April 16

How do you know if what you decide to do is the right thing? It’s very simple. The right thing will not affect your health and happiness. That’s all. Anything that would affect your physical and mental peace, your health and happiness, is wrong. Anything. This might bring another question: “Suppose I want to help somebody who is troubled and that affects me. Should I do it or not?” If you are joyfully serving someone, even going through some pain doesn’t affect you. You are still happy; you are simply using a little of your energy to help someone. You can’t call that unhappiness.

Sometimes when you help somebody, you feel depressed. Why is that? It’s because you had expectations: “I’m helping that person. The person should accept my help and get the benefit. ” When you don’t see that person getting the benefit  you expected, you get upset. That means it’s not a selfless act, it’s a selfish act. “I did something and I want a result.”

That doesn’t mean there shouldn’t  be positive thoughts behind your actions. Certainly send your prayers, think about the welfare of the person. The difference is this: you want him or her to be happy of course, but you don’t demand it. You’re not attached to the outcome; you leave that to God.

In simple words, I would say an action without any selfish expectation whatsoever is a right action. Such an act will never disturb your mind or body.

 

Swami Satchidananda

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2 Comments

  1. I feel often confused about making the right choices. Someone makes me do things that I do not mind doing, but then they mistreat me and think only of themselves, never me. I then question myself that I may not do this anymore, that I am being used and that my feelings are not any concern to the person.
    So if I do decide to not to do this anymore, would you call me selfish ?

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