To view the content please help us by clicking on one of the social icons, thanks for everything. Helping others physically by removing their physical needs, is indeed great, but the help is great according as the need is greater and according as the help is far-reaching. As the tortoise tucks its feet and head inside the shell, and you may kill it and break it in pieces, and yet it will not come out, even so the character of that man who has control over his motives and organs is unchangeably established. If working like slaves results in selfishness and attachment, working as master of our own mind gives rise to the bliss of non-attachment.
This idea of complete self-sacrifice is illustrated in the following story: After the battle of Kurukshetra the five Pandava brothers performed a great sacrifice and made very large gifts to the poor.
Now you see what Karma-Yoga means; even at the point of death to help any one, without asking questions. Until man’s nature changes, these physical needs will always arise, and miseries will always be felt, and no amount of physical help will cure them completely. We often talk of right and justice, but we find that in the world right and justice are mere baby’s talk. All people expressed amazement at the greatness and richness of the sacrifice, and said that such a sacrifice the world had never seen before. When I was first learningEnglish, I read an English story book in which there was a story about a dutiful boy who had gone out to work and had given some of his money to his old mother, and this was praised in three or four pages.
Be cheated millions of times and never ask a question, and never think of what you are doing. Spiritual knowledge is the only thing that can destroy our miseries for ever; any other knowledge satisfies wants only for a time.
We cannot do any work which will not do some good somewhere; there cannot be any work which will not cause some harm somewhere. Using the simile of a lake for the mind, every ripple, every wave that rises in the mind, when it subsides, does not die out entirely, but leaves a mark and a future possibility of that wave coming out again.
By this continuous reflex of good thoughts, good impressions moving over the surface of the mind, the tendency for doing good becomes strong, and as the result we feel able to control the Indriyas (the sense-organs, the nerve-centres). This world is not our habitation, it is only one of the many stages through which we are passing.
In whatever you do for a particular person, a city, or a state, assume the same attitude towards it as you have towards your children–expect nothing in return. But, after the ceremony, there came a little mongoose, half of whose body was golden, and the other half brown; and he began to roll on the floor of the sacrificial hall. Never vaunt of your gifts to the poor or expect their gratitude, but rather be grateful to them for giving you the occasion of practising charity to them. It is only with the knowledge of the spirit that the faculty of want is annihilated for ever; so helping man spiritually is the highest help that can be given to him. Every work must necessarily be a mixture of good and evil; yet we are commanded to work incessantly. My attachment to this particular person caused a deeper impression on my mind than all the other faces.
If you can invariably take the position of a giver, in which everything given by you is a free offering to the world, without any thought of return, then will your work bring you no attachment. Thus it is plain that to be an ideal householder is a much more difficult task than to be an ideal Sannyasin; the true life of work is indeed as hard as, if not harder than, the equally true life of renunciation. He who gives man spiritual knowledge is the greatest benefactor of mankind and as such we always find that those were the most powerful of men who helped man in his spiritual needs, because spirituality is the true basis of all our activities in life.


Let men have light, let them be pure and spiritually strong and educated, then alone will misery cease in the world, not before. Every work that we do, every movement of the body, every thought that we think, leaves such an impression on the mind-stuff, and even when such impressions are not obvious on the surface, they are sufficiently strong to work beneath the surface, subconsciously. Physiologically the impressions have all been the same; every one of the faces that I saw pictured itself on the retina, and the brain took the pictures in, and yet there was no similarity of effect upon the mind. If we remember this always, we shall never be attached to nature; we shall know that nature is a book in which we are to read, and that when we have gained the required knowledge, the book is of no more value to us. We may convert every house in the country into a charity asylum, we may fill the land with hospitals, but the misery of man will still continue to exist until man’s character changes.
Most of the faces, perhaps, were entirely new faces, about which I had never thought before, but that one face of which I got only a glimpse found associations inside. Such lovers may be a thousand miles away from one another, but their love will be all the same; it does not die, and will never produce any painful reaction. And some men take everything for themselves, and fathers and mothers and wives and children go to the wall. What I am just at this moment is the effect of the sum total of all the impressions of my past life. There is a still higher state than having this good tendency, and that is the desire for liberation.
Perhaps I had pictured him in my mind for years, knew hundreds of things about him, and this one new vision of him awakened hundreds of sleeping memories in my mind; and this one impression having been repeated perhaps a hundred times more than those of the different faces together, will produce a great effect on the mind. There came in that land a three years’ famine, and the poor Brahmin suffered more than ever.
The solution reached in the Gita in regard to this bondage-producing nature of work is that, if we do not attach ourselves to the work we do, it will not have any binding effect on our soul.
You must remember that freedom of the soul is the goal of all Yogas, and each one equally leads to the same result. If you buy a slave and tie him down in chains and make him work for you, he will work like a drudge, but there will be no love in him. All thought of obtaining return for the work we do hinders our spiritual progress; nay, in the end it brings misery. At last when the family had starved for days, the father brought home one morning a little barley flour, which he had been fortunate enough to obtain, and he divided it into four parts, one for each member of the family. The gift of knowledge is a far higher gift than that of food and clothes; it is even higher than giving life to a man, because the real life of man consists of knowledge.
So when we ourselves work for the things of the world as slaves, there can be no love in us, and our work is not true work.
They prepared it for their meal, and just as they were about to eat, there was a knock at the door.
If a man continuously hears bad words, thinks bad thoughts, does bad actions, his mind will be full of bad impressions; and they will influence his thought and work without his being conscious of the fact. Buddha was a working Jnani, Christ was a Bhakta, but the same goal was reached by both of them.
This is true of work done for relatives and friends, and is true of work done for our own selves. Here we give up all the fruits of our work unto the Lord, and worshipping Him thus, we have no right to expect anything from mankind for the work we do. Life is of very little value, if it is a life in the dark, groping through ignorance and misery.


In fact, these bad impressions are always working, and their resultant must be evil, and that man will be a bad man; he cannot help it. Now in India a guest is a sacred person; he is as a god for the time being, and must be treated as such. The sum total of these impressions in him will create the strong motive power for doing bad actions.
Liberation means entire freedom–freedom from the bondage of good, as well as from the bondage of evil. Every act of love brings happiness; there is no act of love which does not bring peace and blessedness as its reaction. Just as water cannot wet the lotus leaf, so work cannot bind the unselfish man by giving rise to attachment to results. Therefore, in considering the question of helping others, we must always strive not to commit the mistake of thinking that physical help is the only help that can be given.
He will be like a machine in the hand of his impressions, and they will force him to do evil. The selfless and unattached man may live in the very heart of a crowded and sinful city; he will not be touched by sin.
It is not only the last but the least, because it cannot bring about permanent satisfaction.
Similarly, if a man thinks good thoughts and does good works, the sum total of these impressions will be good; and they, in a similar manner, will force him to do good even in spite of himself. The misery that I feel when I am hungry is satisfied by eating, but hunger returns; my misery can cease only when I am satisfied beyond all want.
So the bad tendencies are to be counteracted by the good ones, and the bad impressions on the mind should be removed by the fresh waves of good ones, until all that is evil almost disappears, or is subdued and held in control in a corner of the mind; but after that, the good tendencies have also to be conquered.
Therefore true love can never react so as to cause pain either to the lover or to the beloved. A few granules of that flour had fallen on the floor; and when I rolled my body on them, half of it became golden, as you see.
So, that help which tends to make us strong spiritually is the highest, next to it comes intellectual help, and after that physical help. Since then I have been travelling all over the world, hoping to find another sacrifice like that, but nowhere have I found one; nowhere else has the other half of my body been turned into gold. Let the ripples come and go, let huge actions proceed from the muscles and the brain, but let them not make any deep impression on the soul. That is not love; it is a kind of morbid affection of the slave, insinuating itself as love.
It cannot be love, because it is painful; if she does not do what he wants, it brings him pain.
When you have succeeded in loving your husband, your wife, your children, the whole world, the universe, in such a manner that there is no reaction of pain or jealousy, no selfish feeling, then you are in a fit state to be unattached.



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