Om Namah Shivaya

Venkatesaya - 'Be' with Swami Venkatesananda

Daily Readings, Yoga, and Satsangs with Swami Venkatesananda

Enlightenment is Nearby

There is a beautiful formula that the brahmins in India use: “All that has been done is done to Himself by God with His own energy.” There is no dualism involved. The moment there is a dualism – ‘I’ serve ‘you’, ‘I’ am teaching ‘you’ – there is a problem. Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita suggests a very beautiful attitude: “Man reaches perfection by treating everyone of his actions as a flower with which he worships God who is everywhere.” When God does something Himself, there is no motive or no one knows the motive except God Himself. When there is even this intellectual understanding that it is God who functions through this body and this mind and serves His own manifestations everywhere, then there is no selfishness. There is no motivation and no goal, no laziness and no idleness.

The person who has correctly understood the spirit of karma yoga is ever active, without a goal. If at the same time he is vigilant and meditative throughout the day, then he detects the very arising of the self. If that is possible, then enlightenment is within your reach. What is not clearly visible, observable, when you are sitting in meditation or practising pranayama or yoga asanas, becomes very clear in human relationship or in your daily activity. You can see the manifestation of the self – lust, anger, greed, jealousy, hate. I don’t see the self, but the arising of these emotions, these thoughts, tell me that it is very much there.

Is it possible for me to live without all these coming up? It should be possible theoretically, because when you are sitting in meditation none of these disturbances are there. But when we meet each other, work for each other, serve each other, all these things come up. So there is a two-fold or three-fold approach. I am working with you, along with you and for you, but with this feeling that ‘God works, not I’ and ‘You are all manifestations of God’. At the same time I am using the meditation technique to observe where all these – lust, anger, greed, and so on – arise. I am also prayerful and humble and look up to God and say, “God, I have no idea how to deal with this,” and generate the spirit of surrender. When all these come together, then surely enlightenment is nearby.