Love for the temporary

You get involved in your actions, which bind you. When you worry about yourself, are you not worrying about the body? Whatever you may do as a body, that cannot give you peace. Truth is beyond imitation and you cannot pose as Truth. There are no Gods and Goddesses other than your own Consciousness. None of them can give you lasting peace, which can be yours by knowing the origin of Consciousness. Then, you can be in an ocean of peace. When you realize yourself to be without a body, your formless nature becomes clear. When there is freedom from emotions, there is the purity of the body-Sattva. That promotes Viveka (Discrimination), which helps one to be free of concepts.
Without disturbing the body-mind we have to study why we love to exist. Why should the ever-existent develop a love for this temporary manifestation from the un-manifested? We have to meditate on Consciousness, which promotes Viveka of various kinds. Stabilization in pure Consciousness helps proper understanding of all that you read or hear.

All our thoughts originate when there is some action needed. You must think properly so that you become free of selfish motives. Such motives become a cause of your bondage. Everyone has a love for being, which is pure. You must chant the ‘Jaya Guru’ Mantra which can, initially, be audible to you. But when you are tired you should continue chanting in silence. This chanting helps us to wake us up from our long ignorance. Consciousness is Guru, and our attention to it is desirable. The Guru is not restricted to a body but is all-pervasive and He is in you as your Consciousness. Consciousness is normally active but becomes Nirguna (Un-manifested- attributeless) after Self-Realisation. It becomes pure and holy by Mantra, leading to the ultimate knowledge. During His lifetime, Krishna acted a lot, but always remained Nirguna. It is not necessary that all Jnanis should have the same experiences. It becomes difficult to accept that Nirguna can also be active.

Nisargadatta Maharaj, Self Love edited by Mohan Gaitonde

The chains of agency

“Swamiji, I am puzzled. Following your instruction, suppose I never asked for food, and nobody gives me any. I should starve to death.”

“Die then!” This alarming counsel split the air. “Die if you must Mukunda! Never believe that you live by the power of food and not by the power of God! He who has created every form of nourishment, He who has bestowed appetite, will certainly see that His devotee is sustained! Do not imagine that rice maintains you, or that money or men support you! Could they aid if the Lord withdraws your life-breath? They are His indirect instruments merely. Is it by any skill of yours that food digests in your stomach? Use the sword of your discrimination, Mukunda! Cut through the chains of agency and perceive the Single Cause!”

Autobiography of a yogi, Paramhansa Yogananda

Karma Yoga

Before we talk about failure, first we have to know what is success. If people have the wrong definition of success, then they will also have the wrong definition of failure. According to spiritualists, success is not in the result. Success is not in the achievement. Success is not what you get at the end. That’s not what defines success according to spiritual teaching.

Success is in your endeavor, your intention, your effort, the character that goes behind the noble thing that you’re trying to do and once you’ve invested all of those things whatever the result may be is actually inconsequential. It is already a success because in reality none of us are in control of the result. There are other factors in the universe beyond our control which are affecting the results that we gain. So, therefore, if you try to measure success by results, not only will you feel a failure but you’ll also be inhibited of even going on the journey for fear of failure. But when you understand that success is in the effort, the goal of life is not to be the best, the goal of life is to try your best; and in trying your best if it is destiny’s plan for you to be the best for the purpose of service and making the world a better place, then so be it. And if destiny for your plan is not for you to be the best, it doesn’t matter you’re still a success.

In the Bhagavad Gita, this is known as karma yoga or the art of working, the art of detached work and this is one of the most powerful things that people can use in their life. Because, in this world people are so stressed, people are so deflated, demoralized and depressed because they measure success in the wrong way. When we measure success in the wrong way, we fall to the cancers of the mind competing with others comparing with others but you’re on your own journey and you only need to do your best.

Keshava Swami