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
Training Our Minds
In order to train our minds to this attitude [efficiency and focus], we need consistent [re]training, because we have already trained our minds incorrectly. Not knowing the art of action, we have become masters in doing things wrongly. If, in the socialistic pattern, each of us is given a car and we don't know how to drive yet we drive anyway, what would be the condition of the roads? This seems to be the pattern of life that we lead. Every one of us is a vehicle. We know how to go forward. The intellect is a very powerful steering guide when used correctly, but nobody seem to know how to control the mind's energy and direct it properly - or even what the destination is.
There is too much chaos in life; each person cross-purposes or drives against the other. Every one intent on reaching a particular goal; but we reach nowhere, instead meeting troubles along the way, because we do not know how to control our mind and pour it into positive activity.
When an individual has discovered new energy within himself, when he has learned the art of stopping the dissipation and is able to fix entire energy on the work at hand, a great joy wells up. The joy of the artisan or the artist; crafting something new, whether toy or precision instrument, brings great joy and fulfillment. Few of us now can truly relate to the pleasure derived by the artisan, for so much is now automated and we have removed ourselves from the hands-on contact with our work - the joy of creativity is mostly gone; if at all we are involved in the creation of things, it as the removed level of programming the machines which will actually perform the tasks.
However, if we turn our vision in a different direction, the joy of having done the right thing in the right way can be ours. For example, even though typing can be considered dreary work, if the typist executes the work neatly, with minimal mistakes and correction, the dividend of satisfaction is high. We can discover joy in the precision and perfection of the work we turn out. Whether others recognise it or not, we have the satisfaction of having done the very best that we could with what we had, bringing a silent stream of joy which sings a secret song at all times in our hearts.
The artists who have been able to put their head and heart where their hands are working have discovered the joy of samaadhi, a joy or religious ecstasy, because when the physical, mental and intellectual personalities become integrated, the individual is nearer perfection and in that atmosphere of joy is capable of achieving the very best.
Anyone who has a hobby can very easily understand this. A hobby means an activity of the hands and legs wherein the head and heart also concur. When the hand is doing something and the head and heart are involved, the individual says that it is recreation - a hobby. Many who undertake hobbies and out-of-work interests, will report feeling energised and refreshed from exercising same. Holidays and vacations are also used this way - and often we will try new things and accept other things which would not normally be countenanced in daily life. All because we want to do it. We feel disappointed and dejected in life not because there is no meaningful work in the world; we are not discovering for ourselves the inspiration of making the work we do meaningful. Inspired work not only brings out higher production and efficiency, but gives the boost of joy to the worker. To work in this way is the art of living which has been described in the Vedas and especially in the Bhagavad Gita.
Thus, to sum up, according to the Rsis, we must discover a goal from which to draw our inspiration. Once we have found that goal or ideal, be it political, economic, spiritual, if it is an ideal that we have chosen according to our own heart - not one which others may have imposed upon us - then a new enthusiasm comes to us. When there is this, then sincerity, ardour and consistency of purpose automatically follow. Next, we must channel our energy to achieve our goal without dissipating it through unintelligent regrets, imaginations, excitements. If we work on in the world with our head, heart and hands fully integrated, the very work gains a stamp of efficiency and beauty. Our reward is indescribable fulfillment and joy.