Watchful – In Gita Verse 3.5 Everyone is forced to act helplessly according to the qualities he has acquired from the modes of material nature; therefore no one can refrain from doing something, not even for a moment.
Krishna explains to Arjuna, you cannot run away from your act, it is impossible. Breathing is also action, sitting, getting up, anything done by body is action. You cannot run away from your action.
Person who says that I will renounce my action he is saying something which is impossible. Family life is one kind of action, Karma, sanyas is another kind of Karma.
Person who says that he has renounced the Karma is a hypocrite.
Krishna is simply saying that don’t try to change or renounce the Karma but focus on transforming the person(self), from unconsciousness to consciousness. Bring your self-consciousness, your own light into your action. Live according to your own light. Find your own light within and live according to it without any fear.
These were the last words of Gautam the Buddha, his parting message to his disciples:
“Be a light unto yourself.” But when he says, “Be a light unto yourself,” he does not mean become a light unto yourself. There is a great difference between being and becoming.
Becoming is a process, being is a discovery. The seed only appears to become the tree, that is an appearance. The seed already had the tree within itself; it was its very being. The seed does not become the flowers. The flowers were there unmanifest, now they are manifest. It is not a question of becoming; otherwise a pebble could become a flower. But that doesn’t happen. A rock cannot become a rose; that doesn’t happen because the rock has no potential for being a rose. The seed simply discovers itself through dying into the soil: dropping its outer shell, it becomes revealed in its inner reality.
Man is a light in the seed. You are already Buddhas. It is not that you have to become Buddhas, it is not a question of learning, of achieving, it is only a question of recognition – it is a question of going within yourself and seeing what is there. It is self-discovery.
You are already a light unto yourself, you are just not aware of it. You have forgotten about it – you have to discover it. And the how of discovery is simple, very simple: a simple process of watching your thoughts.
To help this process you can start watching other things too, because the process of watching is the same. What you are watching is not significant. Watch anything and you are learning watchfulness.
Listen to the birds, it is the same. One day you will be able to listen to your own thoughts. The birds are a little farther away; your thoughts are a little closer. In the fall watch the dry leaves falling from the trees. Anything will do that helps you to be watchful. Walking, watch your own walking. Buddha used to say to his disciples: Take each step watchfully. He used to say: Watch your breath.
And that is one of the most significant practices for watching because the breath is there continuously available for twenty-four hours a day wherever you are. The birds may be singing one day, they may not be singing some other day, but breathing is always there. Sitting, walking, lying down, it is always there. Go on watching the breath coming in, the breath going out.
Not that watching the breath is the point; the point is learning how to watch. Go to the river and watch the river. Sit in the marketplace and watch people passing by. Watch anything; just remember that you are a watcher. Don’t become judgmental, don’t be a judge. Once you start judging you have forgotten that you are a watcher, you have become involved, you have taken sides, you have chosen: “I am in favor of this thought and I am against that thought.” Once you choose, you become identified. Watchfulness is the method of destroying all identification.
Once you destroy your identification suddenly the act which you are doing which will not be identified, it will be action of non-doer. You are allowing that act to happen through your body. It is like from pipe water is flowing, through our body action is happening. You will become hollow pipe, non-interfering, non-identified with action.
Krishna simply says that don’t go on thinking which is not reality, impossible, living means body need to act. But as Buddha said Watchful about all your actions.