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There was a quarrel between a pond and a river . The pond addressed the river thus :

" O river , you are very foolish to give all your water and all your wealth to the ocean ; do not squander your water and wealth on the ocean . The ocean is ungrateful , the ocean needs it not .

If you go on pouring into the ocean all your accumulated treasures , the ocean will remain as salty as it is today , the ocean will remain as bitter as it is today , the brine of the sea will not be altered . ' Do not throw pearls before the swine . ' Keep all your treasures with you " .

This was worldly wisdom . Here was the river told to consider the end , to care for the result and regard the consequences . But the river was a Vedantin . After hearing this worldly wisdom the river replied ,

" No , the consequence and the result are nothing to me ; failure and success are nothing to me ; I must work because I love work ; I must work for its own sake . To work is my aim , to keep in activity is my life . My Soul , my real Atman is energy itself . I must work " .

The river went on working , the river went on pouring into the ocean millions upon millions of gallons of water . The miserly economic pond became dry in three or four months ; it became putrid , stagnant , full of festering filth but the river remained fresh and pure , its perennial springs did not dry up .

Silently and slowly was water taken from the surface of the ocean to replenish the fountain-heads of the river ; monsoons and trade winds invisibly , silently and slowly carried water from the ocean and kept the river source fresh for ever .

Just so Vedanta requires not to follow the sophistic policy of the pond . It is the small selfish pond that cares for the result ,

" What will become of me and my work ? "

Let your work be for work's sake ; you must work . Your work should be your goal and thus Vedanta frees you from fretting and worrying desires . This is the meaning of freedom from desires which Vedanta preaches .

Worry not about the consequences , expect nothing from the people , bother not about favourable reviews of your work or severe criticism thereon . Care not whether what you are doing will tell or not ; think nothing of that . Do the work for its own sake . This way you have to free yourself from desire ; you have not to free yourself from work , but you have to free yourself from yearning restlessness .

This way how splendid does your work become .

The most effective and best cure for all sorts of distracting passions and temptations is work . But that would be only a negative recommendation .

The positive joy that accompanies faithful work is a spark of Salvation , unconscious Self-realization . It keeps you pure , untainted , and one with Divinity . This happiness is the highest and surest reward of work .

Corrupt not this health-bringing , heavenly treasure by setting your heart on selfish motives for work .

Sordid ambitions and petty hankerings retard rather than accelerate our progress ; outward and concrete allurements are detrimental rather than beneficial to our efficiency of labour . No prize or appreciation can be more benign or salubrious than the immediate joy which accompanies earnest action .

Follow , then , action to realize the renunciation , religion or worship it involves , and be not led by the childish frivolities it promises . Feel no responsibility , ask for no reward . Now here should your goal be .

People say , " First deserve and then desire " .

Vedanta says , " Deserve only , no need of desiring . A stone that is fit for the wall will never be found in the way " .

If you deserve , by an irresistible Divine Law , everything will come to you .

If there is a lamp burning , the lamp should go on burning , the lamp need not send any invitations to the moths ; moths will flock to the lamp of their own accord . Where there is a fresh spring , people of their own accord will be drawn to it ; the spring need not care a straw for the people . When the moon rises , people will be drawn out of themselves to enjoy the moonlight .

Attack ! Attack ! Hammer on ! Hammer on ! Work , work , work so as to realize the nothingness of the body and the supreme Reality of the true Self .

Thus at the height of apparent activity you will taste Nirvana and Kaivalya , and when in this way you have suffered your personality and ego to be raised on the cross of labour , success will seek you and there will be no scarcity of people who will come and appreciate .

People did not accept Christ so long as alive ; Christ must be crucified before being worshipped .

" Truth crushed to earth shall rise again . "

No seed can spring up and multiply without suffering destruction as to its form and appearance .

So the second essential to success is sacrifice , crucifying the little self , renunciation . Misunderstand not that word " renunciation " . Renunciation does not mean asceticism .

Everybody wants to be white , dazzling , brilliant , bright . How can you become glorious ? Why are objects white ? Just look at the white objects . What makes them so white ? Science tells you that the secret of whiteness is renunciation , nothing less .

The seven colours in the rays of the Sun impinge upon different objects . Some objects absorb and retain most of these colours and project back only one . Such objects are known by the very colour they throw back or deny to themselves . You call that rose pink , but that is the very colour which does not belong to the rose . The colours it has absorbed , which are really in it , are the colours you do not attribute to the rose . How strange !

The black objects absorb all the colours in the rays of the Sun . They give out no colour , they renounce nothing , they throw back nothing , and they are dark , black .

The white objects absorb nothing , claim nothing , they renounce everything . They do not try to keep selfish possession . They have not a proprietary spirit and thus they are white , dazzling , bright , brilliant .

Similarly if you want to become glorious and prosperous , you shall have to rise in your heart of hearts above the selfish , proprietary spirit . You must rise above that . Be always a giver , a free worker ; never throw your heart in a begging , expecting attitude . Get rid of the monopolizing habit .

Why should you lay exclusive claim to the air in your lungs ? That air is everybody's property . On the other hand when you cease to appropriate the small quantity of air in your lungs , you find yourself heir to all the atmosphere , unlimited become your resources ; breathe in the oxygen of the universe .

Be not vain , be not proud . Never feel that anything belongs to your little self ; it is GOD's , your real Atman's .

Take the case of Isaac Newton . How was it that Newton became so bright , brilliant , glorious in the eyes of the world ? At the time of death , the spirit in which Newton had worked was made known . When complimented on being the greatest person in the world , Newton replied ,

" Oh , no ! this intellect or this small personality of mine is simply like a little child gathering pebbles on the vast , immense sea-shore of knowledge " .

Newton was yet lying upon the sands , gathering pebbles . Thus we see that the unassuming spirit which appropriates or claims nothing , which does not aggrandize the little self , is the spirit which puts your capacity and working powers at their best and this is the characteristic spirit of Vedanta .

You own desires , you have all kinds of desires , and you wish that your desires should be fulfilled ; but learn the secret of the fulfilment of desires .

How do we raise the window shade ? We want the window shade to rise up , but we have to give it a downward pull and let it go and there the window shade ascends .

This illustrates the secret of the fulfilment of all your desires . It is only when you let go the desire that it fructifies .

How are arrows shot ? We take up the bow and bend it . So long as we are stretching the string , the arrow does not reach the enemy . You may stretch it ever so hard , the arrow will be with you still . It is only when you let it go that bang flies the arrow to pierce the bosom of your foe .

Similarly so long as you keep your desire stretched or go on desiring , willing , wishing and yearning , it will not reach the bosom of the other party ; it is only when you let it go that it penetrates the soul of the party concerned .

" It is only when you leave me and lose me that you find me by your side . "

It is only when you cast yourself in a strange , indescribable sentiment which is higher than both of us , that you find me . This is what Vedanta tells you .

Two monks were travelling together . One of them maintained in practice the spirit of accumulation . The other was one of renunciation . They discussed the subject of possession versus renunciation till they reached the bank of a river . It was late in the evening . The monk who preached renunciation had no money in pocket , but the other had .

The monk of renunciation said ,

" What do we care for the body ; we have no money to pay the boatperson , we can pass away the night even on this bank singing the name of GOD " .

The moneyed monk replied ,

" If we stay on this side of the river , we can find no village , no hamlet or hut , no company , wolves will devour us , snakes will bite us , cold will chill us . We had better ferry to the other side . I have money with which to pay the boatperson to ferry us over to the other bank . On that side there is a village ; we will live there comfortably " .

Well , the boatperson came over and both of them were ferried across the river to the opposite shore .

At night the monk who had paid the fare remonstrated with the monk of renunciation :

" Do you not see the advantage of keeping money ? I kept money and two lives were saved . Henceforth you should never preach renunciation . Had I also been one of renunciation like you , we would have both starved or been chilled and killed on that side of the river " .

But the one of renunciation answered ,

" Had you kept the money with you , had you not parted with the money , renounced it to the boatperson , we would have died on the other bank . Thus it was the giving up of money or renunciation that brought us safety " .

Again , the monk continued ,

" If I kept no money in my pocket , your pocket became my pocket . My faith kept money for me in that pocket . I never suffer . Whenever I am in need , I am provided for " .

This story indicates that so long as you keep your desires in your pocket , there is no safety or rest for you . Renounce your desires , rise above them and you find double peace — immediate rest and eventual fruition of desires .

Remember that your desires will be realized only when you consciously or unconsciously lose yourself in the Divinity , then and then only will the time be ripe for the fulfilment of desires .

PART #1 : WORK &
PART #3 : LOVE &