Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda

Insights and Inspirations (Venkatesa Daily Readings Vol 2) — Living Means Action

April 7, 2021

 Living Means Action

 Swami Venkatesananda    Action is ongoing; and since life means living, movement, motion, energy, expression of energy, there is another aspect of this doctrine of karma. That is: you can't, as long as you are alive, avoid doing something — you have to do something. When these two are read together, probably you begin to quake in fear and in excitement. You can't help doing something all the time — physically, mentally, spiritually — and everything that you do is going to keep throwing up its own result.

      Oh my God! So, I am compelled to do, forced to be active all the time by the very nature of life. But I am not forced to do 'this' and not 'that': I am not forced to respond to the environment in one way or the other. Who determines that? The factor called ego, which says "I want to be this, I want to do this. I want to achieve, I want to succeed. I want to be happy." With this motivation you do what has to be done, what you would have done regardless of motivation.

      Life being action, you are helplessly doing something all the time. The ego provides a sort of motivation saying, "I am doing this in order to gain that." Do we always get what we want, even we have done all that we think we should do in order to get that? No. Why is it so? Because there are so many unknown, unpredictable factors in our lives.

      So, while doing what has to be done, the ego steps in and says, "I want to get something out of this." If we achieve what we wish to achieve, we are distracted; if we do not we are frustrated. That is our lives. Simple. These are the two aspects in our daily lives.


      Yoga means harmony, union, integration. There must be an inner harmony, a total harmony within the total being. The oneness, the harmony that exists amongst the billions of cells in the body, the total, continuous, unquestioning, undoubted, supra-national unity — that is what we are looking for. When all actions that are performed by this body, mind, intellect and ego spring from the cosmic being, the cosmic intelligence, the result is yoga.

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