|XXXIII - Page 330||Home | Index | Previous | Next|
Transform all Self-serving Actions into Selfless Actions
You must first remove the negative tendencies which have driven all your ordinary, self-serving actions that have kept you bound, and replace these negative tendencies with positive, noble qualities which are associated with beneficial and selfless actions. Then, when you are firmly established in the stage of selfless service, wherein you perform only good actions, you can go on to the higher stage where you renounce the fruits of all your actions. From there, you will naturally rise to the stage of totally selfless, impersonal yoga. At that stage, you make sure that all your actions are of the highest purity and then you offer them all up to the divinity, to do with as the divinity wishes.
What is the inner secret of performing work? It is the Gita's proclamation that only through positive, laudable activities can the negative tendencies be removed. The Gita advises you to be engaged only in good actions so that you will steadily purify your heart. But it goes further than that. It asserts that true purity of heart can be achieved only by dedicating all your actions to the Lord. Every action that you perform must be offered to God; only then can your heart be fully cleansed. Consider an example.
When food is eaten after having been cooked and prepared in different ways, it is just ordinary food, and you are subject to the good or bad effects of eating that food. However, if special care is taken in the preparation of this food to make sure that it is pure and worthy of being offered to the divinity, and then, before consuming it, it is offered with full heart to God, then it becomes consecrated food. From that point on, this will no longer be ordinary food. Consuming it will confer divine blessings, for it will be the sacred gift of the divinity.
By the same token, all the many activities performed by you during the day fall into the category of ordinary actions. But when you perform these same actions, even if they are just little acts, with the intention of making them an offering to God, devoting their results not to your own pleasure but for the pleasure of the Lord, then your actions become sacred actions. In other words, your karma becomes karma yoga. It is only through such karma yoga that you will be able to rid yourself of all evil tendencies and make your heart pure.