Fusion of Action and Intention

From Yoga Chakra 1 – The Wheel of Yoga, Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

Why is it difficult for you to feel a sense of belonging and a sense of duty and responsibility? In theory everything sounds good to you, however, in practice there is resistance. Sri Swamiji says, “There is always a split between what people think and what they do.” This is the cause of conflict, frustration, tension and anxiety. There is a difference between what you think, what karma yoga you believe in and how you perform and act; they are never compatible. When idea and action get fused in the life of an individual, that person becomes a model from whom others take inspiration.

Therefore the learning in ashram life is the union or coming together of intention and action. If the intention is cooperation then action has to be cooperative and should not be guided by your mind, ego, ambition, negativity or positivity. Just as an arrow flies true to its mark without deviation, without turning left or right, human intention and action should have a clear focus when performed. Action has to be like an arrow, based on wisdom and understanding; not on ambition or on petty thinking. Thinking in life should be: ‘God, help me to maintain my true direction in life. Let me begin my day like a new day that I’ve never lived before, and not carry the memories of the past, which restrict my happiness and joy today.’ That is my prayer.

If you observe yourself objectively and cultivate humility and understanding, then you can consider that the purpose of ashram life is attainable: just simple understanding, simple cooperation and a simple smile. Swami Sivananda says, “Eat a little, drink a little, smile a little, frown a little, laugh a little, dance a little, sleep a little, meditate a little, do asana a little.” For him everything was in little doses. In your case you take a big dose all the time. When you are happy you want to collect all the happiness; when you are angry you want to collect all the aggression, not just a little bit. By cultivating little things, little by little you become big. After all, the ocean is made up of little drops of water.