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
On Karma Yoga (by Swami Vivekananda) cont'd
Overcoming Past Impressions
Work, but let not action or the thought produce a deep impression on the mind. Let the ripples come and go: let huge actions proceed from the muscles and the brain, but let them not make any deep impression on the soul.
How can this be done? We see that the impression of any action to which we attach ourselves remains. We may meet hundreds of person during the day and among them meet also one whom we love; then on retiring at night, we may try to think of all the faces seen , but only the face of the loved one is before us in the mind. Attachment to that individual left its deep impression. Physiologically, the impressions have all been the same; every one of the faces seen were reflected upon the retina and the brain took the pictures in… yet there was no similarity of effect upon the mind. Most of the faces, perhaps, were new and therefore had not been stored in memory till now; but the one face which we glimpsed, for perhaps seconds, was remembered from previous meetings. Repetition had ensured impression. We may not even have seen that face for a considerable amount of time, but the feeling associated with its frame left its impression upon the mind. Attachment ensured the lingering impression, you see.
Therefore, to avoid lasting impressions which bind us in attachment, we must become unattached. Let things work; let the brain centres work; work incessantly; but let not a ripple conquer the mind. Work as if you were a stranger, a passer by, in this world. Work incessantly but do not bind yourselves; bondage is terrible. This world is not our habitation, it is only one of the many stages through which we are passing.
Remember the great saying of Saankhya, "The whole of nature is for the soul, not the soul for nature." The very reason of nature's existence is for the education of the soul; it has no other meaning. It is there because the soul must have Knowledge and through Knowledge, free itself. If we remember this always, we shall never be attached to nature; we shall know that nature is a book that we are to read, and that when we have gained the required Knowledge, the book is of no more value to us.
Instead of that however, we are identifying ourselves with nature. We are thinking that the soul is for nature, that the spirit if for the flesh and, as the common saying has it, we think that man 'lives to eat' and not 'eats to live'. We are continually making this mistake. We are regarding nature as ourselves and are becoming attached to it; and as soon as this attachment comes, there is the deep impression on the soul that binds us down and makes us work not from freed, but like slaves.