Non-Attached Action = Duty


             « The doer of non-attached action is the most conscientious of men. Freed from fear and desire,
                  he offers everything he does as a sacrement of devotion to his duty. All work becomes equally
                  and vitally important. It is only toward the results of work – success or failure, praise or blame -
                  that he remains indifferent. »

                        Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, transl.The Song of God, Bhagavad-Gita,           
                                                  NY: The New American Library, 1972
                « Every deed confirms the sense of egoism and separateness of the doer, and sets in motion a new
                   series of effects. Therefore, it is argued, one must renounce all action and become a samnyasin. »

                          Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, transl., The Bhagavadgita (London: Allen & Unwin), 1949.
 
 
 
                                           All things all thoughts
All signs point to the One Will testing itself
What real need is there
                                    unless the Big Bang disperses the One Will
   undertakes the shrinking universe
beyond the birth of Time
            the Death of Space                   
and there is need for salvation for resurrection
                                                     a freedom or freeing of the conflict
      between  this and that
matter and anti-matter
            the positive and the negative
                          the yang and the yin
   or whatever it is that makes for visible knowable phenomena
not the invisible dark matter
            the Unknowable
        this life on this earth let loose in this solar system
within this galaxy lost in this bloating universe
                                                      the tips of the fingers not knowing
where the tips of the toes twitch or even if they were there
as if the will sought to reassemble them all into a functioning body 
       a finité ball
                                                    for the long-willed Brahma night
 
What need is there in telling us
 
    this man is a yogi; he has inner joy
 
Can one man or woman redeem the whole dismembered Self
                    for every yogi borne on the Golden Flower
      how many billions the price
   the dark matter of ephemeral selves
                                                   the sacrifice
for the foisting of the Superior Man
                                              l’Homme Sage
 
What is this  if not once again the old pyramidal grovelling vertical race
                          everything culminating in the highest zenith point
     and he who occupies the summit
Is he in control
                             have things gone out of hand
 
        how many billions of yogis does this world need
to put a stop to this scattering
                                                  and the crunch when it comes
    what is it to be like
                                     Time turned around
the aged growing younger
wisdom waning to innocence
                                 to ignorance
         from able management
                                              to helpless toddling
   constricting space into an overheated mite of a minding
             or mindless mighty mass 
 
Who is it who is having a ball
                                                  not me  not you    who then
 
What use is it to feel and yet not feel
What duty can make all the suffering
                                      all the muck-raking
                                            all the meanness
                                                 all the damned waste
                                                      all the damned injustice
                                                         all the things gone wrong
                                                             all the inequalities
                                                                  all the hopelessness of it all
  so reasonable to the detached eye
       the duty-bound servant
                                              awaiting what
                   to go
where
                and from there who knows where again and for what
   what is to become then of all the trillions who knew nothing better
                           than a thimbleful of earthly                                                                                                                    
                                                          mudful joy
                       
                            Who put the lavatory so close to the bathroom
        did he try to denigrate dissuade pleasure for pleasure’s sake
              is the colour of joy then coprophilic
 
how easy to count them out as ephemeral
                                             bodies who leave no shadow on earth
     no such name none so resounding as Shakespeare  Aristotle  Einstein 
            and what about these     
                         are they entitled to some joy too
     what are their positions on the ladder leading to nirvana
                                                        does it really matter any more
         now that they are no more
 
                   WHAT DO MEN RENOUNCE MORE THAN THEIR BODIES
 
 
 

Resources:the quotation in the poem is from Juan Mascaro’s translation of  The Bhagavad Gita, V, 22-24:
 
« For the pleasures that come from the world bear in them sorrows to come. They come and they go, they are transient: not in them do the wise find joy.
      But he who on this earth, before his departure, can endure the storms of desire and wrath, this man is a Yogi, this man has joy.
      He has inner joy, he has inner gladness, and he has found inner Light. This Yogi attains the Nirvana of Brahman: he is one with God and goes unto God. »
 
© T. Wignesan, Paris – June 14, 1997 ; from the collection/sequence : « Words for a Lost Sub-Continent, 1999.
 

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