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.
3: Actionless Action.
Liberated While Working (Q&A with Sri Anandamayi Ma) cont'd
"Work only begets more work; how can one be liberated by working?"
Do you not know this? If you can become so completely concentrated in any one [positive] direction that you cannot help acting along that line, wrong action becomes impossible. In consequence, action is losing its hold on you and is bound to come to an end. How many states and stages there are. This is one of them.
It is only on the level of the individual that pleasure and pain exist. During spells of severe pain, when one tosses about in burning agony, is there any room left for concern about others? Is not the whole attention on self-pity? At that moment of delusion, body identification reigns supreme. One exists oneself and from here we can see how there is basis for the coming and going of the individual in its cycle of life and death. The one who loves God is out to destroy this identification with the body. When this has come about, delusion is destroyed and the True Self becomes apparent. Your dwelling place at present is where the Self manifests as not-self - with that destroyed, it is only destruction which is destroyed. Furthermore, what is known as worldly craving may also be characterised as the activity that takes place because the action of Self-Revelation is absent. HE is not there, this is the crux of the matter.
You speak of world. Jagat means that action will occur and it will bind the jiiva. Where no question of birth and rebirth exists, no question of being bound, this is called 'eternal'. Now, grasp this thoroughly; how can that which is perpetual motion be bound? Does it remain in one place? Just as it does not remain confined to any place, so it cannot be found when the mind is dissolved. Therefore, since it never stays bound in any particular spot, can one not call it free? What goes and what comes? Behold, it is movement as that of the ocean, He expressing Himself. The waves are but the rising and falling of the water, and it is the water which forms the waves, limbs of His own body - water in essence. What is that makes the same substance appear in different forms, as in water, ice, waves, steam? This again is asked from a particularly plane of consciousness. Reflect and see how much of it you grasp! No simile is ever perfect.
Who comes? Who goes? Change, transformation - what are they? Grasp the root of all this! Everything passes away; that is to say, death passes away - death dies. Who goes and whither? This ceaseless coming and going, what is its essence? Again, if there is no question of any action, no question of coming and going, where does birth come in...where death? Ponder over this.
The Universe is nothing but the One Self. As such, every form is He in His very own form; that is the Self, the Eternal, revealed as form. This implies non-action. Currently your view is "action dedicated to God alone is true action, all the rest is useless and no action at all". In the Eternal itself though, no concept of this kind of action exists. He Himself is action; He Himself is form; He Himself can be with qualities (saguna) and without qualities (nirguna). Where Iishvara or anything pertaining to Him is manifested, He Himself appears in action, although ever remaining the non-doer. He is the essence of everything, the Absolute Truth. He Himself is action, He the Eternal cannot be destroyed. He alone is and nothing but He. The one who is pure Consciousness and pure Intelligence has many shapes and forms - yet Himself remains formless. All action undertaken in the worldly state is Him only. Since you are limited by your diverse angles of vision, you speak of the non-eternal and hold to the idea that the result of action cannot endure.
Action in which there is no possibility of bondage is indeed 'being'. Jagat is a place of constant dying; perpetual change. On the plane of the individual and therefore of bondage, all change pertains exclusively to movement of this kind. In order to remove this delusion, the dedicated individual puts all effort into focused action. In order to divert the course of his life into this direction, the average person must devote himself to actions focused on That alone.
Think carefully on this; you are already eternally free. Do you not know that the rope with which you tie anything in this world; whether of iron or of gold, chains are chains. In your innermost heart you know that you are free; that is why your nature is to yearn for freedom. When, by someone's good fortune, He becomes revealed as action, action will cease of its own accord. Only then can action cease.