The Yoga of action

The action is one of the crucial elements of life in general and our society in particular. Years ago a friend told me: "In this society you are what you do", and when I started to spin to this forceful statement I realized that there was much of true in this... Montse Simon writes.

We tend to respond to what we are: lawyers, students, teachers, bakers, etc., or we say our name and then have that what we do or that we like to do. Almost inevitably, the person connects today with the uncertainty generated by the wide range of possibilities of things to do and increased job instability. If I have not clear what I'm going to spend in life, who am I? who will I be?

You prepare with a lot of studies and information to be something that fails. However, it is interesting to note that having clear what you do and that be what you like, does not seem be a guarantee of no full happiness. There are a large number of people who despite having a good job, which is that they do what they like, that they occupy a certain social position, etc. do not feel satisfied, it seems that "something wrong". Is knowing what I am and what I do know who I am?

Mystics and sages of different traditions have remarked that in reality not worth what we do but what we are, and I write We are capitalized because it is not here to be high, low, smart, silly, doctor, architect, father, mother... but the simple fact of being, regardless of attributes. "You're more than what you do."

Karma, the results of the action

In the Bhagavad Gita, one of the great texts of wisdom of the India, highlights the dichotomy between action and inaction. Arjuna He is a great warrior and has to fight in a battle to do justice. However, you want to withdraw, it is not able to fight against those who are friends and their families. His friend Krishna (an incarnation of the absolute, even if Arjuna has not still been aware of this), will give you different teachings to help you understand why must fight. From these teachings, it is well known and usually us play full one in which Krishna says:

«You just right to actions, never to the results. You do not identify with it which causes the results of the action or you attach either to the inaction» (Bh. G. II.47)

In Sanskrit the word we translate as 'action' is the word Karma, and Karma It means both "action" and "the results of the action". Every action has results, and often when we perform an action is in the interests of a particular result. However, part of the hindu tradition teaches us that not appropriate action or results frees us from the burden of identity and the expectations attaching.

The proposal of Krishna is to do what we have to do without sticking to the idea of "I" and the results. This idea of the action by action, without IDs of "I" and "mine", makes sense under the umbrella of another concept that is the of Dharma (duty, law, righteousness, morality, religion). As a teacher of Varanasi, said the Dharma they are the car headlights which allow us to see and guide us in the dark.

Outside the context of the Bhagavad Gitawhere teaching is transmitted to a noble and honored Warrior, the message wakes up important issues such as the possibility that some "Savior of the world" commit atrocities in the name of "their duty" and appeal it is not he who does the action, or the owner of their results because it does so in the name of something much greater than he. Therefore it is important that the person cultivates itself values as the discernment between what endures and what is changing and perishable, detachment, respect, humility, peace, purity of heart, equanimity, confidence, etc.. I do not insist here long enough on the importance of cultivating this type of values, before placed "beyond good and evil".

Nor do we wish that this teaching will become a justification for corrupt actions or of the abandonment of all responsibility for our actions.

Another issue that is presented to us today to this teaching is the of "what is supposed to be my duty?". Krishna tells Arjuna that his duty as a warrior is to fight, but in the world we live our social role is not always clear: "How can I do my duty if not only I have of course what is my duty?". You can decide here by doing what we do in every moment in the best way that we know and be attentive to realize, to the extent possible, if we are doing something that "we should not". It is often easier to know what one "should not" make one "should" have.

Krishna shows Arjuna (Dhananjaya) teaching of the Karma yoga (action yoga) and defined the Yoga as "fairness":

«O Dhananjaya! Abandoning all attachment and remaining intact before the success or defeat, executes the actions established in yoga. Yoga is defined as fairness'. (Bh. G. II.48)

Having established that yoga is equanimity, urges him to practice it as "skill in action":

«That which has an impartial mind leaves this world [the idea of] the good action and bad.» With that attitude [fair] practice yoga. Yoga is skill in action". (BH. G. II.50)

The yoga of action

The Yoga of action It therefore consists of perform our duty in a completely disinterested way. Disinterested in any outcome, "good" or "bad", "gain" or "loss", "glory" or "dishonor". Although today the term is often used in Karma yoga to refer to the free service that is offered to a teacher or community, I think it is worth giving the term depth that sometimes we shed it. Is received or not compensation, received praise or criticism, It is our duty, play our role, our action, in the best possible way, without sticking to any that are the results, without sticking to the idea of "what good am I" or "I am what bad" and a host of lawsuits:

"But, oh Arjuna, that which through the mind controls the senses and start [practicing] karma yoga, detached from the organs of action, becomes exalted". (Bh. G. III. 7)

Fair and selfless action is closely linked to the control of the senses and the mind to not identify us with the "doer" or the "who enjoys the fruits". A practical proposal to forge that detachment is the offer to the divine, to life, to the Universal energy, to the world, our most loved... every one of our actions. I invite you to try in the coming days to dedicate each of your actions to a loved one.

Montse Simon, a graduate in philosophy, graduate in history of religions and diploma in Sanskrit from Banaras Hindu University. Member of the Association of Yoga and philosophy s'Om) Extend studies Vedanta and texts of the tradition with pandits and svamis of the vedantina tradition. Teacher of yoga, Sanskrit and Indian philosophy.

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By • 27 Feb, 2017 • section: Yoga and philosophy