Wednesday, April 4, 2012

VI: 2

Chapter 6, Verse 2:

"What has been called Karma Yoga
Is really renunciation,
Since none can practice Karma Yoga
Who are anxious about the future
And the results of action."

Sri Krishna Prem:

It is not the work that is to be renounced, but the Sankalpa, the formative will which seeks its own aims, an attitude that is found in too many would-be Yogis who seek in Yoga, not the Atman, but an enhanced power of molding the environment to a pattern more pleasing to the ego.

Sri Eknath Easwaran:

My Grandmother would describe a village girl of about ten, walking home gracefully with a pot full of milk on her head. Under the spell of Sankalpa, the little girl begins to daydream, "I am going to sell all my milk for five rupees, and with the money I'll get a dancing dress and real anklets and bells." Then she dreams of how she'll dance. Carried away by now, she begins to dance. The pot falls, and the milk spills. This is what we do all the time, each in our own ways. "When my novel has gone into its sixth printing and the movie rights are locked up, I will buy a yacht and a villa on the Riviera." People are given to this kind of imaginative activity on all sorts of levels: money, pleasure, fame, power, and so forth.

As long as we are subject to Sankalpa, we are imprisoned in our selfish way of thinking and are prevented from gaining access to the deeper levels of consciousness that clamor to be used. There is no more effective way to rid the mind of Sankalpa than the practice of meditation. Every time we meditate, we free the mind a little more by not allowing it to wander off on a trail of fancy or vague associations of its own choosing. I will be the first to admit that bringing the mind back over and over again is dull, dreary work; but over time, this effort will free us from the oppressive memories of the past as well as the expectations of future possibilities.

One of the signposts that we are approaching this freedom from mental slavery is an increase in our vitality, energy and capacity for selfless work. The more we work for others, stretching out our arms to embrace all those around us, the stronger our arms will become.

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