Expectations

From Bhakti Yoga Sagar, Volume 1 by Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Each person should regard his job as his duty. I have always done my work in the world as a duty, because it was my guru's order. I worked in his ashram for twelve years, but I never considered it to be my ashram; it was my guru's ashram. I never felt that my guru was using me or that I was being harassed by him, day and night. I suffered from typhoid, jaundice and many types of diseases, but I never despaired, for devotion to guru or God is like that of a wife towards her husband.

The relationship between guru and disciple is one of order, love and protection, just like the relationship between father and son. Selflessness is important in this relationship.

  • There is no one to be called one's ‘own' like guru,
  • There is no giver like a learned man,
  • There is no well-wisher other than the Lord,
  • There is no caste like that of devotees.

I never asked my guru about my sadhana during the twelve years that I stayed with him in Rishikesh. Rather, it was he who would call me and ask something from time to time. Swami Sivananda was good at Sanskrit as he belonged to a Brahmin family, but he was not a Sanskrit scholar. He was a doctor and used to ask me the meaning of Sanskrit words mentioned in the ayurvedic texts.

In Rishikesh, I built a large ashram, which was like a small Deoghar. At that time, the price of cement was three rupees per bag, and the labour charge was only four annas per day. This was in the 1940s. I started a large and modern printing press there. Political leaders, military commanders and all types of people used to come and live in the ashram. However, there was never any expectation on my part.

I found this experience useful in Munger, and I am applying it in Rikhia as well. If I had expected anything in life, I would have surely been disappointed. If you expect something and the expectation is not fulfilled, you will be disappointed. When you are disappointed, you feel miserable and are unable to achieve anything. Expectation is your downfall. All of your expectations can never be fulfilled. You can only fulfil some of them, and they bring you happiness. However, those that remain unfulfilled shatter your hopes. This leads to disappointment and depression, which ultimately causes a nervous breakdown.

One should not live life with expectation. This is what Sri Krishna said clearly in the Bhagavad Gita (2:47–48):

Karma or duty is your right. Do not expect any fruits or results of your actions. It is your duty to act, but you have no right to the result.

What Sri Krishna said was correct. He persuaded Arjuna to fight and not to escape from the battle of Kurukshetra. He simply told him, "Do your duty, but do not expect any result."

When you perform your duties, you will certainly obtain results. If you prepare the soil and sow the seeds, you will certainly harvest some fruits. If you open a shop, you will definitely have some income.

—21 November 1994, Rikhiapeeth, India