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Chapter 6: The Need to Win

Sanskrit has a beautiful word, there is no equivalent to it in English: it is nimitta. Nimitta means you are not the doer, you are not the cause, not even one of the causes, you are just the nimitta. It means the cause is in the hands of the divine. The divine is the doer, you are just a vehicle of it. You are just like a postman - the postman is the nimitta. He comes and delivers a letter to you. If the letter insults you, you don’t get angry with him. You don’t say, “Why did you bring me this letter?” The postman is not concerned, he is the nimitta. He has not written the letter, he has not caused it, he is not concerned about it. He has just fulfilled his duty. You will not be angry with him. You will not say, “Why have you brought this letter to me?”

Krishna said to Arjuna, “You are just like a postman, you have to deliver death to them. You are not the killer; the death is from the divine. They have earned it already, so don’t you worry. If you are not going to kill them, then somebody else will. If this postman will not do it then somebody else will deliver the letter. It is not a question of whether or not you are there, or you are on holiday or you are ill, then the letter will not be delivered. A substitute postman will do. But the letter has to be delivered. So don’t be bothered, don’t get worried unnecessarily; you are just a nimitta, neither the cause of it nor the doer of it, just an instrument. Be concerned with the means, don’t think about the ends, because once you think about the ends your skill is lost, you are divided.

“That’s why you are feeling drained, Arjuna. Your energy has not gone anywhere. It has become a conscience - then you are divided. You are fighting with yourself. One part says go ahead; another part says this is not good. Your wholeness is lost. And whenever the wholeness is lost, one feels impotent.”

Such a powerful man as Arjuna says, “I cannot carry this gandiva, this bow is too heavy for me. I have become nervous. I feel fear, deep fear, an anxiety arising in me. I cannot fight.”

The skill is the same, nothing has changed, but the mind is divided. Whenever you are divided you are powerless; when you are undivided you are powerful. Desires divide you, meditation undivides you. Desires lead you to the future, meditation brings you to the present.

Remember this as a conclusion: don’t move to the future. Whenever you feel your mind moving to the future jump back to the present immediately. Don’t try to complete it. Immediately, the moment you think, the moment you become alert that the mind has moved into the future, into the desire, jump back to the present. Be at home.

You will lose it again and again. Again and again you will miss it because it has become a long habit; but sooner or later, more and more, you will be at home. Then life is fun, it is a play. And then you are so full of energy that you overflow - a flood of vitality. And that flood is bliss.

Impotent, drained, you cannot be ecstatic. How can you dance? For dancing you will need infinite energy. Drained, how can you sing? Singing is always an overflowing. Dead as you are, how can you pray? Only when you are totally alive, a thankfulness arises from the heart, a gratitude. That gratitude is prayerfulness.

Enough for today.