Intentional Action is Necessary for Spiritual Growth

Hi Ted


I have just been reading your satsang “Karma Yoga is Key.” I have been having very similar conversations with Nondoodle (Daniel Band). Carlton could have been me. I too am thankful of Karma Yoga. It is simple yet so difficult in the initial stages.


I suppose we should never try to “get anything” just take appropriate action with due diligence, accepting gratefully whatever comes along.


Enjoyed the dialog.


Kind regards





Hi, Brent.


I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed the dialogue.


As far as never trying to “get anything” goes, however, be clear that it is okay to try to achieve certain results. In fact, quite honestly there is no way we can avoid doing so. Every action we take is motivated by the desire for a certain result. Even if we act with the intention of not expecting a certain result, the result we are hoping to get is a peaceful mind that is free of expecting results.


Also, acting with intention is an inevitable result of our prarabdha karma and an integral aspect of our svadharma. We have associated with a body-mind-sense complex for a reason—that is, we have punya and papa karma phala (i.e., merits and demerits accrued from our past actions) to experience. While the circumstances of our lives constitute one aspect of this karma phala, another aspect is our response to these circumstances. As long as we are associated with a body-mind-sense complex we will use our apparent free will to make decisions that we believe will be in our best interests. As our understanding grows, we gradually identify less with the body-mind-sense complex and move away from making decisions based on its appetites. As we gradually assimilate the knowledge that objects are not the source of the security, peace, and happiness we seek, we become less inclined to “get anything” from objects and more inclined to take the appropriate action (i.e., act in accordance with dharma, or ethical norms) as determined by our svadharma (i.e., our personal duty, which is influenced by a variety of factors, chiefly our personality, skill-set, the social and interpersonal roles we play, the time and place in which we live, and our vasanas) and accept gratefully whatever results ensue as a gift from God (i.e., the inevitable result of the dharma-governed law of karma that governs the operation of the manifestation). This shift affords us the peace of mind to continually meditate upon the teachings and eventually fully assimilate self-knowledge.


The bottom line is that we should use our apparent free will to try to achieve the results we desire. For those who lack understanding of the true nature of reality, the inevitable frustrations inherent in the pursuit of object-oriented joy will ultimately lead them to the conclusion that there must be something more to life than collecting toys and titles and cultivating particular states of mind—none of which provides permanent security or lasting satisfaction. For one who has arrived at this realization, intentional action is the basis for engaging in the spiritual practices that purify the mind and the sustained self-inquiry through which one gains self-knowledge and thereby attains moksha (i.e., recognizes that one’s true nature is limitless conscious existence and, such being the case, one is entirely unaffected by the condition of the body-mind-sense complex and the character of its experience).


Perhaps you were already aware of this fact, but it is important to understand that neither desire nor intentional action is taboo. We simply want to be free of binding desires and ultimately employ our free will to engage in effective self-inquiry.


All the best,