Talks on the Gita -Vinoba 100

Chapter 9
48. Not What But How You Offer Is Important

31. ‘पत्रं पुष्पं फलं तोयम्-’—Leaves, flowers, fruits, water, anything can be offered to Him. What is important is that it should be offered with bhakti. The spirit and sentiment with which you offer is important. Once I was having a discussion on education with a professor. There was a difference of opinion between us. In order to clinch the issue, he said, “I have been teaching for eighteen years.” He should have convinced me of the correctness of his standpoint; he instead flaunted his experience. I said in a lighter vein, “If a bullock pulls an oil ghani (oil expeller) for eighteen years, will it become an engineer?” An engineer is an engineer and a bullock is a bullock. An educationist is different from a teacher who goes on doing his job in a routine and mechanical manner. An educationist will gain much more insight and experience in six months than a labourer working for eighteen years. The Professor boasted of his years of experience. But it proves nothing. Likewise, the volume and value of the offering is of no significance. What is important is the spirit in which you make the offering. What is important is not what or how much you offer, but how you offer. The Gita contains only seven hundred verses. There are some other books containing thousands of verses. But a bigger thing need not necessarily be better. You should judge the intrinsic quality, the intrinsic strength in anything. The number of activities in life is not important; even a single action with dedication, with surrender to the Lord, will make your life richer. A single sacred moment can give experience that cannot be acquired in years.

32. Thus, the point is that even the ordinary actions in life should be dedicated to the Lord. Life would then acquire a new vigour. Moksha would come within our grasp. Rajayoga, which asks us to work and offer its fruit to the Lord instead of giving it up, is a step ahead of karmayoga. Karmayoga asks you to work without desires and give up the fruit of the work. Here karmayoga stops. Rajayoga tells, “Do not renounce the fruit of the actions. Dedicate all the actions themselves to the Lord. The actions are a means that help you in making spiritual progress. They are like flowers which should be offered at the feet of the Lord. Conjoin your actions with devotion and go on enriching your life. Do not throw away the fruit, dedicate it to the Lord.” The fruit that is cut off from the actions in karmayoga is linked to the Lord in rajayoga. There is a difference between throwing seeds and sowing them. You reap in abundance what you sow; what you throw is wasted. The work that is dedicated to the Lord gets sown, and therefore life gets infused with infinite bliss and sanctity[1].


References and Context

  1. 17.4.32