Human Effort in Right Perspective

May 25, 2013 Comments Off on Human Effort in Right Perspective

Seeker: If the present worldly life of ours is karma-bhoomi and achieving contentment is the sole objective of the mind, should one try for higher professional accomplishment? One may as well remain with a small sphere of activities and be contended with that.

Poojya Swamiji: Contentment, properly viewed, is the one gain of our life. It is the net outcome of all our actions. Contentment is related to one’s pursuit and performance — be the pursuit objective, related to a profession and its display in the society, or a purely subjective one like spiritual or philosophical. Even if it is spiritual, it can have its external relevance, as in the case of Janaka or Arjuna.

In this perspective, whether one should strive for higher professional achievements or be content with whatever one has and is doing, the question does not arise at all. If one has a higher worth, then that will find expression. In enabling its proper expression, the subjective quotient of the individual and the objective situation both have equal place.

To have a worth but not to express it properly, is a disharmony. As long as one is active, no matter what the activity is, it is natural that he does his job wholeheartedly and well. As part of this, if a higher calling or placement becomes inevitable or natural, that should be accepted, not rejected. Denying a proper opportunity out of any extra natural consideration will be wrong and disharmonious.

The principle is dealt with in Bhagavadgeeta (verse 3.4):

Na karmanaam-anaarambhat
naishkarmyam purusho-asnute
Na cha sanyasanaadeva
siddhim samadhigacchati ..

By refusing to take up any undertaking or venture (including higher positions), or by abandoning whatever one is in, (merely by this) one does not attain siddhi or spiritual felicity.

To the active and sincere man, a greater and deeper worth of his pursuit is always the ideal, no doubt. But when inner maturity is gained, the best activity also will be left, at one stroke. That is the most activity also will be left, at one stroke. That is the most natural fruition. Gita mentions about this in the last chapter (verse 45 to 49).

In order to have contentment, there is no need to cut down on active pursuits, if these are harmonious with the performer. – Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha
[An extract from a correspondence from Poojya Swamiji that appeared in the Nov 1989 issue of Vicharasethu.]
(c) Narayanashrama Tapovanam, 2012

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