Tag Archives: Work

What is desireless action? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

What is desireless action

Question: Acharya Ji, how will I get motivation to do some work, if I am not attached to the result of the work?

Acharya Prashant Ji: When you come to this hall, you are probably prompted by some desire, aren’t you?

Listener: Yes.

Acharya Ji: There are desires, there are calculations, there are pluses and minuses, you probably weigh the pros and cons. All those things are there. Sometimes there is a nagging question you want to get rid of, therefore you come. That’s how the thing mostly starts. That’s how the thing mostly starts. So this ‘sakaam karma’(the desire-oriented action). Your movement in this hall is motivated by a desire.

You want something, therefore you ‘do’.

This is the common ‘sakaam karma’.

You ‘do’ because you want.

So, the action is a means of fulfilling the desire.

This is normal ‘sakaam karma’.

That’s how things are at Twelve Noon. You are sitting ready to fire your questions. You have a purpose in being here. What is the purpose? – ‘I want my questions answered.’ You have a definite purpose. That’s Twelve noon.

Now, how is it like at 1:30 p.m.? You came with a question, but the question has not reached here. You do not even intend to ask the question anymore. At Twelve Noon, when you were listening, you were listening with an objective. What was the objective? The resolution of the query. And how are you listening at 1:30 p.m.? You are ‘just’ listening. You are ‘just’ listening.

Something is still happening. But the objective is lost. Now the ‘happening’ itself is very juicy. Now the ‘happening’ is not means towards an end. Now the means itself has merged with the end. It is as if, the means has moved into the end, or the end has come to the means to bless it.

Now there is no distinction. Now you are not saying that let the others’ questions be answered fast, so that the speaker may take up my question. Hence now, there is no gap. Hence now, there is no waiting for the result. Hence now, time has stopped for you.

This is ‘nishkaam karma(desireless action)’ – the ‘doing’ is not for some objective outside of itself.

The ‘doing’ itself is the objective.

What do you work for? You work for satisfaction. Call it ‘deep contentment’. Right? You work, for the sake of that. And therefore, work is never very satisfying, because work to you is not the last thing. Work is just a middleman, for the sake of a result. Therefore, work is just a necessary evil for you.

Had it been possible, you would have removed the work, the process, the time interval, from between, and you would have said, “Is it possible to come directly to the result?” And that is why man wants to keep gaining in efficiency.

Man wants to keep gaining in efficiency.

Do you see what is this continuous movement towards more and more efficient processes, machines and systems? It is because man works for a purpose. It is because, the work, and the time invested in work, is itself, not very likable. So man says, “Minimize the work, and maximize the result.”

‘Nishkaam karma(desireless action)’ means – work is life.

Work is life, anyway.

Even when you ‘think’, you are not working, you are actually working. So, no point fooling oneself, with the effort to minimize work.

Even when you ‘think’, you are having leisure, you ‘are’ actually working.

Therefore, why not work in a way, that transcends work.

That is ‘nishkaam karma’.

Work cannot be avoided. Life is work.

You are working, even when you are sleeping. You are working, even when you think, you are relaxing. Why not choose work, with such deep discretion, that work does not remain a load that you have to reduce, work no more remains something that you want to outsource?

Why not come to a situation, where you are no longer seeking happiness, in the reduction of work? Have you seen how the common man celebrates, when his work burden is reduced? That is ‘sakaam karma’.

Have you seen how students like to achieve results, without working? Were it possible to achieve hundred percent marks, without laboring at all, students would have been the happiest? Because as a student, or as a worker, you find no joy in the process. For you, joy is a destination, mostly. For most people. That is ‘sakaam karma’.

Now, we will come to the more horrifying part of it. Whenever, work is a means to an end, ‘the end’ is never really achieved. Ha! We are beaten both ways. First of all, we expended a lot of time, trying to reach – an end. And even if we somehow manage to reach that end, what do we discover? – ‘Is this where I wanted to reach?’ And then you proceed towards, other destination. And that is what is called, ‘the vicious cycle’.

So, those who work towards ‘an end’, find that they are defeated both in the work, as well as in the end. Double defeat. And those who work, without ‘an end’, those who work, because the work itself is service, devotion, they win doubly. First of all, work is celebration. Secondly, work is the end. So, you are celebrating your way to the success. 

You are dancing towards victory. You are not dancing ‘towards’ victory, you are dancing, ‘in’ victory. You are continuously victorious, and you are continuously celebrating.

Any takers?

And compare this to the picture of the one who is striving, toiling, fighting, with the dream of some distant success in his eyes. Remember that the success that he dreams of, is merely his concept. It is an image, because he has not yet come to it. Therefore, the success that he is talking of, is merely an image.

When you come to it, you find that it simply does not match your expectations. Double defeat! First of all, you are striving, toiling, and making life hell for yourself. Though with the pride, with the vanity, that you are a fighter. That you are a warrior. You will have that satisfaction.

So, it may keep egging you on, for a very long time. Probably, even for the entire lifetime.

Listener 1: So, it is all about the journey, and not the destination?

Acharya Ji: The destination is everything, but the destination cannot be distant. The destination has to be the first step in the journey. It is not as if, it is only about the journey, and not the destination. Obviously, the destination comes first. The journey begins, upon reaching the destination.

So, reach the destination first, and then keep traveling. Destinations, upon destinations. Do not travel as if the destination is elusive, and faraway.

Listener 2: Acharya Ji, how to make my work devotion?

Acharya Ji: The work has to be worthy of devotion, first of all. Therefore, choose your work very, very carefully, everyday.

Listener 2: Is it a matter of discretion?

Acharya Ji: Obviously, it is a matter of discretion. Obviously.

It is not ‘the work’, it is the destination that is commanding the work.

It is the destination that is commanding the work.

So, what is ‘the work’ that you are talking of? – That’s what you must look at.

The destination has to be absolutely compelling.

So very compelling, that you cannot even entertain the ‘thought’, that is is distant.

If you want something really desperately, do you want it five years hence, or right now?

Listener 2: Right now.

Acharya Ji: The destination has to be that very attractive. Not only attractive, it has to be that very indispensable.

Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session:  What is desireless action? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Worrying about results of work? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

Worrying about the results

Question: Acharya ji, what does it mean when you say, “Do not worry about the results”?

Acharya ji: Satyam, when I say, “Do not bother about the results,” I am saying that, with the condition, that you are already, assuredly, doing the right thing.

I say, “Do the right thing, and do not bother about the result.”

I am saying, “Do the right thing, and do not bother about the results.”

But to those, who are not doing the right things, I say, “Look at the results of your actions.”

Jesus very clearly says, “A tree is known by the fruits, it has.” You might by thinking that you are doing something selflessly, but how much do you know yourself? You are assuming that you are doing something selflessly, that your action is right. That is your assumption. It is needed that you must check this assumption, is it not?

Do you not want to enquire the veracity of your assumption? And how do you enquire into your assumption? By seeing what actions are leading to. Are you getting it?

‘Do the right thing, and forget about the result’ – is the utmost and final condition.

‘Do the right thing, and forget about the result’- that condition is possible only to someone, who is already liberated of the future.

But those who are not liberated, those who have even an iota of doubt, about the center from where there actions are arising, must use the results of the action, to know the source of the action.

The source of the action, and the result of the action, correspond with each other.

If the action comes from the center of holiness, then the results are bound to be – holy.

If the actions come from the center of nothingness, then the results are bound to be – nothing. 

Similarly, if the actions come from the center of vice, or deception, then the results are bound to be distressing.

You can deceive yourself, about the source of your action, because only you know the source of your action. You are the declaring authority, and you can declare anything. You can commit the foulest of crimes, and say that this is being done with a holy purpose. In fact, the foulest of crimes, have been mostly committed, citing holy purpose only.

And it cannot be cross-verified. Nobody can peep into your interiors, and prove to you that you are operating from a wicked center. It cannot be demonstrated, because it is an internal thing, right?

What is it, however, that can be demonstrated, rather that which is not going to remain hiding the results? So, look at results. Even if you have successfully deceived yourself about the source of your action, the results will demonstrated to you, what the real source of your action was.

An action which has led to peacelessness, could not have come from the right source.

An action that leads to lovelessness, has definitely come from a loveless center.

So, do mind the results. The results will tell you where you are standing right now. Much later will you come to a point, from where you will not need to bother about the results.

That is liberation!

Then you just are. Doing what the Heart commands. And the Heart knows no future. And you are fully and firmly, settled in the Heart, so you too know no future.

But look at your current condition. Right now, are you someone who knows no future? No. Right now, you are not there.

So, do mind the results.

Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session: Worrying about results of work?|| Acharya Prashant (2019)

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What is love? || Acharya Prashant on Jiddu Krishnamurti (2018)

What is Love Jiddu Krishnamurti

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Question: Dear master, Jiddu Krishnamurti says, “When you love, you are neither giving, nor receiving.” Acharya ji, does love have an object? Could you explain how can we love in daily life, without giving or receiving? What is love, if it has no object?

Acharya Prashant: All objects are small, Shirin.

The object of love is so gigantic, that you cannot call it an ‘object’. Further, all objects leave ample space for you to remain. All objects leave space for the dualistic subject to remain, and prosper.

The object of love is so big, so total, so filling, so occupying, so unrelenting, so very compelling, that it leaves no space for the subject to hide and survive.

Obviously, if the subject is gone, who can call the object, an object. So, the object of love is a non-object. Those who have come before us, have called that object as – Truth, God, Beloved, Amma-Baba, Father, Maa.

Next you are asking, “How can one be in love without giving or receiving?” Giving and receiving, both imply your presence, and your activity. You have to be there to give, you have to be there to receive. And in both, your presence, your being, gets stamped, certified, further ascertained. In giving, you remain as the giver. In receiving, you strike roots as the receiver.

So, in love, there is neither giving nor receiving. Simply put, no doing of the doer. No-doing of the doer, is also the highest doing of the little doer. The highest of the little doer.

I give an example to you. I have heard of this little soldier, he was actually a civilian, in one of the wars in the last century. He was so small, he was not even trained as a soldier. His village had been invaded, the villagers had been captured, taken away for forced labour. They were being used to construct a bridge. That’s what the invading army was using the locals for, take them away and use their labour to build a bridge.

Now that the enemy has taken them away, they are with the enemy. And this little one could see a big ammunition depot. A big ammunition depot. You are already guessing it, right? There was not much, he could have done, all by himself. The enemy numbered in hundreds, hundreds of well-built, grown-up, trained soldiers, with firearms. What could the boy have done? But there was one thing that the boy could do, with a little bit of ingenuous engineering. He rammed himself into the depot, and blew the entire depot off. Obviously, nothing of him remained. But, it took down the entire non-sense with him.

So, Shirin, that’s love- attempting the impossible. The task is so damn big, that it can’t be done, if you protect yourself. If you protect yourself, it won’t happen. That’s love.

Excuse me for giving a violent analogy. But he, who has a lot of bloodshed, he is indeed involved in love. Love does involve a lot of demolition. And there are fireworks. And things come down. Great structures collapse. Formidable enemies have to be defeated. All that is love.

You want something beyond your size, you want something beyond your measure.

And it will require all of you to get that.

If you care for your safety, if you care for your survival, it just can’t happen.

That’s love.

Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session: What is love? || Acharya Prashant on Jiddu Krishnamurti (2018)

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The real meaning of devoting one’s action to Shri Krishna || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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Questioner: Dear Acharya Ji,

As you always mentioned, one must perform his actions, while remaining established in Ram, who is the essence of all actions. Your teachings have given me clarity that selfish motives behind my actions strengthen the ego. Knowing this, I practice paying little attention to my motives. And I try to work to offer everything to divine. This also reminds me of Shri Ramakrishna.

‘As long as we are continuously battling the ego, it is never going to vanish. Stop pedaling this, it will travel some distance and eventually stop.’

~ Shri Ramakrishna Paramhans

Is practice useful?

Is this the practice that Lord Krishna teaching to Arjuna through Karma Yoga?

Acharya Prashant: Yes, practice is useful. And yes, I can without consideration or analysis or any thoughtfulness, say that this is what Krishna is teaching to the Arjun because the Truth is one.

There cannot be a central difference between what Ramakrishna says and what Krishna says. And even at the level of fact, Shri Krishna does recommend to Arjun, the importance of abhyas. And abhyas is practice.

What is the practice that you have taken upon yourself?

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Taking care of child, or earning an income || Acharya Prashant on Single Parenting (2017)

T23

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Listener: Basically I have an issue. I am unable to make a decision basically. I am very confused right now. I am in a phase of being a single parent. I have a kid with me and have no source of income right now. I have to look after my child and source of income. But I am unable to understand how to manage both.

Acharya Prashant: First of all being a single parent is great. At least for the child. Instead of two to pester him, there is only one. I am mentioning this because yesterday as well you talked of that fact as it is a bit of a handicap, it is not.

Socially we have been trained to visualize, the happy family as a kid with his two arms being held by two people of opposite gender. That’s really not needed. The kid is already being held in the palm of his real father. The real father is not even holding his arm. He is holding the kid in his palm. So if you are a single mother, great!

Now, the question of the kid being four years old. And you being needed to earn. He is four. The troublesome period is behind you. Had he been one or two, then the situation would have necessitated your constant physical presence near the kid. He is four years old now. You can have periods in the day when he can be left with the relatives, with his grandparents or even in daycare. So, get going with all sureness figure out a means of livelihood. And don’t look at your situation as if you are in a bind.

Never ever think of yourself as if you lack in fortune.

You see look at the animal world. How long does a cub stay with the lioness? For how long? For how long does the calf stay with the cow? Please?

L: Few months.

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Acharya Prashant: How to earn more money?

T4

Acharya Prashant: (Reading a question) One may have good knowledge, but he might not be having a satisfactory job or salary. What to do in such a situation?

You see, as long as knowledge to you is a means of earning a higher salary, you will have to realize the limitations of knowledge. Higher salary does not come merely on the heels of higher or deeper knowledge. This is assuming that you have already set a goal. And the goal is to get a high salary. I am going by your goal. You want to get a high salary.

If you want to get a high salary, you must know what all factors drive salaries. It is just not dependent, merely on your knowledge. It is a function of many many variables. And even those variables are variable.

Today, high salary might be a function of x, y, and z. And tomorrow, high salary might be a function of s, t, and u. So, variable variables are there. You just can’t know.

Yes, you can catch hold of one variable, and put all energy into it. But that may not necessarily help. The car might be in neutral, and you are pushing the accelerator, would that help? You would only burn more and more fuel, and the engine would get heated up. You are trying to push just one variable, and you are not seeing that the other variables are all? Choked. They will not let you progress.

So, you have two options now. Either you go out and determine all the variables that drive salary. And when you determine all the variables, you must remember that the variables themselves are? Variable. So, that which is driving salary today, might not be what would drive salary? Tomorrow. And that which is driving salary in one place, might not be what drives salary in another place, another room, another building, another company.

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Acharya Prashant: Is liberation possible for a householder?

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Acharya Prashant: Pradeep Ji is asking, “Dear Acharya Ji, I don’t know what kind of wound I am carrying inside me, that I am having a constant feeling of ‘leave me alone’, towards the world. From morning till evening, I am running like crazy, driving to office in mad traffic, followed by corporate pressure to do things unwillingly. Bearing stupidities of people around.

I get out of the office as if I came out of a madhouse, tired and frustrated, and it’s already night. I eat and sleep. And the roller-coaster starts again. But since I need to run this crazy race, I feel that my blood is sucked by parasites, and there is a wound, a cry from inside, that I am carrying.

I cannot get rid of this wound. I want to jump off this train, but I can’t, because of these responsibilities. I feel I am a dead machine, thrown on an assembly line, or the other things inside me, drilling holes, hammering, and finally thrown out.

I can’t leave the family, as they are dependent on me. And I am too in, some or the other way, dependent.

Acharya Ji, in such a situation, what should I do?

—————————–

Pradeep Ji, the way of instantaneous freedom, instantaneous departure, is not for the householder.

The ‘Law of Karma’, and the result of Karma, ‘The fruit of actions’, always holds good. Cannot be violated. One is held to the past, by a thousand actions, memories, and the pending fruits.

Immediate and quick liberation is then possible only through total psychic departure.

A kind of a Spiritual death. That is often unlikely. Keep working, you will have to go step by step.

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