Isha Upanishad - Super school - Auroville - Isha Upanishad 507

This is your basic condition, therefore, if you recover that basic condition that you are free to do anything, you can arrive at a condition in which you can regain that condition so this Upanishad. It says, if you go on acting you will be able to recover that freedom but if you don't act, you will not be able to recover that will, you can go into silence but you will not be able to regain that will which was free and we chose it to be here. So, if you want to regain that freedom, there is no other way, − this is the only way. Continue to work, continue to exercise that will by doing it you will find out. You will arrive at a consciousness in which you will regain that freedom which was yours, which you exercised before you entered into this whole game in which you are now. If you simply go away into silence you will not be able to recover that will, it will be one kind of compulsion to go into silence and then there is only one option and there, there is no other options only silence.

That is why this Upanishad says that by merely going into silence is not enough, which is not right. It is the right thing for you to continue to work, − is the only way and not the other one that is why it says this is your way and not any other. Because it is only if you continue to act you have a possibility of arriving at a will, which had infinite possibilities before it. And chose this because all the choices were equally good and you entered into this particular world because it was as good as not being in the world or any other world. It is not that there is only one possible world there are many other possible worlds and all worlds are equally good and you chose this one, not thoughtlessly, deliberately only because all were equally good. If you want to discover this, you should continue to work only by doing this you will arrive at this consciousness. And therefore it says ‘na karma lipeyte nara’ the action will not bind you, you go back into that state of consciousness and if you act, you will not be bound, you will be as free as you were at that time. Therefore, Ishopanishad advises you continue to work and continue to work here, do not escape from here because you had chosen this freely, you only have to recover that you come here freely. And the moment you recover this consciousness and if you cannot recover this consciousness, if you go away from the field of action that is why work is very important, if you just enter into silence you will not be able to arrive at this. It is only by continuing to act, when the will is operative that you will recover the original condition of the will. And then you will find out and this is called the Art of Divine Life. Sri Aurobindo has spoken that the Ishopanishad is the Upanishad of the divine life, and divine life is the life of action. Therefore, if you act and if you can recover that sense of freedom, which you had before you entered into the game of this world, really if you can recover, and you can recover only if you go on acting. While doing action, you will discover this ‘will’ that is why it says there is no other way. If you come out of this there is no other way. You will not be able to attend to this, therefore you should continue to work and while doing the work you will discover this ‘will’, which is completely free and then work will not bind you. This is the second stanza and I think we can stop here today.

The Upanishad says you must know how to work, you will get freedom but while doing it something is to be done, merely doing, even a donkey works, even a clerk works. What is the science of divine life? It is to work but work with your consciousness on the ‘will’ and that is the whole science of what is called Karma Yoga. Karma Yoga is a science of this and already the trick is given in the first verse ‘ma grdhah kasya svid dhanam’. It says if you give up desire this is the first step. If you give up desire then you will be allowed to enter into that new consciousness, working but without desire, enjoy but with renunciation. If you continue, don't enjoy this or that but all and be aware of the Supreme Lord to whom everything belongs, which is here. If you do all this together and combine all this together then while working you will find that you are free. He doesn't bind you this is the promise of the Upanishad. Mere acting merely going on doing work is not Karma Yoga. Many people say that doing your duty is Karma Yoga. Mere doing duty is not Karma yoga, while doing works not only doing duty, while doing any work as long as the antenna of desire is working in the work, you are not free. Now, how to get rid of desire is another science, it’s a very big science.

This particular Upanishad is like the notebooks of a teacher, there are only statements given so that when a lecture is to be given, you know what are the points to be covered. But if you really want to know how to get rid of desire, it's a very big science. Sri Aurobindo himself has written one full book only on the Yoga of divine works and he has given there the secret as to how you can do it. Here the Isha Upanishad only tells you that I have known you, I have known all, I have known the Divine, having known all this I tell you, continue to work and there is no other way, continue to work and while doing works only you will be able to discover the freedom and then the action will not bind you. You will be free even while acting. This is the promise given on the basis of the scientific knowledge of you, of the world, and of the Supreme. And when all this is known fully then you can make the statement with this assurance that this is what will happen. It is like an electrician, who says I know what is electricity, I know how to store electricity and know how to put it in a switch, and then switch on, the light will come. And he is certain about it because he knows what is electricity, how it is stored, so he can put in a switch. Similarly, Ishopanishad knows this truth, what you are, what is this world and what the supreme Lord is and if you know all the three things together then this statement can follow and can tell you that continue to work and you will be free. All right, for the time being because if the questions are asked as to how to do this work then we had to go into the whole of Karma Yoga.