Friday, May 07, 2010

No Fruit for You!

Don't worry, I'm not about to go all Atkins on you. Myself, I can't think of anything more delicious than a fresh peach or tomato in season...but I digress.

This is Week One of elephant journal's discussion of the Bhagavad Gita, and what a response! 142 comments, with more accumulating. It's such an interesting mix, emotional responses from people who use it as a guide for living, academic responses from those who want to discuss translation and context, tentative responses, a few hot air responses (gotta admit, I hit the *scroll down* button whenever I see the word "ontological")--
all lovingly moderated by Bob Weisenberg.

We're reading Chapters 1 and 2 for next Monday. I am immediately taken with one of the themes of the second chapter:
"You have a right to your actions, but never to your action's fruits." (2.47)
and "Pitiful are those who, acting, are attached to their action's fruits." (2.49)
and "The wise man lets go of all results, whether good or bad, and is focused on the action alone." (2.50)

That's a lot of metaphorical produce! But I love it as an image and it is truly one of those things that can make you crazy--clinging to those fruits. Especially wh
en said actions concern another person. You do what you can, own the doing, but the result is not under your control. Worry, fret, get angry all you like, but you can't make those fruits be the way you want them to be.
I don't think this means be compl
acent. Since your contribution to the whole endeavor is the actions, those should be done as conscientiously as possible. I think you can even hope for a desired outcome--if you're still new to the wisdom business--but don't get too disappointed by what actually happens. Or too excited, for that matter (happy vs satisfied). It all could change in a matter of seconds.

It certainly isn't the first time we've been warned of this kind of attachment. Bhante Sujatha told a similar tale at a Christmas-time meditation I went to last year. Funny how this message seems to reach across time and cultures...says something of the quirks of human nature. Just. Let. Go.

So, plants those seeds. Nurture them, tuck mulch around them, sprinkle water, trim dead leaves. Appreciate the fresh salsa, but don't take the blight fungus personally when everything turns brown and falls off over the course of two days. (Man, I sure could have used the Gita during last year's gardening season...)


La Gitane said...

We could all take a bit more of this advice... Add it to our professional lives even.

Work because you love it, not because of what you hope it will do for you. We get so attached to daydreams of wealth, prestige, freedom, fat retirement plans... Then people spend 40 years doing a job they hate and realise that was the majority of their life?? Uh oh.

Old wisdom, same world. Thanks for sharing. And now I also feel better about my wilting tomato plants!

Eco Yogini said...

those are interesting metaphors. And relevant for today's life :)

It's so great that Bob was able to organize this!