In­ac­tion is not evo­lu­tion

The Sunday Guardian - - World - By Swami Shan­tat­mananda

Spir­i­tual seek­ers are of­ten con­fronted by a dilemma. The par­tic­i­pa­tion or in­volve­ment in ac­tion brings in its wake sev­eral prob­lems and dif­fi­cul­ties. Should one then re­main in­ac­tive or not par­tic­i­pate in any­thing? As­sailed by such doubts devo­tees would seek Sri Ra­makr­ishna’s guid­ance. He would clar­ify their doubts us­ing a beau­ti­ful ex­am­ple from daily life. In Ben­gal there is a cus­tom that women should not cut pump­kins. Such an act is con­sid­ered in­aus­pi­cious. But, pump­kin is quite of­ten used as a veg­etable. How to solve the problem? Usu­ally, there will be some el­derly men who prac­ti­cally re­main with­out any work or ac­tiv­ity dur­ing the whole day. Nei­ther are they into any gain­ful em­ploy­ment, nor are they do­ing any Sad­hana. The women usu­ally ap­proach such el­ders and ask them to cut the pump­kin into two pieces, af­ter which they cook and pre­pare them. These el­ders are called “el­der the pump­kin-cut­ter” in Ben­gal. They have no other job. Sri Ra­makr­ishna would say, one should not be like that. They just live a veg­e­ta­tive life so to say. In the same way, be­cause work brings bondage, one should not or can­not avoid work. One has to go through the grind of work, par­tic­i­pate fully in ac­tiv­i­ties, suf­fer as a re­sult fruit of ac­tions and slowly evolve in spir­i­tual life through Viveka, Vichara and Vairagya. Mere avoid­ance of work does not el­e­vate one spir­i­tu­ally. Even if one ab­sents one­self from work at phys­i­cal level, one is al­ways do­ing work men­tally which would lead to bondage. So the best way is to work with un­der­stand­ing. One has to un­der­stand the dan­gers or pit­falls of work­ing with the idea of gain­ing the de­sired re­sult or fruit. Such an at­ti­tude leads to bondage and suf­fer­ing. So, the way for spir­i­tual re­gen­er­a­tion is to par­tic­i­pate with a dis­crim­i­na­tive mind and slowly grow in spir­i­tual life.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.