualities which permit a better accomplishment of aims from the very same available situation.
We find that the responses of an individual depend upon the type of ideals he has and that, the higher the ideals, the greater is that person's achievement and contribution to the world. It was said before; every individual must find their own ideal. It cannot be given or taken. An artist, scientist, politician… all have their ideals - nut just talent and opportunity, but the drive to see things through. To the extent that we can faithfully live up to the great ideals, dedicating ourselves more and more to them, a pure column of energy seems to be available to us and we can grow in our productivity.
Many will complain that thought they have high ideals, they have no enthusiasm to study, to improve themselves, or to live a higher life. Why? "Because we are exhausted by the time we come home from the office. We live far away; commute is long; we get late and there is no energy left." The argument in return to this is that the fatigue we feel in the modern world is not the fatigue of physical exertion, such as a farmer or labourer may have - for we have all mod cons to ensure an easier life, physically; washing machines, instant cookers, lifts and vehicles… all around us we have comforts. Yet we complain we have no energy at all. Fatigue is caused by mental tension. Those who take up regular physical exercise find that their fatigue levels are lessened. The mind is given a focus other than the concerns of the day. Meditation is an exercise also! A great reliever of tensions. It provides a goal (as does running or gym work); something to work for in regards to our inner being. We need so much more than just the daily goal of getting to and from work and simply executing our tasks.
When the negative thoughts come, regardless of our status and wealth, we will still be dissatisfied. Happiness depends not only on the type of work we do, but also on our mental condition. Mental health can be maintained when there is something to occupy us more positively, a higher goal. Thus it is imperative that we have a clear and creative goal in life, something from which to draw inspiration.
Sometimes we are momentarily caught up in something which looks promising, but when the source of the inspiration is gone, we are back again into the old lethargy. Where has the energy gone? It is surely still there within us, but is has dissipated and somehow we lose the connection to our inner generator. More on this next week.