Inaction is not evolution
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.