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Do What Works for Peace of Mind
Martinez: I would like to hear your opinion about one topic that is not very clear in my mind. I know that you are very busy with ShiningWorld emails, so I’m not hurry at all. I’m completely fine, as you know.
As I told you, I left my job because it was an unpleasant activity (quite rajasic and tamasic). It was like a natural movement to close that door when I had saved some money. Soon I’ll have to take a brief two-week job which will allow me to pay the rent for some months more. After that, maybe the same two-week job will be available, and so on. That is very good, and I’m enjoying the peace. My wife is completely okay with the situation. She earns money working at home which is a big aid.
I note that my mind is very interested on keeping that situation (staying in my silent peaceful home, studying Vedanta), so it began planning on how to create a business, and even how to build a passive income. The realization of the plan is based on doing the things I like (writing, therapy), mostly because it’s fun and because I would like to have enough money to live in the country. We live in an enormous city where it seems that people love noise more than anything else. I think that if I focus my time only on Vedanta and contemplation, soon I will have to go back to the absurd jobs, so I’m working on this plan.
What is my question? Well, I’m not too sure that my approach to the situation is okay. Sometimes it appears that I’m allowing ignorance to come by getting involved in a new enterprise. Maybe I have this doubt because of the idea that the jiva should stop caring about the world and start developing complete indifference (which, in fact, happens at some level). Planning a business, setting goals, etc. all sound so strange, but the mind really thinks that it’s a good idea for a life committed to knowledge. Ram says that he stopped caring about money and, while his mind was focused on the knowledge, he had everything he needed. More or less money won’t remove the fact that I’m happiness but the old vasanas related to money are still here and don’t let me see with complete clarity.
Sundari: Hello, Martinez. Good to hear from the jnani in Mexico. ☺
I am glad that we have your e-satsangs up at the website.
As to your question, it seems that the jiva has a desire to live a more sattvic life: no problem there. As Krishna says, “I am the desire that is not opposed to dharma.” As long as you are always identified with the one who knows the desire, whatever it is, desire is fine. Life is desire. We can never really get away from it. Desire is not a problem for the self and it should not be a problem for the jiva either. Ramji advises those committed to self-inquiry not to start new ventures with the belief that the results of the venture will complete them, not that starting a new venture is bad in itself. It is all about correct attitude and understanding.
Do not believe that it is better or more holy to want nothing – or that to achieve a state of total detachment makes you somehow more spiritual as the jiva. Unless it is your karma and dharma to live the life of a sadhu, it is okay to want things, as long as you take the karma yoga attitude.
It seems to me that your real doubt has to do with confusion between satya and mithya. The question to ask is: Are you writing this as the jiva or as the self? As the self, it is not ignorant to take action to make life more peaceful for the jiva. After all, moksa is for the jiva, not awareness. Peace of mind is always the goal for the jiva, even when it knows it is the knower of the peace of mind. It is the jiva that is wondering if it is ignorance to act for a result. As I said above, there is nothing wrong with the jiva doing what it needs to do to improve its situation and to take care of its karma. As long as whatever the jiva desires does not contravene dharma on any level and the jiva undertakes action with the karma yoga spirit, taking the results as prasad.
You already know that a business venture will not give you what you already have – which is fullness – because you are fullness. However, as the jiva lives in the world, doing what it takes to create a lifestyle that affords peace of mind is important. We advise people to take a look at what they do to make a living, where they live, whom they associate with, etc. because all those things impact on the mind. It is all very well to know you are awareness, but if the mind is constantly subjected to adharmic or rajasic/tamasic living conditions or people, it is forced to keep modifying to remain detached. This is painful for a sattvic mind.
Do whatever works for the jiva, leave the results to Isvara knowing without a shadow of a doubt that all your needs are always being taken care of. We seek moksa because we want to be free of the jiva and we want the jiva to live free as the self. Ramji has always had strong desires, but because he is not identified with Ram or Ram’s desires, there is no conflict. Desire, Ram and the results of the actions are all mithya. They are not real. If you know that you can act or not act, it makes no real difference because either way awareness is unchanged.
If you are the self, desire and action is not a problem. Desire and action is not a problem for the jiva either if it knows it is not the jiva but the self and thus engages in action with the knowledge that Isvara is the doer and the giver of the results of the action. Either way the answer is: YES! DO IT!
~ Much love to you and Drusilla from both of us, Sundari