One can not be without action, even for a second

The first statement: “The human being cannot be without action” has an exclusively theoretical character, serving as preparation for the second statement: “inactivity shouldn’t be the goal”, which is of a practical nature and, as we will see further, it is addressed more to Easterners than Westerners.

We will proceed now to examine these aspects closely: In the Bhagavad Gita, Kåñna returns to them three times: – “not even for a moment can one be without action. Everything inevitably goes towards action”. “Even your physical life”, says Kåñna to Arjuna, “cannot be maintained without a continuous action”.

And finally, “no incarnated being can renounce action totally. Action is inevitable”.

In other chapters from Mahabharata, Kåñna is approvingly quoting one Brahmin who says to his wife: “In this world it is impossible not to act, even for a single moment” (Ashvamedhika). Different people living in all times recognise this truth. Even nowadays, the great sages reconfirm this truth. Sri Ramakrishna said: “No one can avoid action. The mere fact of saying ‘I am’ or ‘I am thinking’ implies already action. We cannot escape action; action is a natural law”.

Swami Vivekananda also says: “We cannot live even for one single second without acting”. Swami Brahmananda comes to the same conclusion: “Without action our existence would be impossible”. Swami Ramadas wrote: “To act is the very fundamental expression of the nature of our being, in the same way as the meaning of a flower is to spread its perfume. As such, we should act with wisdom. We cannot do otherwise, because it is impossible. Even if sometimes the human being is immobile and apparently inactive, his organs and his inner structures, the psyche, the mind, the intellect are always more or less active. The complete cessation of all actions is therefore impossible”. This is an obvious aspect that is revealed when deeply reflected upon. During the deepest physical immobility, thinking is still active, and even if we can partially stop it (which is very often only our imagination), the natural functions of the body (respiration, circulation, etc.) will not cease their activity. Sri Aurobindo says that even when the mental activity is stopped, in the brain there still occur certain “vibrations” that are perceptible and identifiable.

No matter what, even a total ‘inaction’ will not stop us from ‘acting’ and therefore modifying the course of what would have happened if we had acted in a normal way. This is because we can operate in a subtle way through our aura and thus manifest influences over our immediate surroundings through our inner attitude or intention. These influences, through resonance and induction, can for example make us happy or worried, and if they are very strong they can determine a sort of contagious emulation in people that are around us, which will have positive or negative effects upon us, changing our inner state accordingly.



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