5/25/2009

Monday Mantra and Tao of the Self Obsessed



....................,,,.....................<*****(((((( 'expect only what you are given' ))))*****>.............................,,,........

If we can follow the above all the time, we will be enlightened bliss beings
If we can follow it most of the time, we will be happy.

If we never follow it, we will be miserable, always disappointed, alternately feeling guilty and indignant.
Chasing shadows, following the way of the self obsessed

Bhagvadgita

कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन।

मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोस्त्वऽकर्मणि॥

Line 1: Karmanyevadhikaraste ma phaleshu kadachana -
Don't expect fruits. To expect a fruit is a mistake that leads to suffering.

Line 2: Ma karma phala he tur bhuh, ma te sangvasta karmani; -
You have a duty, you have an obligation to do, but you have no right to expect a particular consequence or result or fruit to follow from what you do.

The above is an interpretation via Vikram Madan, not translation
*

Monday Mantra is a weekly mantra series,
exploring the power of mantras both ancient and contemporary.
The power of our thoughts is well established scientifically, and has been known to the prophets, seers, philosophers and magicians throughout history




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5 comments:

Vikram Madan said...

Hi MD,

Nice mantra you have here.

Just a week back, I saw another blog entry which also talked about work, expectations. Its always wonderful to see writing that focuses on this very important aspect of life.

The message you are giving out - reminds me of a bhagvadgita verse.

(Hope the sanskrit font displays properly)
_________

कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन।

मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोस्त्वऽकर्मणि॥

Line 1: Karmanyevadhikaraste ma phaleshu kadachana -
Don't expect fruits. To expect a fruit is a mistake that leads to suffering.

Line 2: Ma karma phala he tur bhuh, ma te sangvasta karmani; -
You have a duty, you have an obligation to do, but you have no right to expect a particular consequence or result or fruit to follow from what you do.
____________

One has control over only one's actions and not on the results of one's actions. The results will (perhaps) come as per the actions. Perhaps there will be no results. Or negative results.

Because we have a very bizarre breakdown of cause & effect, in this world. Even bizarre is an understatement.

For this reason its vital that one just puts in effort and does not become eager for the fruits of one's labour.

Expecting results is not always greed.

But all said and done, its difficult to NOT wonder about why we did not get what we expected. Like Bruce Springsteen sings...

"Hey there mister can you tell me
What happened to the seeds I've sown
Can you give me a reason, sir, as to why they've never grown
They've just blown around from town to town
Back out on these fields
Where they fall from my hand
Back into the dirt of this hard land..

Perhaps someone should add a verse on the breakdown between cause & effect, to this Bruce Springsteen song. LoL.

I always wonder about the results, cant help it --- whether its good/bad for health, that doesn't stop me!

This breakdown between cause & effect that I am talking of --- its not based on any book/ philosophy -- its based on my observation of events.

my dakini said...

Hey Vikram,
luv the bhagvadgita verse! And sanskrit is one of my secret passions, thank you for sharing this.

"....its vital that one just puts in effort and does not become eager for the fruits of one's labour....."
Yes!

not all seeds are fertile, nor is the ground they are planted in always fertile.

We should not 'expect' to eliminate expectation completely, but the simple awareness of the futility of expectation will reduce disappointment, and help us lighten up....and appreciate, and enjoy what is

where are you on twitter?

Vikram Madan said...

Expecting to eliminate expectation is also an expectation. Same problem, in through the back door.

Reminds me of an Eckhart Tolle quote, paraphrased....'if you can't surrender, then accept that you can't surrender. That will work too.'

("surrender" can be replaced by other things. Like.."Relax", or "accept", or "stop expecting" etc.)

"...awareness of the futility of expectation..."

Sounds about right. A non violent knowing, holding still the thought, not struggling with it -- may work..on some.

But still..somebody should tell Mr. Tolle that its easier said than done!

Sanskrit is also one of my interests, I studied it for 3 years in school, but lost touch afterwards. Am reconnecting with it now.

On twitter I'm at Twitter Link

Anonymous said...

But all of these are impossible propositions! We are only human, and we experience the whole range of emotions and dramas, we expect, we are disappointed, then we expect again, then we let go, then we find that that's not sustainable, that the letting go is a momentary "fuck it," and then we want something else again! So why not accept fully who we are, with our expectations and disappointments, and without another thought in the back of our minds that we are somehow falling short of something?

Rina

about my dakini said...

".....So why not accept fully who we are, with our expectations and disappointments, and without another thought in the back of our minds that we are somehow falling short of something?......"

Hey Rina,
this mantra hits a nerve with everyone.
Accepting ourselves as we are is critical to happiness, and it also the beginning to sustainable peace and happiness. When we see who and how we really are, we can make adjustments. We are unlikely to change a flat tire unless we have accepted that it is in fact,a flat tire.

Another way of reading this mantra:
"Practice random acts of Kindness"
a random act of kindness is random. With no expectation of a reward/recognition, or any return on/of the favor. The kindness of the act is it's randomness, it was done/given with no expectation of return/reward.

Accepting ourselves exactly as we are is the first step in expecting only what we are given. Charity begins at home. To have the thought in the back of our minds that we are 'falling short' (or not falling short), suggests we are falling short (or not) of an expectation. The expectation may come from outside or inside, self imposed expectations are mostly generated from the outside, our family, culture etc, but these expectations have been absorbed to such a degree, we are convinced they are ours. Either way, they are expectations.

The primary Non-Expectation:
Have no expectation of completely eliminating 'Expectation'

I am suggesting we temper, andreduce our expectations. When we reduce our expectations we reduce disappointment, and we create the space for the 'un-expected' surprises, gifts and random acts of kindness life offers up every day. If we are caught up in and projecting our expectations, how can we not be disappointed?