What is the biggest benefit of doing all that is mentioned in this book? How do you ensure you don’t miss it?
I have been a high achievement and goal-oriented guy for most of my life. This means I looked at my goals and assessed how far am I from achieving it and manage my effort to cover up any gaps that may lead to non-achievement of my goal. The usual rule I followed is keep increasing my effort till the gap is dramatically reduced and the achievement of the goal is inevitable. The good thing is that I chose goals that require me to do the work I love to do, at least most of the time. However, a big part of my joy and my frustration comes from achieving or not achieving my goals. So much so that if I did not achieve the goal, I tend to discount my joy and learning along the way after the event.
I worked a lot on my self, trying to dislodge some of the values that I had come to internalize because of the situations I grew up in and my interpretations of them. However, the importance of achieving goals meant I always kept a watch on how I was doing. I was never free of my own goals my own standards. Like most of us in India we are told “karm kiya ja phal ki isha muth kar” which means do the work the actions without aspiring for the fruits of your actions. Or be ‘here and now’. Understanding this intellectually is easy but living it is tough. Is it really possible to have goals and still be free of them and not have them governing our lives, being driven by them?
That’s where Moksha comes in. The nearest word in English is Freedom. The difference is that Moksha is a state of being where we are not running away from something, trying to be free of something. Neither are we moving towards anything because we lack something that this will provide us. No, we don’t feel compelled to do it, not by an external frame of reference nor a pseudo internal one. We are free and we choose to do it. Yes, we are doing what is to be done, and thus our dharma.
But dharma is not a burden that you are supposed to carry and ensure it is done, then it becomes a duty-kartavya and another goal and non-achievement of it will cause disappointment. Doing your dharma leaves you feeling full because it is fulfilling.
To explain the difference through a contrasting experience you would have gone through. When you prepare intensely for an exam, day and night, giving your 100%, how to you feel once it is over. You feel relieved, you feel empty. That’s because the exam was an external thing that you completely internalized and did it with dedication. The result after the event is emptiness, because you are free of this............Read More