Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ramana Maharshi on Gita Karma Yoga Non Doership

Ramana Maharshi on Gita Karma Yoga, Non Doership

Question : The Gita seems to emphasise karma yoga, for Arjuna is persuaded to fight. Sri Krishna himself set the example by an active life of great exploits.
Ramana Maharshi : The Gita starts by saying that you are not the body and that you are not therefore the karta [the doer].

Question : What is the significance?
Ramana Maharshi : It means that one should act without thinking that oneself is the actor. Actions will go on even in the egoless state. Each person has come into manifestation for a certain purpose and that purpose will be accomplished whether he considers himself to be the actor or not.

Question : What is karma yoga? Is it non-attachment to karma [action] or its fruit?
Ramana Maharshi : Karma yoga is that yoga in which the person does not arrogate to himself the function of being the actor. All actions go on automatically.

Question : Is it non-attachment to the fruits of actions?
Ramana Maharshi : The question arises only if there is the actor. It is said in all the scriptures that you should not consider yourself to be the actor.

Question : So karma yoga is `kartritva buddhi rahita karma' - action without the sense of doership.
Ramana Maharshi : Yes. Quite so.

Question : The Gita teaches that one should have an active life from beginning to end.
Ramana Maharshi :Yes, the actorless action.

Question : If one remains quiet how is action to go on? Where is the place for karma yoga?
Ramana Maharshi : Let us first understand what karma is, whose karma it is and who is the doer. Analysing them and enquiring into their truth, one is obliged to remain as the Self in peace. Nevertheless even in that state the actions will go on.

Question : How will the actions go on if I do not act?
Ramana Maharshi : Who asks this question? Is it the Self or another? Is the Self concerned with actions?

Question : No, not the Self. It is another, different from the Self.
Ramana Maharshi : So it is plain that the Self is not concerned with actions and so the question does not arise.

Question : I want to do karma yoga. How can I help others?
Ramana Maharshi : Who is there for you to help? Who is the `I' that is going to help others? First clear up that point and then everything will settle itself.

Question : That means `realize the Self.' Does my realization help others?
Ramana Maharshi : Yes, and it is the best help that you can possibly render to others. But really there are no others to be helped. For the realized being sees only the Self, just as the goldsmith sees only the gold while valuing it in various jewels made of gold. When you identify yourself with the body, name and form are there. But when you transcend the body-consciousness, the others also disappear. The realized one does not see the world as different from himself.

1 comment:

  1. If the "I" is found to be God, then the problem of doing is solved. All real power belongs to God. This is when the actor also realized. We do not need to rush around with buckets to put out a fire when the power is God's power. This is when stillness is blessed. It is the Mind which is in all which brings the fire into the Oneness which is God. We have no requirement for time or space to solve the mysteries of Mind. Even so, it is no sin to find joy in God's manifestation in an active way.

    Lovingly, Judy Osmundson


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