'Be' with Swami Venkatesananda

Too busy doing good

It is not when you fight against the so-called evils that you succeed, but when you are too busy to pay any attention to them. Virtues are not cultivated in themselves, by themselves. When you are too busy doing something good, you have no time for vice. Because we do not understand this, we knock our heads against stone walls and bleed. When you want somebody to smile, you do not pull his cheeks away, you tickle his foot and the mouth smiles. So the action is here, the result is somewhere else. In order to cultivate good qualities, I do not have to go on manipulating them. Tickle somewhere else, that thing becomes good. What must I do in order to overcome some evil habits or evil thoughts? Be active here, then that will disappear, you have no time. That was what he demonstrated in Malaya.

If in this manner life is kept at full tension, there is absolutely no possibility of the mind indulging in useless thoughts or harmful emotions. At the same time, this self-sacrificing service, as also charity, continues. What is been renounced? The pleasures of life are renounced, are seen to be hollow. Renounced is not the proper word – they have no value at all. It is only because the mind, or something else, sticks the label ‘pleasure’ on certain experiences that the mind thinks of them. When does the mind not think of them as pleasure? When something else gives you pleasure. When service and charity give you pleasure, when satsang gives you pleasure.

Only tamas has been abandoned, the desire for pleasure has not arisen at all. It has no chance to arise, as tamas never has a chance to come up.