Friday, February 20, 2009

Ramana Maharshi : Free from the ‘I-am-the doer’ feeling in doing Work

Question : It has been definitely stated that so long as there is the least trace of the ‘I-am-the-doer’ idea, there can be no realisation, but is it possible for a householder who earnestly desires Liberation to fulfil his duties without this idea?
Ramana Maharshi : There is no principle that actions can be performed only on the basis of the ‘I-am-the-doer’ idea, and therefore there is no reason to ask whether they can be performed and the duties discharged without that idea.

To take a common example, an accountant working all day in his office and scrupulously attending to his duties might seem to the spectator to be shouldering all the financial responsibilities of the institution.

But, knowing that he is not personally affected by the intake or outgoings, he remains unattached and free from the ‘I-am-the doer’ feeling in doing his work, while at the same time he does it perfectly well. In the same way, it is quite possible for the wise householder who earnestly seeks liberation to discharge his duties in life (which, after all, are his destiny) without any attachment, regarding himself merely as an instrument for the purpose.

Such activity is not an obstacle on the path of Knowledge nor does Knowledge prevent a man from discharging his duties in life. Knowledge and activity are never mutually antagonistic and the realisation of one does not impede performance of the other, nor performance of one the realisation of the other.

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