Playing your Part
– H. H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Be thankful for the qualities you have been bestowed upon as they are not your own making. In the same way, it depends on the part that you have been given to play.
Say, in a drama, you are given the part of a villain, and you play that role perfectly.. A villain always knows that when I am playing the role of a villain, it’s just a role I am playing. I’m very sincere to my role.
There is a saying in Sanskrit, *Durjanam Prathamam Vande Sajjanam Tadanantaram* .
First, worship the bad person, and then the good man. The bad man is falling and giving you an example, “don’t do what I did.” Do not hate a criminal in jail, because he’s a criminal. In prison, if there is a criminal, he is an embodiment of God. He has done you a greater service. Don’t ever hate a drug addict, because he has given you such a beautiful lesson, and he has been given that role. He is just performing his role that way.
When you understand these basic laws of truth, then your inner perfection becomes so stable that nothing on this planet can shake your inner perfection. Nothing can shake you. Your knowledge of a mistake comes to you when you are innocent! The knowledge of a mistake dawns in the moment when you are ‘out of the mistake’.
However the past has been, whatever mistake has happened, do not consider yourself to be a sinner or the maker of that mistake. In the present moment you are new again, pure and clear. Mistakes of the past are past. When this knowledge comes, that moment you are again perfect.
Often, mothers scold their children and afterwards feel so guilty. Then they go on regretting, “Oh, poor thing. I got so angry and annoyed at this kid, poor child! I should not have done this.” Then you prepare yourself to get angry again. Okay, you got angry with your kid once or twice. Why? Because of lack of awareness! Awareness was missing so the anger came up, it happened.
That’s what Krishna tells Arjunaa, “Arjunaa, you think you are not going to do what you are supposed to do? I tell you, you will do it. Even if you don’t want, you are going to do it!” In a very clever way He puts it: “You better surrender to me directly.”
He says: “Drop everything. Surrender to Me, and do what I say”. Then He says: “Well, I have told you whatever I have to say, now you think it over and do what you like, you do whatever you want to do, do however you like”. But then He said, “but remember, you will do only what I want”.
These last few sentences of Krishna were so confusing, and people have struggled to make sense out of them. There are thousands of commentaries trying to make sense out of these few words, three contradicting statements.
First He says, Surrender everything, I’ll do everything for you, or just do as I say.
Then he says: Think, think and see what is right for you, do whatever you feel is right.
And then in the third statement he says: But remember (anyway) you will do only what I want you to do.
All of our wanting to do, ‘doership’, is there to eliminate the *tamas* or inertia in you. Once inertia is eliminated, then you are in activity. When you are acting, you become a witness to the acting. Then you know you are not doing. Things are happening through you. This is the final level of realization. You can see this in every action of yours.
Have you noticed this? You are busy ‘doing’ when you accomplish something. In the beginning you think, “Oh! I have accomplished. ” But your accomplishment becomes more and more and more and as time goes by, you will begin to feel, “no, it’s all happening. I did not do anything, I did not accomplish.”
A writer will feel, “I did not write, it just started flowing, it started happening.” All the creative work in the world – whether painting, dance, drama, music, anything – has all come from that unknown corner. It just spontaneously started happening. You are not the doer. The best sculptor will say, “I didn’t do it, it just started happening.” The best painter will say the same thing; the best music composer would say the same thing.
I tell you, the same is true for criminals too. You ask the worst criminal, “did you do this?” He will reply, “No, it happened! What could I do?”
*Knowledge of the Self is the only thing that can take you from imperfection to perfection.*