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Question From A Business Executive

"What is the philosophy behind cleaning auto lathes bringing fresh orders? I fully believe the experience but would like to know how it works".

April 16, 1983

In this experience two things are involved viz. cleaning and attention. Energy, work, cleanliness, interest, enthusiasm, activity go together. In our words they are in one plane. [All people of one particular interest however apart they are, are connected by an organisation, e.g. music lovers. Also they are connected by the same interest. Another one, not so interested, in spite of physical proximity is not covered by their activities. The moment he evinces interest in music all their activities come to him too. The sugar on the table is not smelt by us whereas ants from afar move towards it attracted by the smell, rather a vibration incomprehensible to us.]

In a plane of life not visible to our senses, energy moves to places of interest attracted by a similar vibration, work moves to a clean, orderly machine, true men gravitate towards honest organisations. All activities of similar vibrations are related in life and act as if in vital communication. Hence, if we clean a place it attracts orders.

If this is felt as a mystery, we can certainly observe some phenomena in life. If we go to any organisation and examine the quality and type of personnel, there will be a large element of similarity or complementariness. Lazy men attracting lazy men or honest men attracting dishonest men. We can at once say the appointments are made by choice. But if you examine the original advertisement and the applicants, it will be difficult to deny that like minded are attracted. If you examine the type of life contacts or life responses each person gets, it will be difficult to brush aside the truth that people attract or gravitate to people of similar and allied traits. It is true also of things, acts, places, thoughts, organizations, etc. *

As we know that orders and cleanliness are allied qualitatively, we suggest to people who need orders to keep things clean. What is done by cleanliness can be more powerfully done by orderliness as it is a stronger vibration.

The attention we give to the machine is also attention given to orders that is related to it. The attention activates the atmosphere of the machine and orders find it easier to move towards it.

"The best method is to understand the whole of work in terms of every other person and in his relation to the work and practise self-giving to others through the medium of the work. All inertia inner and outer will disappear."

In the above statement there are three items to be explained for this purpose. (1) Work in terms of another person, (2) Self-giving and (3) the relation between inertia and self-giving.

Work in terms of another person simply means work from his point of view. In ordinary life on very many self-righteous occasions, we, on getting the other man's point of view, see the folly of our own severity. If you call the servant inside and after answering your call he has not shown up for five minutes, we legitimately feel angry. But if we go out and discover that the servant has stepped on a nail, instead of being angry at him, we offer some help to the suffering man. This is a simple occasion explaining objectivity. By grades we can increase the intensity of the situation by making the physical occasion into social, psychological, typical and finally an occasion presided over by karma. A friend invites you to dinner at Chola Hotel very happily and feels disappointed when you do not keep the appointment. On your side Chola Hotel might have been the venue where someone of your family died and the very name has become anathema to you. You will be right in not going and he will be sorry if he knows your mind. If the friend has known your personal tragedy at Chola, in offering the invitation, he would try his best to avoid Chola however compelling the circumstances are otherwise. That is simple self-giving on his part towards you. In ordinary language, we say that we must understand people and their sensitivities in dealing with them. If a person is childless, has failed in an exam, has a defect in his family, we avoid mentioning it to him. Generous people avoid it, mean people point it out. All this is normal good behaviour.

A work is independent of personal circumstances, be it a festival, medical treatment for someone, erecting a compound wall or a more complicated one such as digging a borewell or building a house. When a work is done, the aim is to accomplish it well. Requirements of any work overrides the personal circumstances, defect or endowment. Work is the basis of life and equally the basis of yoga. Work is demanding and can never compromise. Whatever the personal preferences, work will not be accomplished if preferences are honoured. If you need a particular medicine and it is available only in the shop run by your enemy, the disease will not respond to another medicine. Either you overcome your sentiment or forego the medicine.

If you are building a house and 20 people are assisting you in various ways, the one aim you should have before you is to build the house strong, well and beautiful. Your sentiments towards a friend a contractor, enmity towards a good brick supplier, soft corner to a supervisor who sleeps during work all have to be put aside and work given priority. Contractor must deliver the goods, not enough to be friendly, brick must be strong no matter who has made it, supervisor must extract work and not sleep. To accomplish a work means WORK must be given priority over every other thing, especially personal preferences of all descriptions. That is why people who are efficient in their work become cold, formal, stiff, bureaucratic, distant or at best impersonal. Generally those who are soft, generous are inefficient.

My theme is, self-giving to everyone in terms of the total work will enhance the efficiency of the work and eliminate inertia.

Work demands and we must rise to its highest demands.

Self-giving: This can be practiced at the level of outer behaviour, inner character and at the deepest spiritual level.

At the level of behaviour it is simply helpful attitude, at the level of character, it is more a help to yourself. If you assist a student in his lessons it is a help, self-giving at the level of social behaviour. If you decide to help him at the level of character, you have to try to raise his present irresponsible character to one of responsible character. To accomplish self-giving at this level, you have to change yourself in character in these areas you are irresponsible to one of responsibility. This can be done either primarily for one's progress or for others' progress. When done for others it is self-giving. This is best done by accepting the consequence of the student's irresponsibility on yourself and rectifying them by changing your inner character. In practise, if you go to all places he goes to and teach him his lessons at his convenience till he passes the exam, you will be successfully practicing self-giving at the level of character.

Spiritual self-giving can be briefly stated as shedding one's egoistic attitude towards another in such copious measures that the spiritual gifts you have received by your sadhana would sail to the other without the other doing anything. The Divine does it all the time and it is known as Divine Grace.

Self-giving in terms of work

When you teach English to a student, you pass on linguistic skill. If you teach another the value of patience, it is psychological help. In doing so, if you receive the benefits of his impatience, you are practicing psychological self-giving. To help a man accomplish a work by initiating him into prayer or faith will be a form of giving spiritual skills. In the process of imparting a spiritual skill to another in accomplishing a work, if you suffer spiritual loss, it is spiritual self-giving.

It goes without saying that each level of self-giving includes all the previous levels. One who understands a work like building a house in all the details and efficiently and in their inter-relations should be a person of strength, clarity and well-defined personality. That each item of the house must be done well and in time without waste of money, energy, etc. requires a comprehensive understanding. If he has the strength to execute the work fully according to this comprehensive understanding, he should be a developed personality for that purpose.

Now, without compromising the standards of house building, if he evaluates each of the 20 individuals engaged in the construction, he begins to acquire knowledge of their behaviour, character and finally their inner spiritual strengths or weaknesses. If he, the central coordinating person, can relate to each individual first mentally and later practically in such a fashion that scope is fully given for each man's sensitivity to be honoured without compromising the work and more importantly scope is fully given for each man's inner spiritual strength to find a rewarding expression in the work for the better accomplishment of it, he is said to understand the whole work in terms of each person and when he is able to successfully practise it, he is practicing spiritual self-giving in terms of the whole work.

A true identity with the work i.e. the Divine in the work leads to this total knowledge very soon, if not instantaneously and to keep oneself at this pitch of knowledge it is necessary that there should be no mental inertia. If the sadhak is in the field executing the work and is putting into practise this principle, no inertia, mental, vital, physical inner or outer can ever remain there. It is dedicated consecrated intelligent work.


There are related items like inertia and consciousness, inertia and sensitivity, exceptions that arise out of self-giving circumstances, i.e. the scope for exploitation etc., etc., that are to be explained so that the above essay will be complete. Such related issues being very many, I shall try to take up only those that seem most relevant now.

True self-giving issues out of paramount strength but an ineffective weak person endowed with generous impulse can always hide his weakness under the garb of self-giving. This is a matter of sincerity and is up to each individual.

Again true self-giving does create a scope for all black sheep to take advantage of the situation and spread wide their net of laziness, weakness and even start demanding that the laziness, etc., be accepted and respected. That would be exploitation. To allow oneself to be exploited is as impermissible as exploiting another. Imagine the amount of thought involved in being truly generous while not allowing anyone to take unfair advantage of it. That requires a lot of mental energy as one has to understand every other in several dimensions. How can the mental inertia exist amongst such activities.

Vitally it is easy to be cruel but it requires a very great fund of energy to be generous. To offer self-giving all the energy one has is needed. If, on top of this, one should be alert to observe, understand and practically prevent the black sheep from taking unfair advantage of the situation, neither vital inertia can exist. This is more true of the physical inertia as its very survival is cancelled.

Thought and vital understanding based on it remove the inner inertia. Act based on such dynamic thought leaves no scope for outer inertia.

If you ever know a sad person and take upon yourself to help him out of sadness, to persuade him to smile and be happy for one full day, you will find how tired it makes you. You will also know how great an energy he needs to succeed even for one day. It needs a great inner energy and outer comforts for one to be happy himself. For him to give himself to another a far greater energy is needed. To give oneself to a work and that too a whole work the energy required is enormous. To enhance the ideal at this point and ask one to give oneself to all these who are involved in a work, in terms of that work, it is not enough one expends all the energy he ever has, but he has to be continuously creating this energy to sustain himself. The question of inertia does not arise any more.


If you need an experiment, you can take the collection of cashew in the Farm and go over mentally the different aspects of it like jungle clearing, manuring, watering, flowering, fruit setting, collection, watch of outside pilfering, pilfering by collectors, drying, storage, weighing, selling, the organisation needed for it, wages, meals, etc.

My own general observation is that people want every other person to practise self-giving towards them. Their part will be confined to explaining how best it can be done towards them. So, I would consider the very first step for one who wants to practise this is to feel a deep sense of shame for his own selfishness.

* It is true that there is a plane of thought where each thought is in touch with other thoughts as explained in telepathy. There is a plane of emotions and interests. There is also a plane of cause and effect, a causal plane. Every quality like truth, honesty, ability, goodness, creativity belong to a plane of their own. The science that deals with the relation of these planes does not belong to the jurisdiction of material science. Yoga includes these planes in its purview.

story | by Dr. Radut