Each 'Choose-day' we will investigate the process by which we can reassess our activity and interaction with the world of plurality and become more congruent within our personality.
We are reading "Tips for Happy Living - jIvnsUÇai[ /jiivanasuutraani", by Swami Tejomayananda (Guru-ji). Choose-days writings are here to prompt deeper thinking on the choices made on a daily basis and seek to provide prompts for raising the standard of one's thinking and living. This text composed in format of Sanskrit traditional teachings, speaks directly to this purpose. As ever, the full text may be obtained from CM Publications - or your local centre (see sidebar).
Freewill… do we have to do everything ourselves? Will 'God'/Nature not help me in getting results? Here Guru-ji provides three sutras.
kmR_ag> SvaxIn> )l_aagStu àk&itvz #it ivjanIyat!.5.
tSma*TSvaxIn< tTSvenEv k&Tva=NySy icNta pirhtRVya.6.
Yawa _aaejn< SvenEv i³yte pacn< tu àk&Tya.7.
Karma-bhaataH svaadhiinaH phala-bhaagastu prakRti-vasha iti vijaaniiyaat ||5||
Tasmaadyat-svaadhiinam tat-svenaiva kRtvaa-nyasya chintaa parihartavyaa ||6||
Yathaa bhojanam svenaiva kriyate paachanam tu prakRtyaa ||7||
Know that to perform action is in your hands, while its result depends on the laws of nature;
Therefore, do what is within your control and do not worry over the other aspect -
Just as eating is done by oneself but digestion by nature.
In short, do your best and leave the rest! It's a physics thing; every action yields a reaction/result. We are given action to use according to our thinking. We must use that tool to the best of our ability. Beyond that, once the action which we CAN do is set in place, we must also be able to stand back and accept whatever occurs as a result of that action. Whether we are of a scientific, atheistic nature, or whether we are devotees of a Higher Power, the basic physical law of action and consequence remains constant.
Ultimately we realise that we have freedom in action, but not in the results… some of you are sitting thinking, 'not true, if I boil an egg I have direct control over the results'. To some extent this is indeed true, if we talk only of the edible product - but much is also dependent upon the freshness of the egg, the source of the heat used; experience can be built to ensure a reasonably reproducible result every time, but in pure scientific terms, each boiled egg will have some difference because we have no control over its internal condition. The difference will not be of any note to the eater, but from the view of the philosopher (and, indeed, the scientist), the argument remains; no two boiled eggs are ever exactly the same. What is more, when we eat that egg, the effects within our body are no longer under our control - we are talking the mental state here remember. Digestion does what digestion does and it is not controlled by our minds. Other tasks which we may be thinking of as mundane and able to produce results over and over, if we examine closely, we find that actually they are outwith our control. We may set things going, but after that it is up to the laws of nature.
Problem is, we all too often do not deal with what we have available to us to do and spend excessive amounts of emotional energy on concerns about what is not in our hands. To constantly be wishing for an omelette without taking the action of breaking and beating the eggs is going to end up in hunger. We must do our part, let nature play its part in the process and we between us, we have a product worth the having.
That said, in the larger actions of life, we must commit ourselves to them whole-heartedly. Half-hearted is not our best. Sincere efforts will always be rewarded; maybe not always directly and not always in an obvious manner, but the rewards will be there. Doing our best at all times, acquitting ourselves with respect and dignity and thoughtfulness and cheerfulness - all these can only be to our benefit. What is beyond us to do, we must accept and allow, leaving worry to the side.