Rituals, Fire And Knowledge
Existence is like a mountain which echoes every sound that is uttered around it. It is like someone telling us, sitting here among the hills, to make a sound and leave it to the hills to echo it. We don’t have to wait prayerfully for the echo, it will come on its own.
If one worries about what the echo is going to be, he will not be able to create a sound properly. And then it is possible the hills won’t echo it. To produce an echo a proper sound, a sound of a particular volume is needed. This is how the desire for a result, the tension caused by desire and expectation does not allow you to do your work rightly.
People who are anxious for results often miss the moment of action itself, because the moment of action is now and here, while the result lies in some future. So those whose eyes are set on the future are bound to miss the present. If you are concerned with the result, if the result is what is important to you, then the action itself becomes meaningless. Then you don’t love your work, you love only the result. Then you don’t give your whole heart and mind to action – you do it reluctantly, haphazardly.
If your attention is focused on the future – and you are where your attention is – then you can not be totally in the present. And action lies in the present. And that which is done inattentively cannot be deep and total; it cannot be blissful.
Krishna’s vision of action without attachment to results is clear. He tells you to be totally in the present, in the moment. He tells you not to divide yourself between the present and the future. Not even a fraction of your attention should be passed on to the future. Then only you can act wholly and joyously, and then only will your action be total.
Desire for results is a distraction from action, so give up your attachment to results and be totally in action.
Leave future to the future, to existence, and be totally in what you are doing now and here. Then you will also be total in the future when that future comes. Otherwise your habit of being fragmentary will pursue you throughout. Be whole in the now and you will be whole in the future, you will always be whole. And this wholeness, not your desire, will bear fruit. So you can trustfully leave the matter of fruit in the hands of God or existence or whatsoever you like to call it.
I would like to explain it in a different way. Unless we make action our joy, unless we love what we do, unless we do something for the love of it, we cannot be free of our attachment to the future, to the result. And unless our action flows from our being, our blissfulness, like a stream flows from its source, we cannot be totally into it; we will always be pulled by the future.
Excerpted From Krishna: The Man and His Philosophy CH: 19