Dangers of idleness

Often, when the weather is oppressive, I feel lifeless and dull. My mind drifts and the smallest tasks seem tedious. I don’t even want to cook. It is easy for me to condone my idleness on these days. However, I know that my Guru Sathya Sai Baba always cautioned about the dangers of idleness.

“I want you to be active, fully engaged,” he said. “For, if you have no activities, time will hang heavily on your hands. Do not waste a single moment of the allotted span of life, for time is the body of God. 

“He is known as Kalaswarupa (of the Form of Time).  It is a crime to misuse time or to waste it in idleness. So too, the physical and mental talents given to you by the Lord as capital for the business of living should not be frittered away.”

Would it really be that terrible if I just did nothing for a few hours? Everyone deserves a respite from the routine, I tell myself.  Sometimes in this mood I do find little tasks to do, tasks that I put off when I am very busy. As I slog along I realize I am simply forcing myself to be active because I fear my laziness could become a habit. Then I might be in jeopardy.

According to Sai, “Illness is the inevitable result of idleness and indulgence; health is the inevitable consequence of a tough hard life. If everyone decides to carry on all personal services themselves, rather than depend on servants or helpers, the health situation will definitely improve and hospitals will have much less work.”

He always spoke simply and in a way that a person on any level of awareness could understand.

He himself washed his own robes for years and even cooked for others.  He once told a group of us that he never slept.  And his many service projects such as building free hospitals and schools kept him constantly engaged in between morning and afternoon daily darshans.

He said his body was not different than ours, it was human. The only difference between us and him, he taught, was that he knew he was God but we did not know we were also God. Devotees still come to view his Samadhi and to have darshan of his formless presence.

Sai had said, “The Gita has shown that if we can root out the entrenched tendencies that cling to our heart, we are free to perform any action without concern for the results.  From that point on, we will not be bound by any karma. 

In other words, we will be completely freed from the effect of our action without concern for the results. People who do not understand this truth and end up renouncing all outside activities become mired in sloth and idleness. But the Gita has repeatedly warned us that there is no room at all for idleness in the world of spirit.”

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