Keeping In The Middle – In Gita Verse 18.11 It is indeed impossible for an embodied being to give up all activities. But he who renounces the fruits of action is called one who has truly renounced.

What Krishna has spoken in Bhagavad Gita, he has lived. Out of living he says something.

We all know Krishna was working as a charioteer for Arjuna: that is his humbleness.  As he knew that there is nothing to possess so how can I renounce. Out of this understanding whatever the circumstances demand he will act accordingly. He did not have a goal to deliver Gita in the middle of the battlefield. But the circumstances demanded certain things from him and he delivered how he lived his life. He never put his energy into the future but always responded to the present moment. This is the reason he had not renounced anything and did not have any attachment for anything.

A real man of realization is neither humble nor egoistic. Whatsoever the situation, he responds totally.

Remember, Buddha says whenever you are in the middle, you are on the way. Whenever you are leaning toward the right and left, you are going astray.

“Keeping in the middle” is what he means by being calm because whenever you lean to the left or to the right, you become excited. So never be a rightist and never be a leftist. Just be in the middle and you will be nowhere, and you will be nobody – because in the middle all excitement is lost. One is simply calm.

That’s what he means by “being pure.” When you lean to the left, the left corrupts you. When you lean to the right, the right corrupts you. When you don’t lean, when you are simply in the middle, nothing corrupts you. You become incorruptible. You are pure. Therefore, be calm and pure, and the way will be gained.

A child learns “mine,” “me,” “you,” “I.” Now you can move to the opposite and you can say, “Nothing is mine.” You can say that there is no ego in you, and you don’t possess anything – “me” exists not, and you are also a divine form, a form of the formless. But if it is just moving to the other extreme then nothing is gained. If it is an understanding from the middle, then something is gained. But from the middle you will not say, “I don’t possess anything” – remember it. This is possible only if you still think that something can be possessed. One day you think you can possess, another day you deny and you say, “I don’t possess anything. I renounce.” But in your renunciation also there is possession. How can you renounce the world if you don’t possess it?

A real man of understanding never renounces anything. He simply understands, “Nothing is there to possess, so how can I renounce?”

It is said about a Japanese emperor that he renounced his kingdom and went to a Zen master. He bowed down at his feet and said in tremendous humbleness, “I have renounced the kingdom.”

The Zen master said, “Then it is better that you go and possess it again, claim it again. It is better that you go.”

The emperor was very disturbed. He said, “What do you mean? I have really renounced it.”

The master said, “If you have really renounced it, then how can you say that you have renounced it? Real renunciation is simply understanding that nothing belongs to you. There is nothing to renounce.”

Renunciation is possible only if, in the first place, you accept that possession is possible. Non-attachment is possible only if, in the first place, you accept that attachment is possible. A real man of understanding comes to know that attachment is not possible. Attachment is false, possession is false: it is not possible. It is impossible to possess. Then what is the point of renouncing? What is the point of becoming non-attached? Attachment simply disappears. If attachment disappears and there is nothing left behind, not even non-attachment – the idea of non-attachment – then you are pure and calm. If attachment disappears but now it is replaced with non-attachment, you have moved to the other extreme. When violence disappears, it is not that there is nonviolence in you. What is the point of nonviolence? Violence has disappeared, and nonviolence with it. The dualities go together. Now suddenly you are left alone, pure. If you get into one, you get into the other too.

When you become violent, nonviolence comes in. When you become nonviolent, violence waits behind. They go together. All dualities go together. When sex disappears, celibacy disappears too – remember it. If you start claiming that you have become a celibate then sexuality still exists, and any day it can explode. You are sitting on a volcano. When sex has gone, what is the meaning of celibacy? Then it is simply meaningless, the word is meaningless. Celibacy can carry a meaning only in reference to sex.

Buddha says when both dualities are gone, you are simply in the middle – silent, calm, pure. The way is attained. The way is the middle way.

Finally, to make you remember it always, let me condense the whole thing into one sentence: whenever you are tired, frustrated, finished with something, remain alert – the mind will tend to go to the opposite.

When the strings are too loose, the mind will tend to make them too tight – and there, again you miss. And when the mind is too tight, the strings are too tight, one day you will get tired of that too because the music will not be coming out of it. Then the mind will tend again to make them too loose.

This is how life goes: one life after another, you go on moving from one pole to another. You become a volleyball kicked from this side to that, kicked from that side to this. If you want to get out of this game, this game of samsara, this game of the world, then be in the middle. Whenever a moment comes to decide, be very alert: never go to the other extreme. Remember to remain in the middle.

If you can learn to remain in the middle you have learned all that is there to learn, and all that is worth learning. Buddha’s way is called majjhima nikaya, “the middle way.” He is one of the most penetrating seekers of truth. He has made something very profound, discovered something which you can use. It is not a ritual, it is not a prayer. It is something to do with your awareness. His whole field of work is awareness.

How we practice what Krishna says – who renounces the fruits of action is called one who has truly renounced.

So remain in the middle. If you have been eating too much, don’t start fasting. That is too simple. That’s how people go on. I know many people: the first two or three months they will fast and diet, and then they will rush into food. Then they will become obsessed, for two or three months they will eat too much. Again, whatsoever the fast has done to their bodies is undone. Again they are ready to fast. This way they go on – volleyballs kicked from here to there.

Right food, the right quantity, eaten with awareness, is enough. You need not eat too much, you need not fast.

Remember the middle and you will always be right.

If you practice Right food, Right quantity eaten with awareness you will have a hint of what Krishna says – who renounces the fruits of action is called one who has truly renounced.


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