People ask me, ‘Swamiji, why is nature so cruel? Why are there natural disasters? Why do young children die?’ The answer is what Kṛṣṇa gives here. Nature goes about its job without any thought about what the end result will be. What happens will happen. It is bound to happen. Nature follows its dharma, its path of righteousness. The problem is that we do not understand the laws of nature; we measure natural actions by our yardstick of logic.
You will then ask me, ‘How do we know what to do? How do we know what is svadharma, our path of righteousness? Do we decide we are a kṣhatriya, therefore we should fight and kill and not worry about who dies, or, we decide we are a vaiśya, a businessman, in which case our svadharma is to make money without worrying about how we make money?’ No, Kṛṣṇa is not talking about acting in selfishness; the Universal Master is talking about acting from the space of completion. He says, ‘Be centered and complete in yoga, and drop all attachment to results; do what you have to do.’
yoga-sthaḥ kuru karmāṇi saṅgaṁ tvaktvā dhanañjaya I
siddhy-asiddhyoḥ samo bhūtvā samatvaṁ yoga ucyate II 2.48
What beautiful wisdom!
Yoga is union, union of man and Divine. Yoga is completion with the Divine.
Yoga is your realization of your own Self, your realization that you are divine. It is the state of completion, the state of truth, the state of the present, when all that you do will be in righteous consciousness, dharma. When you perform with this completion, and with no expectations, you will do what is right and just.
Our thoughts are unconnected, illogical and unpredictable. It is only when we link thoughts together that problems start and suffering happens. We remember a few out of hundreds of events and try to create a link between these few. Ninety percent of what we cognize and experience is never recorded by our conscious memory; it just slips into our unconscious. Within the ten percent of what we retain, what stays in our memory is always that which falls outside the pattern. If it is part of a normal pattern we will almost always ignore and forget the event.
So, do not link thoughts and create a shaft of thoughts. Unclutch from your thoughts by bringing integrity and weed out all your negative self-fulfilling patterns, and automatically the mind will drop. This is the way to stay in the present. Some of you misunderstand the word ‘Unclutched’ as ‘not to do anything.’ You think that to drop the mind is to be passive, inactive, doing nothing. No, not at all! You can be doing nothing and yet occupy your mind fully. That is what they mean by saying that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. When you have nothing to do, what you end up doing is creating fantasies.
Listen! Constantly listening to your own inner space is the beginning of integrity. If your inner space says that there is nothing more to listen, if only silence is there, then that is the end of integrity. You have achieved integrity. As long as you are hearing something from your inner space, it is lack of integrity. Go on listening. Even while you are in action, karma— sitting, driving, talking or walking, listen to you.
Inaction, akarma is not what is advised. Understand: When you experience integrity and your mind drops, when thoughts cease, and your energy level is high, you cannot be inactive. You will act spontaneously out of sheer necessity. Physical and mental idleness are never produced by a no-thought mind or inner space. One must not link idleness with calmness. One with a no-thought mind, one who is complete in yoga, dwells in peace, calmness and harmony—the space of restful awareness, but is always aware and alert to act spontaneously in the way that would best suit each situation in every moment.
With a no-thought mind comes great awareness and energy; idleness or lethargy is far from it. An incomplete, confused, restless and overworked mind is constantly occupied with chatter and fantasies that can result in apathy and idleness.
Integrity is the basic requirement for Unclutching. When you are in a state of an unclutched inner space, you are in completion and you are in the present moment, where regrets of your past and expectations of the future are absent from your mind. Whatever you do in such a state of completion would be the right thing to do. You are not influenced either by fear or greed regarding the outcome. You do what you have to do, naturally.
That is why Kṛṣṇa says that you must act with responsibility in the present moment of completion. He says, ‘Do not get attached to the results of your action, nor get attached to inaction, thinking that it could be an easy way out of this problem.’