Purification Through Austerity – In Gita Verse 5.1 Arjuna said: O Kṛṣṇa, ﬁrst of all You ask me to renounce work, and then again You recommend work with devotion. Now will You kindly tell me deﬁnitely which of the two is more beneﬁcial?
Question of Arjuna clearly says that due to his unconsciousness he thinks that both renounce the work and work with devotion is different. But when one transcend the knowledge to knowing they understand both are the same, only path is different. When Krishna tells that “renounce the work”, he means as non doer, and when Krishna uses the word “work with devotion” he means by surrendering to whole. As from both the way you merge into the whole.
Let’s understand what is non-doer. As by this question for Arjuna renounce work means work only for happiness. Otherwise why to renounce work. He doesn’t want to act. He is seeking approval from Krishna. Krishna has told that many ways we can purify our actions and become non-doer. When we are non-doer means we don’t have any desire to take any action from our side but if whole want us to act we will act in total surrender. In this verse I will be writing about how our austerity can be purified.
It is the expectation of happiness and the fear of misery that makes one an extrovert, and it is the no-expectation of happiness and a fearlessness toward misery that turns one within. This is the difference between indulgence and purification through austerities.
Purification through austerity means that “No, I have no desire for happiness. I have known many experiences of happiness and have seen them all turning into misery so many times. Now I have no desire for happiness anymore, nor is there any desire to avoid misery.” You have avoided misery again and again but it never ends, it only becomes more persistent and instead you experience more misery in trying to avoid it – it comes back with a vengeance. So you must neither avoid misery nor ask for happiness, now just accept whatsoever comes. Now the inner journey begins and the external struggle no longer exists. And it is this inner journey which can free you from the bondage of the body.
A person who does something to create happiness or to avoid misery, the sage calls a doer. But the person to whom happiness and misery make no difference, who accepts every situation, does not continue to be a doer, he becomes a non-doer. And once you have become a non-doer, existence itself becomes the doer. This state gave birth to the precious concept of destiny.
Destiny has nothing to do with astrology, it is concerned with spirituality; it has nothing to do with the lines of the palm, it is not related to the future, it has nothing to do with the street astrologer. The idea of destiny is born when you cease to be the doer and things begin to happen on their own. You remain a doer as long as you are doing something to attain happiness and to avoid misery; you are the doer as long as you continue to struggle. But when you cease to be the doer, accepting whatever comes – not bothering about the result, whether it be happiness or misery – slowly the differences disappear and it even becomes difficult to recognize happiness and misery as such. You become indifferent toward both.
In this indifference the doer will disappear, because there is nothing left to do. And what was it that you had to do? There was only one thing – to work out how to obtain happiness and how to avoid misery. That was your only activity. Now no action is needed and still things will go on happening. When man is not the doer existence becomes the doer, and when existence is the doer this state is called destiny, fate.
This is what happens when we are unconscious of ourselves. What Krishna, Buddha, our Vedas, Gita, or in that case any scriptures says, we will not be able to understand one thing that we have to act but the actions need to be as non-doer or in surrender. It’s not the case of Arjuna it’s ours. Remember that when we come up with such question like approvals, not able to see what are possibility instead of problems we are self-unconscious. Make it simple. As soon as you find yourself in such a mind state become aware of yourself and become self-conscious and look for the possibility. Your action will be as non-doer.