An ignorant man says to himself, ‘I shall do this action and thereby enjoy its result.’ A wise man should not unsettle this belief. Instead, he himself should set an example by performing his responsibilities diligently from the space of leadership, but without attachment. If the wise man condemns the actions performed with attachment, the ignorant person may simply decide to neglect his responsibilities.
It is like this. Can you explain to a child that his toys are not precious? No! The child will never be able to understand that. It has to grow and automatically its attachment to toys will drop when maturity happens. Similarly, the ignorant person can first do the action only with attachment. But upon seeing the wise person being unaffected by his own actions and being always blissful, naturally, the ignorant one will get curious to know the secret behind happiness. The example of the wise man will automatically pull him towards work with detachment.
Take the example of relating to God. Most of us pray to God to get something. All our prayers to God are asking Him to fulfill some desire or to protect us from something. It is perfectly all right to start a relationship with God like this. When you get what you asked for, your trust towards Him grows. This is important. If you ask a person who has not eaten food for three days to meditate, will he be able to? You will be foolish to tell this person to meditate. What he needs now is some means to get food and then he can be told about meditation.
When a person is doing work and expecting certain results, the wise person should not disturb him, even though he knows that work should not be done with attachment. At least the person is working and not sitting idle! He is in rajas (aggressive activity), which is better than tamas (laziness). Of course, he needs to be guided from rajas to satva, a state of calmness, a space of detached action, action without expectations. That is the job of a Master.
We are all governed by our basic nature, attributes, or guṇa. The mental set-up, patterns from previous births, called vāsana determines what we are, what we do in this birth, and also what happens to us in our future births. The desires born out of vāsana carry their own energy for fulfillment. If you are conscious, you will be able to fulfill them. Once fulfilled, these vāsana and karma get dissolved. One who reaches this state of completion with desires also realizes that he is not the doer.
The potter’s wheel goes on turning around even after the potter has ceased to turn it. The vāsana or desires with which you took this body and mind will make the body-mind go through whatever activities it was made for. But the wise person goes through all these activities without the inadequate cognition that he is the doer of them. Actually, your desire to lead life in a particular way is what creates the corresponding mental set-up or pattern. Once you choose to live life in a particular way, your body supports this decision and acts accordingly. You create a vāsana or seed of karma to aid you in living life the way you desire. Karma is nothing but the unfulfilled or incomplete patterns and desires, which are inside your being, that constantly make you travel in the same path again and again, trying to give the experience of completion in your inner space.
You are the one who chooses and acts, but any choice comes with effects and side effects. On seeing the side effects, you feel powerless and blame your fate or destiny. Actually, you are the one who chose it in the first place. You are responsible for the cause and effect, as you are source of everything!
A small story:
Once a man went to a restaurant and ordered various items: pasta, drinks, sweets, and so on. He had a hearty meal and relaxed. The waiter brought the bill. The man took a look at the long bill and exclaimed, ‘But I didn’t order this bill!’
When you eat, you don’t think about the bill, but the bill comes only as a result of all that you ate. Similarly, in life, all that you undergo are the effects of your own incomplete actions. Due to lack of integrity and authenticity, you are not aware of what those effects can be and therefore you perform the actions unconsciously. Then when you do not take responsibility for these actions, the very actions and their effects bind you into further incomplete actions or desires.
Please listen! Any karma left incomplete, any action done out of incompletion is pravritti – incompletion leading to more incompletion. It is more and more dangerous, and makes you more and more powerless.
To understand, ‘I am not the doer,’ this concept of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ needs to be understood. Śiva says that the concept of ‘I’ itself comes from the concept of ‘mine.’ We think, when the sense of ‘I’ happens, the sense of ‘mine’ happens. But if you look deeply, our idea of what we think of as ‘ours’ is what defines what we think of as ourselves. Just imagine, if your possessions, your status, your wealth, your relations all are taken away from you, what will you think of as you? How will you define yourself? Your idea of ‘I’ is also relative, is it not?
Many devotees feel they are touching a soft pillow or even feel nothing when I initiate them during energy darśan (transfer of bliss energy). Basically, enlightened beings are just energy. In this plane, in these dimensions of space-time, you see them in this six-foot form and say ‘Nithyananda,’ but in truth, this ‘Nithyananda’ does not exist. It is just energy. There is no ‘I.’
When you get attached to anything, you start creating suffering for yourself. When you understand that it is the mind and the senses doing what is in their nature, you become detached from your body-mind and do things with the clear understanding that just the mind, body and senses are doing their job. When you don’t understand this, you get caught in what you are doing, you get emotionally attached to incidents and people, and you start living without awareness.