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Question: I have resigned from my current job. At present I have different options from different fields, to pursue as a career. I do not know what to do next. How do I know what is my calling? How do I know that this is really my calling and not just boredom from the present job? How do I know that it is not just the tendency to escape from one thing to the other? How do I know that?
Speaker: How does one know anything? Right now because there is a demanding situation, right now because life has thrown up a challenge, and it is demanding an answer from you, you are eager to ask that what is your calling. “I want to know what is right for me. I want to know which decision to make.” Fundamentally you want to know what is the right action.
Is right action required only in this situation or is right action required at every point in time? In other situations you conveniently forget and remain in your dream world of ignorance, like a patient who after developing cancer goes to the doctor and asks that what should I eat now. Now what is the point in asking this question. You ate what you wanted to eat all your life. Why are you asking what to eat and what not to eat? This question has only limited utility now.
You are asking, “How do I ‘ know what is calling?” Can you know what is calling, without knowing what is ‘life’, without knowing what is ‘God’, without knowing what is ‘freedom’, without knowing yourself? I am making it difficult for you, I know that. We want quick, convenient, limited and isolated answers, that right now there is a requirement of an answer to this particular life-question, kindly supply me the answer.
But it doesn’t happen that way. You cannot get answers to one thing without knowing the answers to everything. You cannot know anything in isolation. When somebody comes and says, “Well I do not know why my daughter is behaving in such a way,” I tell him, “Do you know anything? When you do not know anything, how can you know your daughter?” People come and say, “Sir, what is God?” I ask them, “Do you even know what this door is? Do you even know what this door is? Do you know why you feel like sleeping all the time? Do you know why you are attracted to this and that?”
When you do not know anything, how can you just know God? But we want to know piecemeal, in isolation. We say, “This much I know.” You can never know ‘this much’. Either you know everything or you do not know anything.
Knowledge is fragmented; understanding is not. Please understand this.
Knowledge is fragmented and it will always remain fragmented. After all how much knowledge can you have? Knowledge will always be limited and knowledge is an ever-expanding domain. So you will always have some knowledge in some particular area, and the vast expanse of knowledge will be outside your mind. You will never have it. With respect to knowledge it is alright. When you say, “I know of this thing but I do not know of this thing”(stressing on the word ‘of’) then you have made a valid statement.
You can say that I know mechanical engineering, but I do not know electrical engineering. Good! Correct! But you cannot say that I know freedom but I do not know God. What rubbish are you talking? You cannot say that I know the right thought but I do not know the right action. Come on!
Now ‘calling’, that is the subject you are addressing, ‘calling’ cannot be known without knowing ‘love’. It’s the heart that calls. How can you know ‘calling’ without knowing ‘God’? But people come up and say, “We want to choose the right career. Kindly help us.” And If I give them Ashtavakra Gita to read and say that this is your career guide, they will be dumbstruck. “Sir, what are you doing? We wanted some career guidance; you are giving us Uddhava Gita.”
This is your career coach. You cannot get a better coach than Krishna, but you don’t realize that. You want to know right career without knowing the right place of the mind. Right? This is what you want to know. You want to know that what is the right career for you. Who decides the career? Mind. Is the mind in the right place? When the mind is not in the right place, how will you ever know the right means of livelihood? But such is the depth of our ignorance.
Only a spiritual mind can take even the smallest right decision. You are deciding all the time. Right? You are deciding for example, which feet to put first- left or right. Even that decision cannot be made correctly by you. You cannot make even the smallest decision correctly without a spiritual foundation. You will not know what to eat, you will not know whom to meet, you will not know what to say, you will not know what not to say, you will not know what to wear, you will not know what to hear. That is your tragedy. Such is the depth of your waywardness. Even one step will not be taken rightly.
Only a spiritual mind can take any right decision, any right decision. But you don’t want that, because that involves surrender. All you want is right prescription, that right now I am facing this problem, so please solve this problem for me. I am repeating, there is only one fundamental problem- your mind.
Solve your mind, all other problems will be solved. Without solving the fundamental problem, no problem can be solved.
You will just be fooled that you have solved a problem. Problems will keep coming again and again, like a recurring disease. What else is our life? A series of diseases. Sometimes the disease comes in one form, you attack the disease, and then the disease comes in another form.
You know, there is a very popular game that kids play. In this game many kids run around and one of them is supposed to touch the rest others and turn them to a statue. So one kid goes and touches another kid, and this kid becomes a statue. He cannot move. But this first kid has to touch other kids also to defeat them and turn them into statues. The rule of the game is that you touch one kid, he turns into a statue. As soon as you move away from the statue to touch another kid, the remaining kids come and touch the statue, and the statue starts moving again.
So you solve one problem, and by the time you relax and turn towards other problems, the first problem becomes alive and kicking again. And you are only running and running. You think that you have solved one problem, the problem comes back. The problem never dies, you die of exhaustion. Or you start just complaining, ‘I don’t want to play anymore’. That happens. And then you can conveniently commit suicide or whatever, and if you cannot do that, because it requires a bit of courage, then death comes to your rescue. Game is over, time is over.
There is one kid that you have captured, and there are two others that are calling you. Do you see this? You are asking me that which one to chase, calling or money, or calling or respectability. I can give you the answer, but by the time you will go towards either of them, this one that you have nailed will come back to haunt you again. Getting this? That is the reason why I avoid very specific questions like ‘what to do?’ and if you pester me too much then I will say, “Do what you ‘can’ do?”
The grasshopper is coming and asking, “A huge rock is disturbing me. It is very precariously placed. Someday it will fall on my house. I want to move that rock.” Fine. Do what you can do. You have come to ask a question, and you want an answer suitable to you. Am I supposed to oblige you? Even if I oblige you, how will that help you?
People write long stories to me every day. I receive not less than twenty, thirty messages of that type from all kind of media. (Sarcastically) In fact, most of the times people don’t even ask the question. They have already decided what to do. All that they want is an approval. So there is only one answer that I give, ‘Go ahead’, and interpret whatever it means.
What else will you do? You will only do what you are programmed to do. You will only do what you are conditioned to do. Why are you wasting my time? But if you are prepared to let go off yourself, if you have the guts to die, then let’s talk, then we can do some business. Otherwise I am not interested in responding your messages. I can respond, but what will you do with my response?
I have already responded thousands of time. What else am I doing right now? I am responding. If you cannot understand ‘this’, how will you understand my limited answer to your message? Don’t you know what you must do?
Solve the mind. Dissolve the mind, and all the answers will be there. Because then, no answers will be needed.
– Excerpts from a Clarity session held at Advait Sthal. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session at: Solve your mind, all your problems will be solved
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