Chapter 4: Some Other Ganges
Right now however, there is a constant strain within you: I am the doer.I am the doer.. When praying it is you who prays; while bathing in the holy waters it is you who bathes; when you do charity, again it is you. Everything goes to waste: your bath, your charity, your worship. All is in vain, and all because of your sense of doership. Until now you have been thinking only in terms of myself, mine.
There is only one difference between a religious person and a nonreligious person: for a religious person He is the doer; for a nonreligious person I am the doer. Everything happens through him - this attitude endears you to him, because this attitude is religion. You stand with your back towards him by your own will. It is your sense of doing that turns you away from God. The moment you give up this attitude you will stand face to face with him, and all opposition ceases.
What are your performances that you are so proud of? Neither birth nor death nor life itself is the outcome of your actions. Everything is done by Him, but somehow you acquire this attitude of the doer. And with your sense of doing, when you commit sin it is sin; and even when you perform good deeds they too become sin. Remember! You are in the wrong. It is the sense of being the doer that is sinful! And nondoership is virtue! All good deeds become sinful if the sense of doership persists. Then whether you build temples, perform worship, observe vows, observe fasts, go to holy places - to Mecca or Kashi - all goes to waste.
The more you say I have done, the more you add to your sins. So sin relates not to the act but to the attitude. Any act performed in the attitude of nondoing cannot be sinful. But if your attitude is that of nondoing, all acts are sins.
In the Gita this is exactly what Krishna exhorts Arjuna to do. He tells him to abandon all sense of being the doer, to do only what God is doing through you. Let his will be done; don’t put yourself in between. Make no decisions by yourself. Do not think: What is right? What is wrong? How can you know what is right or wrong? What is the scope of your vision? What is the strength of your understanding? What is your experience? How much consciousness do you have? Don’t try to see with your small lamp of consciousness when it cannot see more than four feet ahead - whereas life spreads into infinite space. Do what he makes you do; be a medium only. Just as the flute allows the flute player to play his tune, give way to him to act through you.
He who becomes his implement becomes his beloved. He who remains a doer becomes his foe; however, his love flows all the same, because it is unconditional. It makes no difference who you are, his love pours on everyone all the time. It is you who are unable to accept his love. Similarly, an upright pot gets filled with rain water, but if it is kept upside-down it will not fill. The rain pours all the same, because it is unconditional. It does not say: If you do this, or be like this, then only shall I rain on you.