No expectationWe are born with expectation. If I cry, my mother will come and give me milk. If I cry, my father will take me to the town. But Lord Krishna said, “You have the right to action, but not to the fruits thereof.”
Yes, we take it as our right to do something; but we have no right to expect the fruits of our action. In our case, we expect the action and the result to go together. If we touch a drum, we expect that there will be a sound. But why should there be a sound? We are expecting the sound while we are touching the drum. But while touching the drum we must not think of the sound. Our job is only to strike the drum. The sound we have to keep separate from the striking.
The trouble is that most of the time, as soon as we do something, we want the results. But we should say, “If the result comes and it is good, then it will please me. But if it does not come, I must not be disturbed.” But we do not always do that. At every second, we have expectation.
As soon as we come out of the house, our expectation is that there will be a soothing breeze. The cool morning breeze will be blowing: that is what we expect. If we come out of the house and, instead of a cool breeze, we find that a very hot wind is blowing, then we are doomed to disappointment. But if we say, “I will come out, no matter what kind of weather it is, because I feel from within it is good to go out,” then we shall not be disappointed.
Unfortunately, we do not say that. Before we perform an action, we try to get the result. We have to come to the point where we can say, “I will act, but I will not care for the results.” That is when we make progress. Otherwise, even before doing something, we are expecting the results. Even before we touch the drum, we expect the sound to come.
Where does unconditional surrender come into the picture? While crying for God, do we say, “God, I am crying for You. If it is Your Will, come. But if it is not Your Will, do not come. I want to please You in Your own Way”? How many people every day repeat, “I want to please You, God, in Your own Way”? More than ten times if we say it, we become sick of hearing our own voice! Then we change our prayer: “I will please You only when I feel like it, and I do not mind even if You do not please me, as long as we can please each other once in a blue moon.”
Now let me tell a story about unconditional surrender.
Today I was looking at some old family pictures. When I saw a picture of my cousin, Nirmala-di, I immediately started shedding tears. She was so close to our family. She died while plucking flowers. She was standing on the roof of her house at the Ashram. To one side was a protection-flower tree. The Mother gave that particular flower the name “Protection.” My cousin was plucking those flowers and somehow she fell on her head on the street below. She died then and there. My sister Lily was passing by. She heard the sound, but she did not see what had happened. She was just walking along the street, and she went home. In five minutes she received the message that this had happened, and she came running.
This was the cousin who was responsible for my getting the job for Nolini-da. She said I must work there, I must. She was the one who said I must give Nolini-da a gift. My gift was one of his prose articles which I had turned into poetry, English blank verse.
But the most important thing happened when I came to the Ashram at the age of one year and three months. How kind was Nirmala-di! She was so fond of my mother. For one month, whenever my mother wanted to spend time in the main Ashram building or go to see the Divine Mother on the balcony or elsewhere, this cousin made the sacrifice of looking after me. And how I used to cry, cry, cry and scream for my mother! The sound would cover quite a few blocks! To my own sisters, this cousin of mine said, “You people go. I will take care of him.” Even though she herself had only been in the Ashram for two months when I was brought there — she came at the same time as my brother Hriday — she made this sacrifice. She wanted my mother to spend as much time as possible in the main building and to see the Divine Mother. This was my cousin. She was so fond of us. At every second she would scold us. She was older than my sisters. If you are older, you have every right to scold the younger ones.
Coming back to the point, what did Nirmala-di expect from her service? She could have said to my mother, “You brought your child here. He is your responsibility. Why are you not asking one of your daughters or one of your sons to take care of him? You have four or five other children who can easily take care of him. Let them do it.” But she did not do that. Instead she said, “I have been here for two months. You will be going away in a month, so let me make this sacrifice.” It was all because of her love for my mother. This kind of unconditional surrender she made.
How many of you have tried — sincerely tried — to see everything in my own way? Will it be my fate not to have one single disciple like that? In some cases, year after year disciples have not tried to please me because they have blocked their inner door and outer door completely. I cannot open their outer door, and I cannot open their inner door. I do not exist inside them. I am outside, outside, outside. I am neither in their mind, nor in their heart; I am not in their existence.
Nobody can dare to tell me, “I do everything in your own way.” Again, nobody will be able to say, “I always try to do everything in your own way.” Someone may try to do everything in my own way for one week or for one month, but then that person becomes tired. He simply says, “I tried so hard to please Guru for one month. Now he should please me at least for one day or two days or three days.” This kind of surrender is only a joke. It creates suffering for me.
A disciple may try to please me for two days, and then he expects me to please him for ten days — not even the other way round. And people sometimes say, “Since Guru has the capacity, since he is stronger than I am spiritually, he should please me more in my own way.” But this is not the correct philosophy. The disciples should say, “Since Guru has more capacity, let me become one with him. Then I will have his capacity.” That attitude people should adopt.
For a few weeks or a few months, you try to please me. Then you bring expectation forward. When your expectation is not fulfilled, you say, “Oh, our philosophy is not to expect,” and once more you start trying. But you do not forget to use your expectation once again. You say, “Who knows, next time Guru may fulfil my expectation.”
From today you can start trying to serve without expectation. Better late than never! We always make promises in our lives, like my brother Mantu. Every morning he makes a resolution not to read any newspaper. Then one of his friends will come and say, “Mantu Babu, Mantu Babu, have you read about such-and-such? Do you know?”
“What? What?” says Mantu.
Then his friend will say, “I do not want to tell you. I do not want to take away your joy. There is something most significant in the newspaper. Go, go immediately and read it for yourself!”
Mantu’s resolution lasts perhaps for another twenty minutes. Then he goes as fast as possible to the library to read the article.
In your case, you can make a resolution right from today to sincerely try to see everything and do everything in my own way. Just repeat, “Cheerful obedience, cheerful obedience, cheerful obedience.” Then you can say, “No expectation, no expectation, no expectation!” and also, “Fastest progress, fastest progress, fastest progress!” If you can repeat those words like japa, if they are engraved on the tablet of your heart, then definitely you will be able to make the fastest progress.