'Be' with Swami Venkatesananda

Neither Suppression Nor Licence

Karma yoga or buddhi yoga does not discourage activity, but, on the contrary, insists on intelligent dynamism. The man who refuses to do his duty vainly rebels against God’s will. There is activity in his mind; if the mind is not active, he would cease to live. Even the mind’s recognition of the position of one’s own limbs is the result of wrong identification of the self with the body which is part of the world! Foolish suppression of mental activity will only result in an explosion which could take the form of a simple mental aberration, a criminal tendency or lunacy. What is vital is a direct perception of the conditioning which generates aspirations and aversions which in turn taint one’s mental and physical activity. Such perception dispels the psychological conditioning and its offspring (the ego), and reveals the divine as the source and the goal of all life.

The ideal is one of self-controlled participation in the divine will, which is karma yoga. Control is not suppression or repression. In any field of life, suppression only means compression which, sooner or later, leads to explosion. We see this happen in the life of a man, of society, of communities and of nations. Control, on the other hand, is right expression – neither suppression nor licence. This is the middle path of the Buddha, the buddhi yoga of Krsna, the Christian way, and the Divine Life of our Master. An excellent parallel is seen in the expression – “Mr. So-and-so has good control of the car.” He knows when to stop or to start, which way to go and at what speed. The enigma of this yoga lies in its simplicity.