By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
From studying Bhagavad-gita and deeply thinking over the matter, we come to understand that “I am not this body”. That is settled. That’s all right. But actually I am working on bodily plane. For the present moment, because you are entangled or enwrapped within this body, so you cannot say that “I will work without this body.” But you can work in such a way, that even with this body you can remain on the spiritual platform. Although I am in this bodily conception of life, still, I can work from the spiritual platform. That technical knowledge is instructed by Lord Krishna to Arjuna, that “You are not this body, but you have to work at the same time.” “How?” Here is the formula: yoga-stha kuru karmani (Bg 2.48). Yoga-stha means that you remain in spiritual consciousness, but at the same time, you go on with your usual work. One may ask. “It is very difficult. I am working with bodily conception of life. How I can be situated in spiritual conception of life?” So, this technique is… sangam tyaktva dhananjaya – without being touched with bodily conception. “And how can it be done?” Siddhy-asiddhyoh samo bhutva samatvam yoga ucyate.
I have given you several times the example that the sun is far, far away from us. Still, it can distribute its heat and light to us. So if we work with God consciousness, although we are on this material platform, that work is admitted by the Supreme Lord. That is called yoga-stha. Yoga means keeping touch with the Supreme. That is called yoga. There are different kinds of yoga mentioned in the Bhagavad-gita, especially jnana-yoga, karma-yoga, and bhakti-yoga. And within jnana-yoga there are many other yogas—dhyana-yoga, hatha-yoga, so many. Now, here it is said that yoga-stha kuru karmani: “You be situated in your yoga or in meditation.” Generally yoga is understood as meditation. But the real meaning of yoga is “to keep in touch with the Supreme”. So you have to work from the platform of spiritual consciousness. The Lord never says that “You stop work.” Arjuna’s friend was Lord Krishna, Who is God Himself. He never told Arjuna that “I am your friend. I shall supply all your necessities. You don’t require to work. You stop.” No, He never said that. Rather, Arjuna was declining to fight, but Krishna induced him to fight. So in spiritual platform there is no question of stopping work. But work for the Supreme. That’s all, isavasyam idam sarvam [Iso mantra 1].
In the higher sections of the social order, such as the brahmanas, the ksatriyas and the vaisyas, the system is that in every household they establish the Deity, the form of the Supreme Lord, either as a picture or as an idol. Now, what is your function in household affairs? You have got a wife, you have got children, and you require some money. And the activities in householder affair is that you have to get some stores from the market, and when they are brought in your house, they are stocked, and in due time they are cooked, and you take your foodstuff and then go to your work. This is generally the whole system of household work.
yoga-stha kuru karmani. In India there are many families still. At least in my family, when I was family man, I was also doing this. The Deity, Lord Krishna, the murti… Murti means Deity or the idol of Radha-Krishna, established in a room. That is called the God’s room. So our duty is to rise early in the morning and open the door of the God’s room, offer Him some prayers and some kirtana, and then cleanse the room and then begin our daily duty, take our breakfast and so on.
The whole idea is that “The proprietor of this house is the Supreme Lord, and we are all workers.” Now, I am going to my office, to my work, to earn some money, because without money my household affairs cannot be run. So I am thinking, “This money is required; otherwise God’s service will be stopped.” So while earning that money in my office or in my workshop, my God consciousness is there. Therefore, even in earning, whatever may be the process, you are yoga-stha; you are situated in yoga.
Now, you get your money. Then you go to the market. You are thinking, “Oh, this is a very nice thing. Oh, it can be offered to Lord Krishna.” Just like sometimes you bring some fruits for me, thinking, out of your love, “Oh, Swamiji will take this and he will like it.” So the consciousness is love. Out of love, you think of Swamiji. Similarly, Swamiji is thought because he is in relation with God. So similarly, we can also think of God. God or anything in relation with God, is God consciousness. Just like electric charge. Anything connected with the powerhouse and anything later on connected with that powerhouse link – is surcharged with electricity.
So our life should be so formed that in our every activity there will be God consciousness. That is the technique of yoga-stha. You don’t have to separately be seated in a meditative posture as yoga, generally as we understand. Now, how much you can devote your time to meditation? Suppose one hour in the morning or one hour in the evening you can devote. But if you mold your life in such a way that you are always, twenty-four hours, in meditation, then that is the platform of yoga-stha kuru karmani.
I am earning for the Supreme Lord. Then, when I earn, I bring things for cooking, I am thinking, “Oh, this thing will be cooked for Lord.” Now, your wife cooks, and she is also very clean because it is being cooked for Lord Krishna. You see? So that means there is God consciousness, that “This thing is being cooked for the Lord.” The cooking will go on. If you don’t think of God, you require cooking because you want to eat. The cooking is there in the program. But if you think that this cooking is done for God, then your God consciousness is there. The cooking you cannot avoid. As a householder you have to cook for yourself, you have to cook for your children, you have to cook for somebody else or for your own self. So cooking you cannot stop. But if you cook with the understanding that “This foodstuff is being cooked for the Lord. The Lord may be offered first; then we shall take,” this is God consciousness.
Is it very difficult thing? Anyone can accept this. Simply the mode of thinking has to be changed. That’s all. A small technique, that “I am earning for God. I am cooking for God. I am eating also for God.”
So it is a simple technique, and we have to understand it and we have to act on the program as they have been made by experienced devotees. The idea is that anyone who is doing everything for the sake of the Lord, he is freed from the reaction, but anyone who is doing anything on his own account, he is being entangled in that action and reaction. So that is the technique of becoming yoga-stha. [yoga-stha kuru karmani.]