Overcoming Boredom in the Ashram

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

Imagine that you are at home and everyday you have to do the same job. Do you get bored? You make your breakfast, you make your lunch and dinner, you stay alone at home, you clean your home and you live there for many months, many years. Sometimes friends come and sometimes friends do not come, sometimes the wife comes and sometimes she does not come, sometimes the children come and sometimes they do not come. You live in this house and you do your work, day in and day out. Do you get bored? The answer is ‘No’.

So, why at home where you are alone and doing your work are you not getting bored but, in another place, if you are told to do something, after some time you feel bored? This leads to one condition of mind, one analysis of mind that if there is a feeling of belonging, you do not get bored, but if there is a feeling that you do not belong, no matter how good or important the job is, you will get bored. If you feel bored, it indicates a clear split between you and your action.

You are not one with the action, you are not identifying with it. You are the doer and the action is separate, and therefore you are free to look at the merit and the demerit of the action. Looking at the merit and demerit of the action happens when there is no belongingness. With the feeling of belonging the action is not seen as merit or demerit, rather as a kartavya, a duty, that has to be accomplished. It is the accomplishment of action which becomes your guide, your inspiration, your strength.

This understanding begins through observation, reflection and maintaining a point of balance. If that point of balance, belonging and clarity is there, there is no moment in life which can be considered boring. However, if that point of balance is not there and you are looking at merit and demerit, loss and gain, then the mind will be put off by it very fast. The mind works only from two areas of perception, loss and gain: If I do this, this is my gain, so I should do it. If I do this, this is my loss, so I should avoid it. Everybody across the board in this world thinks of everything from the perspective of loss and gain.

Beyond this loss and gain perspective there is another perspective: Do I belong and am I putting my sincere efforts into the task or not? Am I giving my 100% or not? If you are giving your 100%, there won’t be any question and no boredom. Questions only arise when there is no 100% for then you do not identify with your karma and dharma.

—14 March 2015, Ganga Darshan, Munger