Can Work be Used as Sadhana?
A questioner asks Sadhguru if one's craft/profession can be used as sadhana. He explains that anything done with great involvement is beneficial but that there is a difference between an inward focused sadhana and an outward one.
Questioner: Hi. (Sadhguru waves back) (Laughter)
Sadhguru: That’s okay.
Questioner: If I am a performing artist…
Sadhguru: I’m sorry?
Questioner: If I am a performing artist…
Sadhguru: Performing artist.
Questioner: Yeah and…does your training and your practice and your craft count as sadhana and if yes, is that enough?
Sadhguru: Does…what count as sadhana?
Questioner: My training, my practice and my craft and every single show that I do or every single rehearsal or everything that goes into it.
Sadhguru: Oh, what kind of performing artist?
Questioner: I’m an actor _____ (Inaudible).
Sadhguru: Okay. Okay. So as you said it's an act. See anything that you do with great involvement does something to you, all right but there is a difference between doing an in…an inward focused sadhana and an outward sadhana. It's not just for an actor; a manager can use his work as sadhana, a gardener can use his work as sadhana, anybody who is doing whatever with absolute involvement, they can use it as a process of growth. But there is a distinct difference between doing external activity as sadhana and internal process as sadhana. What is the difference?
External activity as sadhana is useful because you can do it throughout the day and of course, you have to donsome activity making that also into a process of growth is important. But the reason for internal sadhana, which has nothing to do with outside is to create that inner space within you because your outside sadhana is subject to results. You can't help it. Suppose in the middle of your act, you forgot your dialogue - you can't say ‘This is my sadhana, I forgot and it's fine, I’ll still enjoy and grow.’ No, you will be demolished on that day, isn't it? So your outside sadhana is subject to a certain level of performance and result and appreciation and the monetary returns and everything but still it can be useful, it can be working for your well-being if you’re doing it with absolute involvement. If there is involvement in anything - just your breathing if you are absolutely involved - this will become your sadhana. Your walking, your acting, your anything - involvement makes every act into a kind of growth but still creating an inner space is very important because that’s not subject to anything outside. Nobody need to clap their hands when you are meditating. Yes. You do your kriya, you are not expecting somebody to appreciate you at the end of it - it is not subject to any external reality and that’s very important that at least one aspect of your life is like this - it is not subject to anybody’s appreciation or approval or whatever but still you do it with absolute involvement, there’re other dimensions to it. Apart from that, for you as a person to do something, which has nothing to do with anybody around you, is an important act that you have to perform every day, it's very important.
So if you do that well it’ll be very easy to make your life’s activity into a sadhana. If this inner space is not there, life’s activity can slowly catch you up in such a way that for lot of people the professions and whatever else they started with great passion, after some time, it's killing them. It is, for most people on the planet, isn't it? Simply because there is no inner space. So all these in…you know I am not an expert in these things but I remember this because of something that came my way once - all this in one single sentence was uttered by Krishna. He said, ‘Yogastaha Kuru Karmani’ - it simply means first establish yourself within you, then act. Then no action is a problem - you can fight a war, you can act, you can be a priest in the temple, you can cook, you can sweep - it doesn’t matter what you do, but first establish yourself and do whatever you want. He is not restricting your action. He is saying ‘Do whatever you want. Whatever is needed, you do but first establish yourself within yourself,’ otherwise you’re using external activity to make yourself who you are, which will be disastrous. Establish who you are; then act, no problem but if you are using your activity to make yourself into something, if something comes in your way which doesn’t allow you to become that, you will be destroyed. So don’t try to be a yogi by teaching yoga. You become a yogi and then if people are interested, we will teach; otherwise we will close our eyes and sit.