Wednesday, July 31, 2013


(This article is to be read carefully (and with patience)

O Learned and Devoted Servants of God,

[July 22, 2013 Guru Purnima Day Message] Mind always vibrates (Chanchalamhi manah– Gita) and the vibration indicates the continuous activity. If the mind becomes static or inactive, it is no more a mind, which becomes inactive and inert stone. The activity of mind is the nature of attraction by aspiring and attaching itself to something. Such aspiration for something to be achieved generates action or work. Hence, any living being having developed mind is always identified with constant work. It means that the mind of such living being is always active generating continuous action or work. Hence, the internal mind means external work and vice-versa. 

Since mind is not visible, from the visible work you can infer the active mind. The Gita says that no human being having developed mind can be seen without doing work (Nahikascchit kshanamapi…). This statement indirectly means that there is no human being without active mind or mental aspiration. Sometimes, there may be mental aspiration to achieve something, but, the practical impossibility to achieve that thing may stop the generation of the concerned effort or work to be done to achieve that thing. In such case only, the mental aspiration exists without the generation of the concerned external work (Ya aaste manasaa smaran– Gita). This is a special case of resisted work due to practical impossibility. If such resistance is not there, the mind will generate the related work. Therefore, the generation of the work from the mind is to be taken in normal conditions. Even the continuous mental aspiration itself is work, which is the work of the mind. Therefore, the continuous process of aspiration can be taken as the related work generated from the mental attachment.

[Example:] You saw the daughter of the king and you fell in love with her. This love is the first mental attachment. Due to the impossibility of making efforts to achieve her, the external work may not be generated but, the process of constant thinking about her is generated, which can be also taken as the work. Hence, the generation of the work from the mind is nowhere violated. Such person without the external work, but, involved in the mental work of continuous thinking is called as hypocrite (Mithyacharah sa uchyate– Gita). This resisted work is also not universal because some person may be mad of her love and may put the external practical effort or work and sometimes may succeed also.

If this is the case, why the Lord advised the human being to do external work or effort constantly without mental attachment for the fruit? This means that He advised for constant work resisting the mental activity or attachment. This is impossible since we have already understood that work means mind and mind means work. If the mind is detached from one issue, the work concerned with that issue also must disappear. If the mind and work concerned to one issue disappear, it means that the mind and work concerned to some other issue must have appeared since mind can never be inactive by detaching itself from all issues resulting in the disappearance of all types of concerned works. Even in the case of resisted work, there may be absence of external work, but, the mental attachment always existed. 

Thus, there may be mental attachment without the external work. But, there cannot be external work without its concerned mental attachment. But, the Lord says to do the external work without its concerned mental attachment! Now, the main point is that how the Lord advised to practice an impossible concept (Karmanyevaadhikaaraste maaphaleshu kadaachana…)? Therefore, the concept of work for achieving something without mental attachment to that (Nishkama Karma Yoga) is meaningless since practically it is impossible. You will not go to your office and work if you do not aspire the salary, which is the fruit of your work. If you say that you do the job without any aspiration for the fruit, it is just hypocrisy since there cannot be work without its generating cause, which is the mental attachment to the fruit of that work.

 Nishkama Karma Suggested to Reduce Excess Attachment
The Lord knows everything since He is omniscient. Though it is impossible, the Lord propagated this concept so that at least the excess force of mental attachment to the fruit gets reduced, so that you will not be much worried with hypertension in case the fruit of your work does not appear at the end of your external effort or work. The advice does not mean that your attachment for the fruit disappeared completely. If it really disappeared, you cannot do even a trace of that work concerned to that fruit. God being the Father of all the living beings desires to reduce the tension of all His children. If you do the work concerned to some issue through detached mind, it means the attached mind exists in you in hidden state without excess force. Therefore, Shankara never agreed to this concept and always propagated the complete disappearance of the work (Sarvaarambhaparityagi– Gita) to indicate the concerned complete mental detachment. People have misunderstood Shankara by saying that Shankara advised the inactivity of work resulting in the lazy nature. This is a total misunderstanding of the concept of Shankara. 

Shankara never advised the inactivity in the total work and subsequent total inactivity of mind since both are impossible. It is already stated in the Gita that no human being can exist with absence of total work, which indirectly means that total inactivity of mind is impossible since mind and work are always inter-related. Shankara advised only total inactivity of mind and subsequent total disappearance of the external work concerned to all the worldly issues since the mind of a true devotee is totally active continuously by the aspiration for God and subsequently all the work of the devotee is concentrated in the work of God. In the case of such a devotee, there is no time for the mind and the body to get involved in the aspirations and works of worldly issues. Therefore, the basic concept that a human being can never be inactive in mind and work is never violated. If you are detached from all worldly issues by mind and work, it does not mean that you should sleep in your house without doing any mental or external work (Nakarmanaamanarambhat– Gita).

 Resisting Mental Attachment is not Samnyasa
Stopping all the works due to resisting the mental attachment to all the issues is not the meaning of detachment (Samnyasa). The detachment from worldly issues (Samnyasa) should come through the attachment to God (Samnyasa). Therefore, the word Samnyasa means both attachment to God and detachment from the worldly issues. The former should be responsible for the later. The word Samnyasa is compounded by the prefix ‘Sam’ and the word ‘Nyasa’. ‘Sam’ means perfect or complete. ‘Nyasa’ means to place anything in the world from self thereby indicating the sense of leaving. Alternatively, this word ‘Nyasa’ may also mean to place anything in the self from the world thereby indicating the sense of taking or receiving. Hence, the word ‘Samnyasa’ means either perfect leaving or perfect taking. You have to take the proper meaning of this word in the proper context throughout the Gita, since the same word is used in both the senses.

For example, in the verse ‘Samnyasah karmayogascha’ the word ‘Samnyasa’ means leaving the worldly work, since in the third line the word ‘Samnyasa’ is cleared as ‘Karma Samnyasa’ and ‘karma’ means worldly work, which is different from ‘karmayoga’, the God’s work. The essence of this verse is that though both the detachment from the world and attachment to God are good, the attachment to God is far superior to the detachment from the world. You cannot remain in the state of detachment from the world for a long time, since total detachment is impossible. In this verse, the word ‘Samnyasa’ is used in the sense of perfect leaving. Similarly, in another verse ‘Nacha samnyasanaadeva’, the word ‘Samnyasa’ means perfect leaving of the worldly work. Here, the essence is that you cannot attain the goal by simply leaving the worldly work since the goal is achieved only through God’s work. Similarly, in the verse ‘Samnyasastu mahabaaho duhkha maaptu mayogatah’, the ‘Samnyasa’ means leaving the worldly work. Here, the essence is that it is very difficult to leave all the worldly work and continue in the state of inactivity without involving in God’s work, since the human being cannot remain idle continuously without any type of work.

The Gita says that the detachment from the world comes by the attachment to God (Naishkarmyasiddhim paramaam Samnyaasenaadhigacchati…). In this verse, the word ‘Samnyasa’ means taking the work of God. In another verse, ‘Jneyah sa nityasamnyasi’, the word ‘Samnyasa’ means involvement in God through mind and work. Like this, as per the context, the meaning of the word ‘Samnyasa’ should be taken in the sense of leaving or taking.

The concept of Shankara is always related to the topmost devotees, who are mentally detached from worldly issues due to mental attachment to God and also physically detached from the concerned worldly works due to involvement in the work of God. In the case of such devotees only, God interferes and does the work bringing the fruit (Ananyaah chintayantomaam– Gita). The devotee Tyagaraja had one daughter and the devotee never thought of her marriage due to mental detachment from the worldly issues, since his mind was attached to God. The detached mind could not generate the concerned work and therefore, the devotee became inactive in the trial efforts for the marriage since the devotee was always involved in the work of God by propagating God through songs. In such case only, God brought an excellent alliance for the daughter of this devotee. The Gita explains the state of such a top devotee in the following verse ‘Gata samgasya muktasya, Jnanaavasthita chetasah, Yajnayaacharatah karma, samagram pravileeyate’. This verse means that in the case of the devotee detached from the world due to the digested spiritual knowledge and involved subsequently in the work of God (Yajna) alone, all the worldly work completely disappears.

 Attachment of Tyagaraja to God’s Work
A person detached from the worldly issue and also detached from the concerned worldly work without the attachment to God by mind and work may be similar to Tyagaraja. But, the similarity is partial only. The similarity is only in the detachment from the world only, but the similarity is not complete since the person is not attached to God by mind and work like Tyagaraja. Such a lazy person can be never helped by God (Maate samgostvakarmani– Gita). The other person, who does the work speaking that he is detached from the fruit also cannot be helped by God since, there is no reference to God in his case. The basic reason is that both these persons are not attached to God. The second person has already the consolation of reduced tension and cannot claim the help from God, which is the additional fruit. 

You cannot say that both these persons must be helped by God because they meditate on God mentally. If your argument is real, the meditation on God, which means the mental attachment to God, must generate the work for God also. The absence of work for God clearly indicates that they are not at all mentally attached to God. Even if they are mentally attached to God, the attachment is not real, since such attachment is only instrumental devotion in which God is made as an instrument to achieve their aspired worldly fruits. In the case of a true devotee, the mental attachment to God is real, which generates the subsequent involvement in God’s work and this is simultaneously characterized by the detachment from the world in theory (mental aspiration) and practice (external work).

At the lotus feet of Shri Datta Swami