By nature, man has to work. The senses have to be engaged in some action. Even if you try and control them and do nothing externally, the very act of restraint is an action in itself. Kṛṣṇa says very beautifully, ‘By nature, the senses are tuned to be extrovert.’ ‘Extrovert’ is not something negative. Extrovert senses will always be alive, creative, active and contributing. All great creative persons took the responsibility for their extrovert senses. If you want to be wealthy, have the company of wealthy people, or make the people in your company wealthy! If you want to be spiritual, have the company of spiritual people, or make the people in your company spiritual. There is no other way. Intranalyze what I am saying.
To experience the reality of your choice in your life, you should first work to transform and enrich the reality of others around you. Kṛṣṇa says, your senses, by nature are programmed to go out! You are programmed to work, to go out. Going out can happen only in two ways: either to enrich or to swindle! Surely, swindling others is not going to transform you. Only enriching others is going to transform you. The choice is really about how to work. Here, Kṛṣṇa gives the answer to that. He says that we should perform work with devotion with authenticity in our actions, only to enrich, and without attachment to the results, karmendriyaiḥ karma-yogam asaktaḥ sa viśiṣyate (3.7).
Work without unnecessarily being bothered about whether or not it will fetch the results that you expect. When we work, our thoughts are on the future, we are not in the present moment. Am I right? Then how can we perform to our fullest potential? How can I say that I am doing my work with full devotion if my mind is not totally merged with the task at hand? It’s not possible.
When do you get worried or afraid? It is when you have an expected result, when there is an unwritten expectation, an unconscious desire to achieve something as the result of an action. Kṛṣṇa says, ‘Drop the very desire and drop the very expectation.’ We wonder, ‘How can we function if we drop expectations?’ I am not saying you should not plan and or you should do something without thinking. I am saying, ‘Plan, but plan chronologically, not psychologically.’
You see, there are two things: chronological planning and psychological planning. Chronological planning is planning on a timescale. You decide you to get up at a particular time, finish the list of tasks you planned at the office by a certain time, and so on. This is a practical way to organize your work in a way that it can give the best results. This is fine. But what do we do? We don’t stop at this. We review the plan in our head over and over again, thinking in different ways, internally preparing for eventualities, expecting results from our plan even before the action. We keep supposing, ‘What if this happens? What if that happens?’
Be aware that when you are in action, it is the senses acting. Then you will not get attached to the action or its result. Then you are free; you are liberated from the bondage of action. Action binds you only when you consider yourself ‘the doer’ and have expectations about things being a certain way.
Psychological planning boosts your ego, your root pattern. It makes you feel great and worthy. It makes you stay serious and feel that you are handling great things. It is very unfortunate, but we carry a strong pattern that we should be ready to accept failure, because failure is a part of life. Then you are constantly giving a commitment to you that there is going to be failure. You always internally prepare yourself for failure. When you prepare, you usually remind yourself of the worst possibilities and then prepare tools and weapons to handle it. In the name of contingency planning, we just worry and give a commitment to failure. Instead, if we apply our awareness to the problem with integrity in thinking and authenticity in action, the solution will be visible. But we complicate the whole process. We get worked up about contingency situations and introduce a complex negativity in the whole thinking process. It is the power of completion that empowers you to face the worst eventualities.
Preparation for the worst eventualities mentally strengthens your belief in failure. Are you successful in handling any eventualities by preparation? So, from today, decide, you will not mentally prepare yourself for the worst eventualities. You will spend all your energy removing the weed of the worst eventuality from your inner space. Now have awareness inside. You have never handled the worst possibilities because of preparation. You always handled the worst possibilities because of your completion!
If you are in the space of completion, you face the worst possibilities in completion and win! Kṛṣṇa says, ‘One who does devotional work with authenticity, without attachment, and controlling the senses—yas tv indriyāṇi manasā niyamyārabhate arjuna, is superior to one who merely pretends to be in control of his senses and acts in renunciation, karmendriyaiḥ karma- yogam asaktaḥ sa viśiṣyate (3.7).’
There are intellectual type of people, the philosophers, well versed in the scriptures, who look down upon the devotional and emotional practitioners! Intellectuals believe that their dry understanding of the non-duality of the Self is superior to that of those who fall at the feet of the Divine. Kṛṣṇa firmly says, ‘No, it is not so!’ Kṛṣṇa says that what makes the difference is your space of completion that brings lack of expectations of either failure or success, the sense of purposelessness that defines your state.
Listen, listen! The senses are extrovert, flowing naturally. By nature, they function towards achieving, purposelessly. It means that you are programmed by nature to be successful. The natural programming is for you to be successful. Lack of integrity allows the poison of preparing for failure, for the worst eventualities to grow in your system. The first thing a human being needs to do is weed out all worst possibilities. Sannyāsa, renunciation, is a state, not a label.
The state of renunciation is not a state of doing nothing. You can never sit without doing anything. Even if you sit still in one place, you are sitting, you are breathing, is it not? The internal functions in your body are happening. Maintaining this very body requires that work be done. The breath that you take in carries prāna, the life energy that sustains you. So, you cannot say you are not doing anything. You may think it is better not to do any work rather than to analyze what work you should do, how to do it, whether it will suit you etc. You can take this as an excuse for laziness, for your tamas. Tamas means laziness, lethargy. When
Kṛṣṇa says, ‘I am not the doer, it is just the senses performing the actions according to their nature,’ you say, ‘Why should I even bother to do anything? ‘ Be very clear, by your very nature, you will act. Your body and mind are by nature, forced and programmed to do something. Just try to sit with a completely blank mind, with no mental activity. Just relax and try this simple exercise. You will initially try not to think about anything and try to be aware if any thought comes to your mind. But, after a few moments, you will find yourself having some random thoughts, about something from the past or the future. By nature, your mind will think about something or the other. If you try to force silence upon your mind, you will be forcing a dead silence, the silence of suppression. How long can you sustain that? The moment you drop your guard, your mind will express its nature and start wandering. So, neither expression nor suppression is the solution. Only completion is the solution. It is better to—complete with yourself to bring integrity to the nature of the senses and the mind, and be engaged with authenticity in action, with a sense of devotion to enrich others and yourself. Be aware that when you are in action, it is the senses acting. Then you will not get attached to the action or its result. Then you are free; you are liberated from the bondage of action. Action binds you only when you consider yourself ‘the doer’ and have expectations about things being a certain way.