Each 'Choose-day' we will investigate the process by which we can reassess our activity and interaction with the world of plurality and become more congruent within our personality.
We are reading "Tips for Happy Living - jIvnsUÇai[ /jiivanasuutraani", by Swami Tejomayananda (Guru-ji). Choose-days writings are here to prompt deeper thinking on the choices made on a daily basis and seek to provide prompts for raising the standard of one's thinking and living. This text composed in format of Sanskrit traditional teachings, speaks directly to this purpose. As ever, the full text may be obtained from CM Publications - or your local centre (see sidebar).
Having established that good work and satisfying rest are part of the picture of success, what can be an obstacle to it?
ivcarhIn< kmR twa kmRhInae ivcarí iv)ltaya> kar[m!.2.
Vicaara-hiinam karma tathaa karma-hiino vichaarashcha viphalataayaaH kaaranam ||2||
Thoughtless action and actionless thought are the causes of failure.
Just as, at the physical level, workaholism or laziness can lead to failure, here we have the equivalent at the mental level. Let us discuss thoughtless action. Well-thought-out (thoughtful) actions will result in success; however the opposite is true where we give little thought to our actions. Correct thinking is essential to success and must precede all action.
Some do not think at all, some not enough and others think completely erroneously prior to action. Such action is considered as tamaasika (very dull). To not consider the consequences of how much time, or money, or resources are likely to be spent; to not take into account potential for inconvenience or harm to others; indeed, to not properly assess one's own involvement and ability to undertake any given task… all these are very dull. Indiscriminate, rash, whimsical, impulsive, sentimental… stupid… all these can be epithets for thoughtless actions.
As a parable for helping us to understand - just in case any of us think we are immune to thoughtless action - Guruji tells;
A woman left her child sleeping in the cradle and went to get water from the well. On her return, she was greeted at the door by the pet mongoose, with blood on its mouth. In a shocked state she thought the mongoose had harmed her child. She killed it in anger and rushed to the child. It was sleeping peacefully next to a dead cobra, which the mongoose had killed. She, thereafter, deeply regretted her thoughtless action, for now she was also without her pet.
Many act in haste and repent at leisure.
What then is actionless thinking? This is the pipe-dream, castles-in-the-air type of thinking. Many keep planning what they will do when… some spend hours thinking about the exercise they will do when they finally get out of bed or off their couch. Such thinking is tiring, ennui sets in, so even the thinking slows down.
It is wasteful of our mental capacity. There are those who are not physically active, but are using their minds on high-level thinking, working out solutions to various issues… but eventually action has to follow in order to prove the thinking. To not follow through on our planning is very wasteful and will certainly not lead to any form of success. The gap between what 'we should be' and 'what we are' often results in a kind of personality collapse; self-esteem drops, mood falls, more serious mental conditions start to prevail. It is a vicious cycle.
There are whole communities which are affected; circumstances are such where people think all they have available to them is day-dreaming and 'if only this' or 'what if that'. When someone realises that following up the dreaming, the planning, with action is going to lead to fulfilment of that dream, they have moved out of thought-wasting and into thought-taming.