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Karma Yoga and Rajas
Candice: Dear Ram, so when you say mentally agitated, you mean not fully present? So you don’t get the fullness of the experience? The clarity of the experience?
Ram: Yes. And if you are actually subtle, mindful of how the mind feels when it is agitated, you will see that it is doing you a lot of violence.
Candice: Yes, the mind feels energized in a way that is automatic and insistent – not present to the moment, not available to the peace and balance of the self. I remember being in a totally still state one meditation retreat when “I” disappeared. I realized that any movement of the mind, as the doer, was a form of violence. I just filed the information because I didn’t know how to address the issue in “real life.”
Ram: Perhaps you are not subtle enough to notice, but rajas pounds away at the nerve currents, it sends spiking agitating shakti rushing though the nadis and this affects one’s physical health.
Candice: Yes, I can feel that rushing through the nadis… it’s what I call stress… very painful energy… energy that you don’t want in your body. My mind just wasn’t able to consider the option of not doing. I can see how the agitation in the mind… the “pressure of the thoughts of doing,” is the cause of the physical discomfort.
Ram: You’re concerned about how your rajas impedes non-violent communication with others. It also inflicts violence on oneself.
Candice: Yes, you got through to me referring to it as violence… Stress is violence.
Ram: Yes. “Pieces to juggle” is the whole thing. Juggling is stressful, something is always about to screw up. The juggler is always under (self-imposed) pressure. It (juggling) is the thought that creates priorities and rajas. Pieces to juggle means there is a doer and this is where the second layer of stress comes in, the first being the very act of juggling itself, not to mention the idea of “so many” which, according to spiritual science, is an emptiness-inspired greed issue about which much could be said.
Candice: Yes, I see what you mean. A fear issue.
Ram: If the idea behind the doing is karma yoga, which is based on the fact that action happens independently of a doer and that there is in fact no doer, or if there is it is nature, the unconscious, then there are no priorities and no pieces to juggle – and no time involved. Therefore there is no stress, worry and no hurry. You just take up one thing without the next thing or series of things impinging on the mind, and when it is accomplished, the next thing pops into consciousness and you dispatch that.
If you are not mindful of the fact that you are the whole and complete, already-accomplished self or if you are doing karma yoga to purify your mind, you will notice that while you are doing one activity the consciousness of all the remaining day’s “to dos” will be driving your mind to work faster and faster. In this state of mind, time is a tyrant, a real slave driver, out to bend you to its will. You are not free. The joke is that there is no time at all – unless you create it in this way with your desires. Rajas is called the mode of passion because what causes the mental and emotional turmoil is desire.
Candice: I am on the edge of really hearing this last piece…
“…an exaggerated sense of duty and responsibility”… I think this applies. Somehow I took it on that it was my responsibility in life to try and make everyone happy. I think that I took it on when I was quite young, and have never re-examined it deeply. Now is a good time.
Ram: Karma yoga is an attitude of sameness that you take with respect to action. You take this attitude because you understand that at bottom this is a non-dual universe and that one thing is no more valuable than another. “A person with equal vision sees no difference between a lump of gold and the excreta of a crow.”
Candice: I want to practice a non-dual perspective. I want to learn this. And I have some questions… for later.