What is Responsibility?
All of us are always riding waves of sadness. At a body level: aging and dying. At a breath level: hunger and thirst. At a mind Level: confusion and sorrow. These are comprehensive waves at different levels so we need a comprehensive cure for this disease. The comprehensive cure is living the Bhagavad Gita.
Philosophical Question: How does the Enlightened personality sit?
Answer: With contentment; thoughts, words, and actions are integrated and there is no hypocrisy.
Practical Question: What is focus?
Philosophical Question: How does the Enlightened personality walk?
Answer: They walk with contentment. They direct their bodies; they are rishikesha — master of the senses. You know you practice this if you do not overthink.
Practical Question: What is discipline?
Prince Arjuna’s Question: Chapter 3, Verse 1
“If it be thought by you that ‘knowledge’ is superior to ‘action,’ O Janardana, why then, do you, O Keshava, engage me in this terrible action?”
Prince Arjuna wonders, after emphasizing the importance of knowing the spirit, why Bhagavan Krishna is encouraging Arjuna to engage in doing (karma) rather than knowing (jnana).
Bhagavan Krishna’s Answer: Chapter 3, Verse 20
“Janaka and others attained Perfection verily thought action alone; even with a view to protecting the masses you should perform action.”
By acting, one can develop inner power, or peace. Actions are the most universal and the most simple. We just need to have the intention in our actions for peace. Bhagavan Krishna references King Janaka, who despite his many responsibilities still lived with peace.
Our intentions behind our actions should be to help others, bringing the world together. Why should you help others? To engage in tapa: to expand our comfort zones. Not only do we develop less selfishness, but also more quietude that benefits both the helped and the helper. If our intention in all that we do is seva (service), this intention will flow into our actions.
If our intentions are towards peace, our inner doer (the memory, mind, intellect, and ego) becomes purer. There is less of a sense of “I am the doer” and “I am the deserver.” Now, we can listen to the scripture and understand that Bhagavan Krishna is the real doer.
Philosophical Question: Why should I act?
Answer: This will lead you to happiness.
Practical Question: What is responsibility?
Answer: Living. When we are truly living, there are no expectations.
Reflection:When your responsibilities (personal or professional) require doing something unpleasant, how can you overcome your hesitation?
We want our goals to be singular or simplified. Hesitation is a test or a warning sign that our likes or dislikes are there, or our ego is there. It reminds us to just do the responsibility.
Q & A:
- In just being, do you have to change anything about yourself?
- No! Being is the best. In being, in existence and awareness, there is no changing.
- Creation is looking after the Enlightened one, as instructed by the Creator.
2. What can a family do together to evolve?
- Encourage everyone to be a morning family when everyone is quieter.
- Reading time together (everyone can read different books)
- One meal together with no devices
- Go outside together (family walk, family hike, etc.)
3. How can personal and professional goals be singular?
- We tend to have multiple goals in our life (family goals, professional goals, personal goals). Those goals tend to be shallow.
- If you have a deep goal, you can only have 1 deep goal — enlightenment.
- We should only have a personal goal: to be the divine. This can be achieved through our profession, family, etc.
4. How do you forgive quickly?
- The best forgiveness is not even being offended. This is our aspiration.
- Sattvic way: you forgive because you are the benefactor. You are freer.
- Rajasic way: you forgive because you want to be forgiven. This is transactional.
- Tamasic way: You say you forgive, but you don’t feel that way.
- Not every disagreement or argument needs to be resolved; instead, just press reset and try again later.
5. In engaging in family time or family evolution, do we not then have the expectation for them to actually do that?
- If two people are on the path of evolution, it’s easy. If only one person is on the path of evolution, it’s harder but it’s actually better for you to practice non-expectation and acceptance.
- Your evolution is to not have expectations. Our responsibility is to live without worrying about the fruits.
6. Does karma yoga mean you should be a better planner? Is it encouraging us to be better planners?
- Yes. In karma yoga, the focus is on the intention, not the action.
- If you are organized, then you have the bandwidth to focus on the intention of those actions because those actions are already planned.
- The stronger your fundamentals are, the more creativity you can have.