Authenticity and Skillfulness

Authenticity and skillfulness appear to be contradictory, but in fact they are complementary. Your intentions need to be authentic and your actions need to be skillful. The more authentic the intention, the more skillful the action will be. Authentic intention and skillful action make you unshakable.

Skill is required only when authenticity cannot have its way. Yet skill without authenticity makes you shallow. You cannot have an authentic action and a skillful intention. If you try to be authentic in your action but manipulative in your mind, that is when mistakes happen.

John: Is it possible to have a powerful intention, like greed, that is authentic?

Gurudev: If your intention is colored by greed, over-ambition, etc. then your intention is not authentic. Whenever your intentions are impure, it pricks your consciousness, so it cannot be authentic. Authentic intentions are free from negative emotions. An action that is not skillful leads to negative emotions and an intention that is not authentic harbors negative emotions.

Gayatri: If our intention is authentic and yet our actions are not skillful, what should we do?

Gurudev: Carry a handkerchief (laughter).

Question: What is the best skill to deal with intention?

Gurudev: Do not keep any sankalpas (intentions) to yourself. Offer them to the Divine.

Actions can never be perfect but our intentions can be perfect. Actions always have room for improvement. Action means growth and movement, and that needs space. The depth in you and the freedom in you bring out all the skillfulness in you. Krishna was the most skillful because his silence was so deep.