“Life is a play. Our own ego makes it into a serious, heavy thing”
Life was never meant to be that way. God wanted to have some fun so He created all of us. He is having all the fun, and we seem to be missing it because we don’t know His purpose behind all this. Just treat everything as play. All this coming, going, meeting, eating, welcoming, sending off, taking birth, saying goodnight and goodbye, it’s all a part of the fun.
We should know how to take things easy and see in this light that it’s all a great, Divine play, and we are being made to play our roles. We are all like puppets with strings attached. The string that is tied to us is that Consciousness, God’s Consciousness. When we fail to understand that and allow our individual egos to come to the surface, then we think that we are controlling the movement. That is what is called basic ignorance.
Actually, we have no business here at all of our own. Nothing belongs to us. Not even this body, not even this mind. Just because we happen to have something in our hands, we immediately try to possess it. We say, “This is mine. I should keep it. I did it!” Instead of thinking that way, just leave it to the Lord. We are not really saving the world. We cannot even destroy the world. It’s not in our hands. If that Supreme Power wants to save the world, it won’t even take a second. All of you could be saints and sages overnight. All He has to do is think: “Come on, let you all be sages, be saints.” That’s it.
The very fact that He is not doing that means He wants us to experience the truth in our own way, even by making mistakes. Even though you sometimes forget this and take life as a serious matter there are certain situations which help to remind us. At times when you really get caught up in everything and you cannot go anywhere, at least at that point think: “God, I give up! It’s all Your play, Your fun.” Keeping this awareness is called the Divine Leela, God’s play. Try it just for a sample week. Remember: “It’s all God’s fun. I’ll simply do whatever He wants me to do.” Just one week of this attitude will make you feel very Light. Then if you like you can continue that way. If not, simply take back your ego. It’s always there.
Work As Fun
Even during activity you can be relaxed, doing it with joy. That is what Karma Yoga means. If your entire life is Karma Yoga, a dedicated life, there’s no need for any tension to build. That tension causes all kinds of problems: “Ahhhh, what will happen? Will I get it or not? What will others think? How should I look? Will he smile at me or not?” Constant anxiety, worry, concern, all put weight on your shoulders. Just keep the mind calm and relaxed always: “Well things will happen. It’s already decided; I simply have to go through it. Whatever I have to get, I will get. Whatever I have to lose, I will lose.” Accept things. Be relaxed. Take life easy.
People come and go. Money comes and goes. Things, beauty, power, all come and go. Anything that comes will go. Watch the show: allow it to come and go. Then, you are relaxed. You enjoy every minute. You enjoy the hero coming, hugging and kissing the heroine. At the same time you enjoy the villain coming, kidnapping the heroine. Think about that a moment. Don’t you enjoy the villain’s part also? Without the villain or some type of conflict, there is no show.
Once I was a filmmaker myself. I made a film without a villain one time, and it didn’t bring in any money. People didn’t like it. Everything went smoothly, just loving without conflict. There was no suspense. When I added a villain, everyone loved it. It was just the same story basically with some difficulties added. Life is just like that. So, accept the hero; accept the villain. Accept the marriage; accept the divorce. Accept the birth; accept the death. Then life becomes easy, and you are always relaxed.
Question: Please talk to us about the line between doing our very best and leaving it all to God because we are not the doers.
Sri Gurudev: As long as you feel you are doing something, do it well, according to your capacity. But you can still remind yourself “I am not the doer.” You have the knowledge that Somebody is working through you. It’s like a bulb saying “I am giving the light with the help of the current. It’s not that I am giving the light all by myself. Without the current I cannot give you light. If you want to thank me, thank the current.” That way we can say we are doing everything because we are made to do it. We have been given enough energy, enough knowledge to do it. Ultimately the real doer is that Cosmic Consciousness which is called God. The real doer is God. We are all just instruments through which God’s current functions. If we realize that then we don’t need to get into prideful feelings: “I did it!” You won’t even condemn someone by saying “You did it wrong!” God is the only doer. If you can’t fully accept that yet, okay. Go ahead and think that you are doing it, and do it well. Do it for the sake of everybody, not just for your sake. If you do it for your sake, it will create a lot of turmoil in the mind.
(by Sri Swami Satchidananda, from the August, 2010 IYTA Newsletter)