October – 2008
When I rest, I rust. – Chinmaya
Put it differently, “work hard we must”.
The reasons can be many:
1) Hard work sharpens our abilities:
One notable thing about our talents and abilities is that the moment we stop making use of it, we start losing it, just like a knife, when unused gets rusted.
2) Hard work brings in all worldly prosperities:
When we put forth effort diligently in our chosen field, we start approaching perfection. Success, honour, name, fame, prosperity etc are but different names of hard work.
After a brilliant stage performance, a world-famous musician was surrounded by his friends and admirers who were eager to express their appreciation and best wishes. One rich lady came to him and said, “How lucky you are that God has gifted you with such great talent! I envy you.” The musician replied, “Talent alone is not sufficient madam. It requires continuous practice – 10 hours a day for 40 years!”
3) As a mark of gratitude:
What we receive from this world is much much more than what we give back. We are debted to our teachers, parents, the society, plants and animals. In fact, we are debted to everyone and everything around. Hence it becomes our responsibility to serve others with gratitude and humility.
A little boy left a brief note on his mother’s bed. In it, he had written all the chores he had completed that day. The note read thus: for washing the car: Rs10/-; for making the bed: Rs.10, for taking care of the baby: Rs 20/- ….total = Rs 100/-. And then he went to school.
When the mother came to clean the room, she saw the list. She read the list and smiled. Carefully pinning a note of Rs100/-to the list, she kept another list next to it which read thus: for taking care of you: nil; for teaching you to walk: nil; for preparing your breakfast: nil; for nursing you when you are sick: nil … total = nil.
When the boy returned he was thrilled to see the Rs 100/- note but when he read his mother’s note, he felt very much ashamed. With tears in his eyes, he ran to his mother and hugged her apologising with all sincerity.
4) Actions with right attitude purify the mind:
No doubt, the highest state of perfection is actionlessness. But actionlessness, i.e. absolute quietude at the mind level can be achieved only when the mind is extremely pure. When actions are performed without attachment as a worship of the Lord, the mind becomes pure.
Thus it is through action only that actionlessness is reached.
“What is the secret of your success?” Someone asked George Washington. He replied, “I pray as if everything depends upon God.” He paused and then continued, “I work as if everything depends upon me.”
Many a time this highest state of actionlessness is misunderstood as doing nothing. As a result, immature seekers idle their time in the name of sadhana giving up all responsibilities. The mind, being impure and unprepared, is neither capable of contemplating upon the Higher, nor is it able to prevent itself from brooding over the sense pleasures. Truly they rust through rest.
Human birth is a rare gift from the Lord. A mortal with finite, limited equipments and abilities is given a golden opportunity to expand to infinite dimensions – infinite in knowledge, strength, freedom, wisdom… never again to come back into this world of finitudes and imperfections.
Once the seeker is convinced and is inspired by this great noble goal, resting and rusting will no more have any meaning in his life.
O M T A T S A T
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