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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.
Binita tells me that I should talk today about how every action, suppose you take the Ashram, every action done by anybody anywhere in the Ashram should and does become an austerity.
Yesterday I was mentioning particularly with reference to Mahabharata war which was a point of immense torment for Yudhishthira. Bhīshma was saying when a king rules the kingdom, he has to rule it properly and well so that all the subjects have an ample measure of freedom as well as peace to live, move and do their respective activities. The success and effectiveness of a king lie in ensuring this kind of a state freedom, individual freedom and individual peace. This naturally means checking the wicked people and encouraging the virtuous. As a part of checking and regulating the wicked, severe punishments may have to be given, exercised. That is part of the administrative task and in reality, when properly done, it becomes an austerity, he said. If even punishmental measures do become an austerity when properly done, what about the other domestic, residential and interactional pursuits? They will necessarily be austerity. In the case of punishment, at least some pain and restraint are being inflicted upon the victim. Here, you don’t do this.
All the activities in the Ashram are supposed to facilitate those people who come here as well as who stay here to do their spiritual pursuit and spiritual association comfortably. The people who come to the Ashram as visitors for different periods of stay, they come here to spend some time in association with us and in order to enable their stay, we also have to look after them by providing them residential facilities, then food and other items. They stay - so staying facilities should be there. Then they are given food four or five times - that also should be looked after. Then they come for satsang maybe once, twice, three times or four times a day. All these things will have to be properly looked after.
The inmates in this Ashram are engaged in one duty or the other in relation to the overall running of the Ashram. If everyone does his or her work properly and well, in order to enable the overall running of the Ashram, every little work in spite of what it is, where it is done and who does it, becomes an austerity. Actually this is the one message of Bhagavad Gita. It is the same message of the Upanishads.
तेन त्यक्तेन भुञ्जीथा, Tena tyaktena bhunjīthā, Isavasyopanishad says.
Bhagavad Gita says in the beginning of Karma Yoga:
What does it mean? In pursuing Karma yoga, vyavasāyātmikā buddhih ekeha kuru-nandana, there is only one factor or constituent. You must have a resolute intelligence - an intelligence which knows very well, what is that I am aiming at in my life. That point should become very clear and how to achieve it. Suppose this resoluteness is not there in the buddhi, the alternate will be that the intelligence will be multi-branched and self-destructive.
Krishna says as summary statements, a few propositions in the eighteenth chapter. And one of them is what I have said just now.
All activities that you are performing and that too always, whether it is having your bath in the morning and in the evening, to wash your body, keep it clean, washing your teeth, answering the calls of nature, dressing yourself up, having your breakfast and lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, talking to people, attending to your job whatever it may be. It may be part of the Vichārasetu or Vichārasarani work, looking after people, going to the kitchen, dining hall, supervising matters there, making sure that those who come, the rooms are kept clean, somebody is sent there, enquire whether facilities are there, is there any trouble or shortcoming, everything!
Sarva-karmāṇyapi sadā. All our activities are, we as an individual have to deal. So we have to look after ourselves; that is one activity. We have to look after the place where we live; that is another activity. Then in the Ashram we have to welcome people, make it convenient for them to stay, have their food, have their satsang, have their sleep, making sure that all these are necessary, maybe arranging a transport from the railway station or airport, equally to those places, everything, everything, everything! I am wondering when you are going to have this all-fold divine feeling. The only point that you have to cultivate and touch up your mind is for this, all-fold feeling of devotional sublimity.
The only point Krishna emphasizes is mad-vyapāśrayaḥ. The entire earth is supported and sustained by, normally speaking God, the supreme intelligence. If the whole universe consisting of a number of heavenly bodies which are constantly revolving is sustained without any conflict by a power, it is the same power that sustains you as a denizen, as a living being on the earth. If the earth is supported by Him, everything in this earth is regulated and guided by Him, then we people who live upon the earth are also equally guided by Him. If the earth goes away from its axis or it collides with something else, what happens? So everything is depending upon an ineffable cause, an indescribable cause.
Mad-vyapāśrayaḥ, that sense of ashraya, reliance and dependence should be cultivated. With that reliance, all the activities you perform at all times; this reliance should be at the back of it, governing it. Then:
“Then by virtue of my blessing, that devotee will attain the supreme”, He says. Will attain the supreme! The supreme he will attain! Do not differentiate between activities and do not think any activity is disconnected from the divine. You are connected to the divine through your own life. Our body, biological body functions because of some kind of a presence in it. That presence is divine, it is not material, physical or energial. Somehow or the other, this feeling of non-differentiation should be there and you must be able to include all activities in the total overall divinity. Rely! Rely upon the supreme and do everything that you do. So, the doing is physical and the reliance is inner, attitudinal. When the two combine well, I think we have the best of divine life.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.