In this discourse, Swamiji recapitulates the important concepts presented in the previous sessions. He discusses the three gunas and how they influence people’s natural propensity for work.
Swamiji says that the fourfold varna division is based on the natural qualities and tendencies of humans. Each group has to strive for excellence in their own work.
Swamiji helps the listeners to understand that it is not the performance of work but the attitude with which it is performed that is important. All actions are propelled by nature but when we attach ego and desire with it, the results of the same actions become a bondage for us. Abandoning doership and enjoyership, when actions are performed as an offering to the Universal Lord, they purify the mind and lead to expansion.
Swamiji assures us that the consistent application of karma yoga results in the realization of spiritual perfection. When one can perform actions without any desire or clinging and with self-control, one attains the spiritual goal - naiṣhkarmya-siddhi (non-doership). He says this siddhi (Naishkarmya) is also not the ultimate perfection. After having this siddhi, a seeker has to strive to attain Brahman which is the knowledge of the Ultimate Truth. This is the ultimate Jnana Nishtha where there is nothing other than knowledge at all.
Shlokas Discussed: 18.45 to 18.50
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Those days, there were many rats staying in various pockets of the tiled roof. My room had a very low ceiling and I could even touch the roof tiles. At night, I would see big, big rats running around just near me.
I got back to my daily chores, but the scene remained in my mind – the old man’s wrinkled face, his gleaming eyes, the contentment he enjoyed, his refusal to accept more than ‘his minimum needs’! How many of us can take such a stand?
Bhakti is not so much in the worship with flowers, garlands, lamps or incense sticks. Neither it is in chanting His names and praises. It is verily in living and acting according to the wish of the Lord, pleasing Him, imbibing qualities and attitudes that He wants us to imbibe.