With the acquisition of the capacity of perceiving non-action in action, the man who is engaged in action grows into a doer of perfect action in which there is not even the slightest flaw. Restraint of desire and will is a victory of the mind. So action is something that elevates the mind above desire and will.
Lord Krishn sings in Bhagavad Gita:
“Even the learned call that man a sage
all of whose actions are free from desire and will,
both burnt to ashes by the fire of knowledge.”
Sri Krishn tells Arjun that a well-commenced action gradually becomes so refined and sublimated that it takes the mind above will as well as irresolution and then, with the burning out of even the last desire which he does not know but which he was previously eager to know, the worshiper is blessed with direct perception of God.
Direct knowledge of God by following the path of action is called knowledge (gyan): the sacred knowledge that enables the Soul to be united with the Supreme Spirit.
The fire of this direct perception of God annihilates action for ever. What was sought has been achieved. There is nothing beyond it to quest for. Who is there beyond God to search for with further endeavour? So with the attainment of this wisdom, the need for action comes to an end. Rightly have sages called men with such wisdom pandit, men of profound erudition. Their learning is perfect.
But what does such a saint do? How does he live?
Lord Krishn now illumines his way of life.
“Independent of the world, ever contented,
and renouncing all attachment to action as well as its fruits,
such a man is free from action even while he is engaged in it.”
Declining to rest upon objects of the world, utterly contented with dwelling in the eternal God, and discarding not only desire for the fruits of action but even attachment to God because now he is not removed from Him, this sage is a non-doer even while he is diligently employed in the performance of action.
HE adds further:
“He who has conquered his mind and senses,
and given up all objects of sensual pleasure,
does not partake of sin even when his body seems
to be engaged in action.”
It is only the physical body of the man, who has overcome both his mind and senses, renounced all objects of worldly enjoyment, and achieved total freedom from desire, that seems to be engaged in action, whereas, in truth, he does nothing, and that is why he does not incur sin. He is perfect and so he is emancipated from the cycle of birth and death.
Lord Krishn sings:
“Contented with what comes to him unsought,
he who is indifferent to happiness and sorrow,
free from envy, and even-minded in success and failure, is a man of equanimity, unenslaved by action even when he performs it.”
When a man is contented with whatever comes to him without being desired or asked for, indifferent to happiness and sorrow, and love and animosity, free from any negative feeling, and abiding with equanimity in attainment and nonattainment, he is not fettered by action even though he appears to be engaged in it. Since the goal he had aimed at is now achieved and it will not ever desert him, he is freed from the terror of defeat. Looking alike at achievement and non-achievement this man acts, but without infatuation. And what he does is nothing other than yagya, the act of supreme sacrifice.
Reiterating the concept Lord krishn adds:
“When a man is free from attachment,
his mind rests firmly in the knowledge of God,
and when his actions are like the yagya made to God,
he is truly emancipated and all his actions cease to be.”
Performance of yagya itself is action and direct perception of God is knowledge. Acting in the spirit of sacrifice and dwelling in the knowledge achieved from direct perception of God, all the actions of this liberated man who is devoid of attachment and desire undergo a process of dissolution.
Now his actions are of no consequence to the worshiper, because God, the goal he had striven for, is no longer away from him. Now, what other fruit will grow from a fruit? Therefore, such liberated men’s need of action for themselves comes to an end. Yet they act as messiahs, but even while doing this they remain untouched by what they do.
Lord Krishn accounts for this in the following verse :
“Since both the dedication and the oblation itself are God,
and it is the Godlike teacher who offers the oblation
to the fire which is also God,
the attainment, too, of the man whose mind is set
on God like action is God himself.”
The emancipated man’s yagya is God, what he offers as oblation is God, and the sacred fire to which the sacrifice is made is also God. That is to say that what is offered by the Godlike worshiper to the sacred fire that is an embodiment of God is also God himself. That which is worthy of being secured by the man whose actions have been dissolved and stilled by God’s loving touch is also God. So this man does nothing; he only acts for the good of others.
These are attributes of the realized sage who has reached the stage of final attainment.
~ Revered Gurudev Swami Adgadanand Jee Paramhans ~
~ mrityunjayanand ~
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