Guiding Light by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Acting without action!

When you do some actions expecting joy out of them, it makes the action inferior

Sri Sri Ravi ShankarUpdated: Sunday, March 06, 2022, 08:44 PM IST
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Behind every action, there is always a motivation to get a specific result. When you do every action with an eye on the end result or on any specific goal, the expectation of the result affects the process of your action. Put it another way, the means of achieving the end often becomes bigger than the end itself. But when you do some actions as an expression of joy and are not bothered about the result, you will not be lost in the means.

When you do some actions expecting joy out of them, it makes the action inferior. For example, you want to spread happiness, but if you are keen on finding out whether the other person has become happy or not, you get entangled in their vicious circle and you lose your happiness in the process. Or suppose, you want to take up a project, but you start it by worrying whether it will happen or not, then your whole enthusiasm for the project gets dampened.

The concern about the outcome of your action is what pulls you down and dampens your enthusiasm. So when you are aware of your potential, just jump into the action you want to do without bothering about the result.

So how to be centered when there is a doubt or conflict? In Narada Bhakti Sutras, Narada says, “Karmanyapi Sanyasyati” Take a break, not just from activity, but also from the fruit of the activity. You can take a break from the fruit of the action when you let go of the result and become totally centered in the action itself. It will bring deep rest from doubts and conflicts in the mind. One who is not concerned about the outcome, is centered in the action itself and reposes in the Self, goes beyond the dualities, beyond conflicts.

This doesn’t mean that you should stop acting. Though one who is wise, who has attained knowledge, and experienced divine love, is beyond all actions yet he continues to engage himself in action. You can transcend only what you have gone through. You can let go only what you have. So to let go of the fruit of the action, you need to have the fruit and to have the fruit, you need to act! This is so beautiful.

Shri Krishna used the fruit of the action to motivate Arjuna to fight. He told Arjuna that if you die in the battle, you will attain heaven and if you win, you will rule the world. When you have laziness, you need motivation to do something and the expected fruit of action acts as the motivating factor. But once you start acting, let go off the expected result. Just focus on the work on hand.

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