This is an excerpt of the Bhagavad Gita, by Swami Lakshmanjoo, audio recording recorded in November 1978 in Kashmir by John Hughes…
SWAMIJI: Yastu, on the opposite [side], that person who through mind controls all the organs, through mind he controls all the organs, all the temptations of organs he controls through mind; niyami arabhate arjuna karmendriyaih karmayogam, and he does all the activities of the world–karmayoga–he does everything. He goes to office, he works there for the whole day. And he comes back and he goes to movie, he talks, he laughs, he does everything, but his consciousness, his mind, is focused towards the pathway of God consciousness. That is, he is never absent in [from] the breathing cycle of abhyasa, meditation. Internally he is watching his breath, externally he is doing all the activities.
Karmendriyaih karma yogam asaktah, without attachment, without being attached to those things which he does outside in the world, sa vishishyate, he is fortunate, he is the right [real] person who is fortunate. So for you, I advice you, O Arjuna . . .
. . . so niyatam karmanam, only those activities you should do, you should indulge in those activities only, which are advisable. Not to do plundering, not to do looting, not to do adultery, not to do all these wrong activities. But [do] those activities which are advised by your master and your shastras, you should do those activities, you should indulge in those activities.
Niyatam (niyatam means shastryam, niyatam does not mean you should do activity always), niyatam, [means] which are nominated by shastras, and which are nominated, prescribed, by your master, those actions you should do.
Karma jyayo, doing action is better than doing nothing, because while doing nothing he does everything. Internally he does everything.
When I left . . . one time I left my home and went to the forest . . .
. . . and in meditation I was . . . [seeing] all those things which were in my bedroom, in my bathroom, in my dressing room, there at Fatakadal [in Srinagar, Kashmir], I would see them. I would see them absolutely vividly there. So impressions were there; all impressions were with me. I had not shunned those things, because they came, they appeared at the time of meditation, there, in the forest where there was nothing, only the wind and God.
So, sharira yatrapi ca te na prasiddhye, this body cannot stand without doing no actions . . . with doing no actions. If you do no activity body won’t stand, you have to throw this body off. Because sometimes you have to eat, sometimes you have to go to bathroom, sometimes you have to go for playing badminton, sometimes you have to go to see cinema, sometimes you have to go to talk, sometimes you have to laugh. You have to do so many things. This body cannot remain without doing these things. If you maintain this body without doing actions, you will do all those things internally through mind. That is what he says. Sharira yatrapi ca te, this bodily sphere of life also cannot exist without doing actions. The actions will be there.
So, doing actions in this world without sacrificing it for [them to] God that is yajnartha, this activity should be done for God, for the sake of God, for realizing God. Activity of cooking, activity of working, activity of going to cinema, should be adopted for realizing God, for realizing your nature. If it is done without that impression, loko ‘yam karma bandhanah, all this world will be entangled in the trap of activities. He won’t get rid of that cage.
Tadartham karma kaunteya muktasangah, so being unattached to it, detached from your activities; do your activities for the sake of realizing God but not for the sake of good for your livelihood. This is what I mean, this is Lord Krishna’s . . .
DENISE: You mean to keep that idea in mind that, “I am doing this for the sake of God.”
SWAMIJI: Yes, yajna. Yajna means . . . yajna does not mean niskama [without desire] there. Yajna is just . . .
SWAMIJI: Not sakam [with desire].
. . . just for the sake of God realization.
JAGDISH: That concept.
SWAMIJI: That concept.
JOHN: So when there is devotion to God, everything should be an offering.
SWAMIJI: It is offering, these are offerings to God. I am cooking food, just [think] it is His work, it is His work. So the impression of cooking will be transformed in abhyasa [practice] in the dreaming state. You will see, if you do this way of activity in this world, in wakefulness, [then] in the dreaming state you will see the fruit of that will be that, you are watching your breath in the dreaming state. So this is certificate. That certificate should be produced in dreaming state, then you are on the right path. Otherwise you are misbehaving . . .
DENISE: In waking state?
SWAMIJI: . . . in waking, yes.
JOHN: So, making offerings of these things to the Lord means to maintain awareness in all of your activities.
JOHN: When going to the bathroom, when you are walking . . .
SWAMIJI: Yes. Go on, go on, go on; don’t keep yourself away from maintaining that one-pointed-ness. That is what he means in this “doing action, activity.”
Tadartham karma kaunteya mukta sangah samacara, O Arjuna (kaunteya means Arjuna), O Arjuna, for that sake you should do activity in this world, not for any other sake. Not for any other selfish things. Not for your husband, not for your sons, not for your kids, not for your own nature, Self, but for the sake of realizing God.
JAGDISH: Mukta sangah is these worldly things?
SWAMIJI: Mukta sangah is yes, be detached from the world.
Prajapatih Lord Shiva . . . .
Prajapatih does not mean as other commentators have commentated upon as Prajapatih is Brahma. It is not Brahma there. Prajapatih means Lord Shiva.
. . . Lord Shiva when he created, while creating this universe, while creating these individuals in this world, purovaca prajapatih, Lord Shiva told them while creating those individuals, He told them, instructed them, advised them, anena prasavishyadhvam, rise, go on rising in your own way by doing activities in this world. And esha vo astu ishta kamadhuk, this activity will sentence you, will divert you, towards the realizing state of God consciousness. He also advised them when He created that [this] world.
So . . .
This also He advised, Lord Shiva advised people, when he created this universe. Anena devan bhavayata; anena, by this way you should worship your cycle of organs. Deva means the cycle of organs. The cycle of your organs, you should give life to the cycle of your organs by doing activity in this way; go on doing, go on eating food with awareness, go on seeing forms with awareness, go on smelling worth smelling [fragrant] flowers etc., with awareness, go on hearing sounds with awareness, go on perceiving the touching sensation with awareness, [do activities] all this way. This way you should fulfill the desires of your own organs, this way. And they will fulfill your desire, and those organs will in turn fulfill your desire, parasparam bhavayantah, they will fulfill your desire.
What is your desire?
To remain in the establishment of God consciousness. Shreyah paramavapsyatha, supreme peace will shine before you, after doing this way of actions.
Ishtankamanhi vo deva, those organs, which you have fulfilled by actions, whose desires you have fulfilled with actions . . .
You know, you understand what I mean?
SWAMIJI: . . . dasyante yajnabhavitah, ishtankaman, abhishta, desires, desires which you want [to fulfill], which you really desire, wish.
What is your desire?
Your desire is to remain in God consciousness. They [your organs] will put you in God consciousness. After getting established in God consciousness, tairdattan apradayaibhyo, then if you remain always in God consciousness and do nothing for your organs, you are absolutely [thief]. You have snatched the treasure from your organs, and in return you have not served them. You are not serving those organs. You are a kind of thief. You have snatched that treasure from them and you do not do activities again. Again you should do activities in the world. Go on doing activities . . .
. . . God consciousness like that. Remain in . . . come down from that God consciousness with awareness and do the activities of these organs for the organs sake.
DENISE: Satisfy them.
SWAMIJI: Satisfy them. Satisfy them and in turn they will again push you back in God consciousness. Again you will come down and satisfy them and they will push you again in God consciousness. This way life must be conducted. This is the real way of life.
This we don’t do!
Some Vedantists snatch away that God consciousness from them [their organs] and remain there, and then they become vulgar, they become brutes. Because this God consciousness fades away, fades away, by and by, by and by, it fades away, and it is nothing, it is only just deceiving people, deceiving people always. No, you should not do that. You should come down from God consciousness and serve them again with awareness. And in turn they will push you back [into God consciousness. Then] you should go again to serve them. This way you should conduct your activities in your lifetime.
JOHN: What do Vedantins do? They don’t . . . they get to that state of . . .
SWAMIJI: And remain in that [state] saying, bas, they have achieved. They have not achieved. It is temporary achievement. You have to do all this thing up to death, then it will be permanent.
Santa, those sages who just yajna shishtashinah, they shishta, shishta means what remains behind, what is saved after that, the thing which is saved after doing this activity–organic action, and action of the internal sphere of God consciousness–whatever is saved, that little bit you should eat, you should use that little bit. But don’t strive to enhance that little bit with your own effort.
What have you to do there?
DENISE: I don’t know what you mean, what is saved?
SWAMIJI: For instance you have served your organs . . .
SWAMIJI: . . . with awareness. You have to serve your organs, give them whatever they need. And in return they will push you back in God consciousness. But you are established in God consciousness not for always. It is a temporary achievement. That temporary achievement should not be perceived as if it is a permanent achievement. It is not a permanent achievement. It is a temporary achievement. It is temporary just the cost of that service. You have received that cost. Don’t think that it is your own treasure now for your lifetime. You have to come down again and serve them.
DENISE: Your senses, organs.
SWAMIJI: Your senses. And they will, in return, they will push you back. You have to serve them then they will push, push, push and go, push and go, push and go . . . and in the end you’ll be established; finally you will be established in the real state of God consciousness in the end.
DENISE: And then what’s left over? You were going to tell me what’s left over?
DENISE: That little bit that’s left over?
SWAMIJI: The actual joy of God consciousness, which you have momentarily, which you have got momentarily, bas, a little bit, that. That is the yajna shishta. But don’t strive to enhance that by yourself. Don’t strive to increase that by yourself.
DENISE: It won’t?
SWAMIJI: It won’t be, you can’t increase it. You can increase it only by serving your senses in the right way. When you serve your senses in the right way then they will push you back in God consciousness. By this way it becomes stronger and stronger and stronger, and in the end it is strongest. When it is strongest you are one with God. That is the real state of jivan mukta.
SWAMIJI: Jagadananda, everything.
JAGDISH: Yajna shishta is that what you get after serving . . .
SWAMIJI: Yajna shishta. Yajna shishta is that remaining in one-pointed-ness of God consciousness.
That is yajna-shesha. Yajna-shesha is not what we do in yajna [when] I perform the yajna of my master, afterwards what we call shesha is that ‘khir’ [rice pudding], and bata [rice] and ‘chapatti’ [unleavened bread] and ‘dhal’ [lentil soup] and ‘paratha’ [ghee chapatti], and you eat that. That is yajna shesha there. But here it is not; yajna shesha is a separate thing.
Yajna shesha is the actual joy of God consciousness which remains for some moments. Afterwards if you are confused [about] what has happened, [when] it is not there. The remedy for catching hold of this is, to go and serve these with awareness.
SWAMIJI: Senses. That is: you should walk, you should walk with awareness, you should talk with awareness, you should eat with awareness, you should do everything, all external things. And then in its return you will be pushed back [into God consciousness]. So you have to do this. This way the life is concerned. That is yajna shishta.
That yajna shesha which is used by santa (santa means those ancient sages), mucyante sarvakilvishaih, they are freed, they are liberated, from all the impurities and sins of the world.
SWAMIJI: Bhunjate te tvagham papa, those people who think that they have snatched this joy from these senses and they take hold of that, it [that joy] does not remain. So that is not yajna shesha, that is not yajna shesha. They are not eating yajna shesha, they are not using yajna shesha, they are using sin [papa], they are eating sin there.
SWAMIJI: Snatching that temporary joy from them and . . .
DENISE: Then not serving them.
SWAMIJI: . . . and not serving them in return.
GEORGE: Can that also mean that when you are having that glimpse of God consciousness you attribute it [to yourself] that, “I did that, I am great”, rather . . .
SWAMIJI: No, what should you do about that ego. That ego, keep that ego on one side. But take care, take care of your senses. Those are gods. Deva indriyani vrittaya, your own organs are devas, gods. You have to serve those gods in return, and in its return, they will make you achieve that God consciousness. Afterwards you have to serve them again.That is [it].
JAGDISH: Ashinah is to be satisfied always?
SWAMIJI: Ashinah means eating, using.
JAGDISH: And mucyante?
SWAMIJI: Yajnashishta-ashinah, those who eat yajnashesha, mucyante sarvakilvishaih, they are liberated from all sins. [But] bhunjate te tvagham papa, those people eat, not yajnashesha; they eat sin, [i.e.,] ye pacantyatmaka, those who eat for their own self [enjoyment], not satisfying their organs.
DENISE: Then they are thieves.
JOHN: This eating goes to all five senses, this is to all senses, whatever it is.
DENISE: I have one question though.
It’s not possible for everybody to watch their breath when they are doing all actions in the world. Is that easier to think, when you are doing actions in the world, that I’m doing this for the sake of God?
SWAMIJI: That is also maintains awareness [but] not to that extent. But it helps. It is according to the capacity of sadhakas [aspirants].
JOHN: Some things are easier than other things.
SWAMIJI: Something is better than nothing.
JOHN: Talking is very . . .
JOHN: . . . tough.