I came across an YouTube video of Sri Sri Ravishankar Ji where he has discussed three kinds of perfections. It was something new to me. There was something to learn. So, I thought why not share it with all of you.
We are all imperfect. That’s completely okay. But, really the important question is—can we be perfect beings, and if not entirely, at least in some aspects? I would say—yes.
The First Perfection: Perfection in Action
All life is actions, isn’t it? All nature is engaged in carrying out a plethora of activities and on many levels. And we are too. From the moment we were born, and actually even before that—while still in the womb—our bodies started performing. And until our death it’ll continue doing its various biological and chemical activities. But, here we’re concerned about those actions, which we perform out of our free will. Whether there’s free will or not—that’s another discussion. Let’s not go into that. Apparently it seems, we have a great deal of freedom to craft our life; our destiny even. And that’s true irrespective of whether we have free will or not.
Now, what does perfection in action mean? Can our actions ever be perfect? Gita says—
बुद्धियुक्तो जहातीह उभे सुकृतदुष्कृते |
तस्माद्योगाय युज्यस्व योग: कर्मसु कौशलम् ||2.50||
buddhi-yukto jahātīha ubhe sukṛita-duṣhkṛite
tasmād yogāya yujyasva yogaḥ karmasu kauśhalam
Translation: One who prudently practices the science of work without attachment can get rid of both good and bad reactions in this life itself. Therefore, strive for Yog, which is the art of working skillfully (in proper consciousness).
Karma Yoga is when you perform your duties skillfully. Well, actions are always imperfect. But here’s the thing—when you achieve the state of non-action, that is, when you establish yourself in your non-doing self, all your actions are perfect. Because then, your every word and action is in perfect harmony with reality. If we perform all our duties without selfish motives, being dispassionate towards the fruits of our actions, that’s when our actions become perfect.
Our actions can either entangle us in further bondage, or they can become a process of liberation. This is primarily determined by how attached we are with our actions. Whatever great things you perform, if you don’t cling to anything, that’s perfection in action.
The Second Perfection: Perfection in Speech
This is also a rare perfection to see. How we use our words is a great art in itself.
I’ve talked about this in my previous posts. Because it’s so important. The links to them are at the end of this post. Do check them out.
What’s perfection in speech, exactly? Again Gita can help us here—
अनुद्वेगकरं वाक्यं सत्यं प्रियहितं च यत् |
स्वाध्यायाभ्यसनं चैव वाङ्मयं तप उच्यते||
When we do not cause distress to others, when we speak endearingly, and our words are both truthful and beneficial for others, and also when we study the self-revealing scriptures—together it’s called the austerity of speech. One who performs this austerity, soon his heart becomes pure and his words powerful.
Words can do much harm, if used in a wrong manner. And we don’t generally pay that much attention to how we speak. If we paid some attention, we’d have realized how much bad speech we’re using everyday. Either expressly or implicitly. If you want to build a beautiful relationship, you must learn to speak gently.
The Third Perfection: The Perfection of Being
It means how you feel inside. If you are at ease with yourself at all times, then you’ve achieved the state of perfect ‘being’. But our condition is as topsy-turvy as waves…now up, now down. We are rarely at peace with ourselves, forget about others. We are all boiling inside with never-ending desires, fears, conflicts and vikaras (distortions of our chitta). Sri Sri Ravishankar Ji has explained beautifully—what vikara is. Go through the video link at the bottom.
If you feel calm and composed within, not restless, if you can maintain your equanimity and are free of conflicts—then, you are at ease. Your being is in perfect harmony.
Summing It All Up
The more we work towards perfecting our actions, speech and feeling, the more empowered and peaceful we become. Because, then whatever we do, becomes a harmonious act. And what’s done in harmony is naturally a beautiful thing.
P.S: Translation of the given verse is taken from:
Link to previous posts:
YouTube video link: