Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Thoughts for the New Year

On Work

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it! Boldness has genius, power and magic
in it. Begin it and the work will be completed.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Do little things in an extraordinary way; be the best one in your line. You must not let your life run in the ordinary way; do something that nobody else has done, something that will dazzle the world. Show that God’s creative principle works in you. Never mind the past. Though your errors be as deep as the ocean, the soul itself cannot be swallowed up by them. Have the unflinching determination to move on your path unhampered by limiting thoughts of past errors.”
- Paramahansa Yogananda

We read in the Bhagavad Gita again and again that we must all work incessantly. Every work must necessarily be a mixture of good and evil; yet we are commanded to work incessantly. The solution reached in the Gita in regard to this bondage-producing nature of work is that, if we do not attach ourselves to the work we do, it will not have any binding effect on our soul.
Work, but let not the action or the thought produce a deep impression on the mind. Let the ripples come and go, let huge actions proceed from the muscles and the brain, but let them not make any deep impression on the soul.
The whole gist of this teaching is that you should work like a master and not as a slave; work incessantly, but do not do slave's work.
- Swami Vivekananda

“Ch’ing, the chief carpenter, was carving wood into a stand for musical instruments. When
finished, the work appeared to those who saw it as though of supernatural execution; and the Prince of Lu asked him, saying, ‘What mystery is there in your art?’
‘No mystery, Your Highness,’ replied Ch’ing. ‘And yet there is something.
When I am about to make such a stand, I guard against any diminution of my vital power.
I first reduce my mind to absolute quiescence.
Three days in this condition, and I become oblivious of any reward to be gained.
Five days, and I become oblivious of any fame to be acquired.
Seven days, and I become oblivious of my four limbs and my physical frame.
Then, with no thought of the Court present in my mind, my skill becomes concentrated, and all disturbing elements from without are gone.
I enter some mountain forest, I search for a suitable tree. It contains the form required, which is afterwards elaborated. I see the stand in my mind’s eye, and then set to work. Beyond that there is nothing. I bring my own native capacity into relation with that of the wood. What was suspected to be of supernatural execution in my work was due solely to this.’”
- Chuang Tzu

Being busy does not always mean real work.
The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence,and honest purpose, as well as perspiration.
Seeming to do is not doing.

- Thomas A. Edison

1 comment:

Shankar said...

Thank you for these inspiring quotes.