16 May 2013 - QA 2

Gurudev, in the Ashtavakra Gita it is said, ‘Do not engage in doership as you are not the doer. And the Gita says that when you are established in your Self, you have a choice. How do we have a choice when we are not the doer?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

Knowledge has many levels. When you are not the doer, you are also not the one who will experience the fruits of karma. And when you are not the one who experiences the fruits of karma, where is the question of any choice then? Do you understand?
It is like how in Quantum physics where they say that everything is made up of atoms and molecules. So a piece of coal and a piece of diamond is both made up of atoms.
If you look at it this way, there is no difference between a piece of coal and a diamond because they are both made of the same type of atoms. But practically, you cannot use a piece of diamond instead of coal, and neither can you wear coal earrings.
So there is a difference between the practical truth and the spiritual truth. And when you take both of these together in life, that is when your experience completeness.

If you keep repeating to yourself, ‘I am not the doer but I am experiencing the results of my karma’, then that is wrong. Whenever you experience the fruits of any action, you automatically become the doer.
This is why Lord Krishna says, ‘Kiḿ karma kim akarmeti. kavayo 'py atra mohitāḥ’. (4.16) ‘Even the greatest of saints and the most intelligent get confused when determining what action to do and what not to do. I shall explain to you what action is but first you must become a Yogi (one who is steadfast on the path of Yoga).’
When you become a Yogi, then whatever action that you do, will naturally and effortlessly turn out to be right in all aspects.