“The work of a man who is unattached to the modes of material nature and who is fully situated in transcendental knowledge merges entirely into transcendence.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 4.23)
गतसङ्गस्य मुक्तस्य ज्ञानावस्थितचेतसः ।
यज्ञायाचरतः कर्म समग्रं प्रविलीयते ॥ २३ ॥
1. The sleeping on time at night
“I give him so much credit. He has a set bedtime and never deviates from it. It doesn’t matter what is going on in the outside world. If there is a big game on television. If there is a party running late, with friends and family around. They always retire on time. They say it is to get proper rest, to be fully functional the following day.”
2. The comfortable cushion in the bedroom
“He splurged. He made a large purchase. Granted, it was through one of those mail-order sites. The bed was actually delivered. It wasn’t that large or that heavy, but apparently once you open the package up, the mattress expands.
“They say it is the most comfortable cushion in the world. This is a strict requirement for them. I can’t relate to the experience, but they say the change has proved worthwhile, that there are lasting benefits in terms of work and mental health.”
3. The kitchen appliances to cook meals
“She lost so much weight since the last time I saw her. You know, she doesn’t even work out? I asked her. She said all she did was cut back on eating out. She doesn’t order delivery anymore.
“How does she find time to cook while watching after two kids at home? She bought this new kitchen appliance. Apparently, it cuts down on the time to prepare meals. She said she can quickly make something every single day. The cleanup is easy, and so she is ready again for the next meal in minutes.”
4. The safe and reliable automobile
“I heard about it through a social media posting. It sounded like a harrowing experience. They were on a mini-road-trip within the state. About a half hour from reaching home, smoke started filling the cabin of the car. They had to pull over.
“The problem is that it was freezing that night. With two young children in the car, stranded in the middle of nowhere, they fortunately received help from someone driving by. They were rescued, but now they have no functioning cars.
“I advised them that now is the time to purchase something safe and reliable. No more skimping, just to save a few bucks. It is worth it to know that you have something that will give assurance during moments like these.”
5. The garage to protect against the elements
“With their new home purchase, they now have a two-car garage. I didn’t think it was that big a deal until I was staying over there recently. After a major snowstorm, the car was nice and safe inside. The housing community pays for people to come and clear the snow. In a matter of hours, we were on the road, without issue. I think that saves so much trouble in the long run.”
The intricacies of action and inaction are difficult to understand. What appears to be binding work to one person may actually be liberating on the inside. What appears to be a peaceful and calm setting to one person may actually be constant torture and headache for the person situated.
With respect to spiritual life, it may be seen that a highly advanced person follows routine work on a daily basis. Perhaps they travel to a jobsite. They may sit in front of a computer for hours and hours. They take orders from a boss. They juggle multiple responsibilities. They get frustrated from time to time, when there are difficulties due to irresponsibility of fellow colleagues.
Such a person can still be considered advanced, realized in the practical aspects of spiritual understanding. They know the difference between matter and spirit. They have heard the call to action for the human birth, for inquiring into Brahman. Their aim of life is not to enjoy the senses as much as possible.
Their ultimate objective is pleasing the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They know Him through the acharyas, through the descending process of knowledge. They are familiar through both the histories presented in Vedic literature and a deep, personal relationship. They may have confidential association, not revealed to others.
When such a relationship exists, when the goal is transcendence, the entirety of the experience merges into that transcendence. This is confirmed by Shri Krishna in Bhagavad-gita. All of the work done is for meeting the ultimate objective.
This means that every component is spiritualized. While in other settings there is a binding effect, resulting in karma and reactions to that work, with the spiritually realized person everything is for the pleasure of the Almighty.
This world, consisting of the five gross and three subtle elements, belongs to Him. We are simply utilizing His energy. If it is for our own pleasure, we stay in the cycle of rebirth. If it is for His pleasure, we are on the path to liberation. Every preceding step is thus glorified, part of the larger story of deliverance from the bondage of illusory subjugation.
Not into maya diverging,
Work into transcendence merging.
Since goal-focused set,
Not what personally to get.
Yoga but not in typical to find,
With transcendental consciousness aligned.
So even something trivial and small,
An aspect of devotion to call.
Categories: the five