Archive for October 27th, 2010

Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2010 21:10:08 -0400
From: Patrick Russell 
Subject: Baba’s Equation for Work & Death


Intro to PS: In this song the devotee is directly communicating with Parama
Purusa and recounting his own devotional tales.

Note: In tropical countries, in the summer season most of the flowers dry up due to the extreme hot wind. Some few selected flowers are available in that season. So this song tells about those summer flowers.

“Griis’ma’vaka’she se yadi a’se..” (Prabhata Samgiita #110)


If Baba comes in my summer parched heart, then I will offer Him various kinds of flowers in abundance, I will offer Him my summer season flowers– whatever the sweetest ones I have in my heart. If Baba comes with His rhythmic rosy feet into my mental garden that is decorated with the crimson sky and full of jasmine and magnolia trees, then in full prostration with my outstretched hands I shall offer flowers at His lotus feet.   In the blissful morning and evening hours when the sea breeze blows then the cuckoo of my mind calls Him with longing. In the flower grove of my heart, on the branches of the kimshuka trees my internal papiya bird calls out to Him– while nearly the entire flow of devotional river in my heart has run dry.

Because of the scorching summer heat the sharica indica flowers of my mental grove have fallen and withered away. So my heart requests Baba to shower  His divine grace and come. My mind, which is filled with longing, deeply desires for His arrival to change everything into the luscious blossoms of spring. Because of the extreme summer heat the silk cotton trees are just laden with seeds. On the grapevine, bunches of grapes hang low for You. And in the arbor of the Madhavii flowers of my heart, swarms of black bees are humming around the blossoms.   In this summer atmosphere of my heart, if by showering His grace He comes then whatever are the best things of my heart I will offer at His lotus feet…


In various discourses Baba guides us, “Die while working, and work even while dying.” While some certainly understand Baba’s intent, a few remain somewhat confused.

Commonly people think that in order to follow – “Die while working, and work even while dying” – they should do relief work or their designated social service project incessantly, i.e. without stopping. They do not do anything else nor think about anything else – to the degree that they even skip their food & sadhana etc. They just work 24 / 7 for their project. Naturally one will die in this fashion. According to their misunderstanding, then that will be, “Die while working, and work even while dying.”

This has happened with many Wts and even some margiis. But if one studies our AM philosophy more thoroughly, it will be very evident what Baba really means by His teaching: “Die while working, and work even while dying.” He does not want that we destroy our human frame by drowning ourselves in work, disregarding our daily routine of 16 Pts.

This matter should be crystal clear in everyone’s mind. Failing that some degenerate due to their misunderstanding while others meet their demise far too soon.


In His June 3, 1990 DMC discourse – “The Cult of Spirituality – The Cult of Pinnacled Order” –  in Ananda Nagar, Baba gave the following teaching:

Ka’m karte raho, ka’m karte raho,
Ka’m karte karte maro
Marte, marte bhii ka’m karo
Go on doing work, go on doing work
Die while working, and work even while dying

At first glance, it may seem that this is a very easy thing to understand. But actually, as noted above, more than a few misunderstand. This leads them to unwittingly contravene Baba’s teaching. Invariably they become frustrated, degenerated or leave the path entirely. So we should all be very clear about this lest we fall in the same boat and meet the same misfortune.


In His above teaching – “Die while working, and work even while dying” –  Baba is outlining the essence of true karma yoga which will eventually bring one onto the path of bhakti. First we have to understand Baba’s message and then examine common pitfalls or areas of misunderstanding.

So what does it mean to “die while working”? Essentially there are two aspects:

1) Baba has blessed me with the strength to serve others; I am serving with His strength.
2) I am serving Him in His endless array of forms; I am serving Narayana.

Then – of course – to maintain this outlook regular sadhana is needed.

Hence when Baba says “Die while working”, it does not mean that we should run ourselves ragged until we have totally ruined our physical body such that we die. Rather He is teaching us the path of true karma where we realise that we are serving with His strength and that we are serving Him in His many forms.



Unfortunately, some misunderstand Baba’s above mandate and this leads to their downfall. For instance:

a) Some think that “work while dying” means to skip all one’s dharmic practices – asanas, dances, fasting, food, and sadhana – and just plunge oneself in social service until the body is destroyed. For example, a Dada running a children’s home may just think about doing relief, relief, relief and die in that way. It is nothing but a myth that this is Baba’s teaching.

Indeed, this misguided vision leads to so many problems including frustration, ill health, anxiety, and desperation. Some even leave Ananda Marga because they have forgotten their real purpose in life. So this manner is not good.

b) Others think that “work while dying” means that with my own strength I am serving poor people etc. This leads to ego & arrogance as one has forgotten bhumadrsti, or cosmic outlook. They have forgotten that one is serving with His strength and that one is serving Him in the form of this manifested world. Thus this way also is not the path of true karma. Unfortunately you may have seen some doing like this in our Marga. They brag about their work: “I have done this or that, I have built this jagrti and I have published this book etc.” This type of expression is the work of a degenerated mind.

c) Some hold the misnomer that all work & all actions are karma yoga. Following this tenet they remain busy all the 24hrs in all kinds of crude & mundane engagements, and overlook their sadhana in the name of doing karma. In that case their work engagement only leads to bondage. True karma yoga actually begins when one feels that “He is the Doer, I am just fulfilling my role in His liila.” For this idea to enter the mind, all kinds of devotional practices are a must. Then one’s service will lead to liberation.

So we must always remember that Baba’s formulas for perfectly adhering to the path of karma – i.e. “die while working” – entails two conditions. First one must think that,  “Parama Purusa has blessed me by giving me strength to serve”: It His strength not mine.

And secondly one must ideate that “I am serving Parama Purusa in the form this manifested universe – I am serving Narayana.” And all along one must be strict in sadhana and all their dharmic practices.

These are the pre-requisite factors for adhering to Baba’s teaching, “Die while working”, and following the path of true karma. And by this way one will garner more and more devotion, by His grace.


When Baba says, “Work while dying”, then many get confused. They wonder how is it possible to work when the body is sick, old, and decrepit. How can one do work when they are on their deathbed.

And the answer is that at this point one’s chief work is sadhana. We must remember that sadhana is also work. In various discourses, Baba Himself says that sadhana itself is karma.

When infirmed, one may not be able to render disaster relief work to the society, however a sadhaka will be able to ideate on Him and do sadhana. That is how to pay heed to the teaching, “Work while dying.”

So the main work of one who is taking their last breaths on this earth is to do sadhana and ideate on Parama Purusa. That will be, “Work while dying.”


So the above represents the greater meaning of Baba’s teaching: “Die while working and work while dying.” Here are further thoughts & considerations on this issue.

1) As Ananda Margiis, our preference is not to go and live in a retirement home and lie there listlessly etc. So long as we have energy then we will serve. And when we have lived our life to the fullest and have no energy left then we will remain in bed and do sadhana. That is the formula and how it works.

2) One day each and every person will complete their life and leave their body. And if you remember Parama Purusa then you will become one with Him. So one must go on doing sadhana. That is the main work. Hence, the formula of true karma yoga encompasses all kinds of devotional practices.

3) Once again Baba’s teaching is: “Die while working, and work even while dying.”

The first part of this teaching guides us to do social service and sadhana for as long as we can. And the latter half guides us that when that when we are on our deathbed we should complete our karma by doing sadhana.


By Baba’s grace He has given the teaching for doing true karma on this earth and attaining liberation by His grace. Those who misunderstand His teachings only invite their own demise. By clearly understanding – “Die while working, and work even while dying” – then one’s life on this earth is sure to be successful.



Here Baba guides us that bragging about doing any work is pure foolishness since all energy to act comes from Him. One rendering service on the path of true karma will always remember this divine truth.

Baba says, “I have done this. I have done that.” You say this. But where from doth that energy come? It is not your individual energy. If you are not given food or water for a few days, what will happen? You will not have any energy. You cannot create any energy. Through food, physical energy is transmuted into your individual vital energy.” (“The Supreme Cognition”)

In this next teaching, Baba warns us that if one misunderstands dharmic teachings – like “Die while working, and work even while dying” – then one will degenerate. And indeed that is what we see happening to some in the Marga.

Baba says, “All people should have proper knowledge and understanding of what is shreya and what is preya, what is vidya’ and what is avidya’, for lack of this knowledge causes their downfall. (SS-3, “Supreme Benevolence and Mundane Pleasure”)

Here in this below guideline, Baba warns how we should not waste our life in useless mundane pursuits losing sight of Him. By Baba’s grace we should follow His guideline of true karma, where one is ever involved in His thought and serving Him.

Baba says, “I have spent my life in vain;
Such a great Lord I did not worship –
I lost the greatest jewel.
I am indeed an unfortunate creature;
I never enjoyed
Even a drop of nectar
Of the love of God.” (SS-3)


The discourse “The Cult of Spirituality – The Cult of Pinnacled Order” is printed in the book, Yoga Psychology. There the publishers printed Baba’s teaching as follows:

Marte marte ka’m karo, ka’m karte karte maro

But this is not correct. Because when delivering that discourse Baba actually said:

Ka’m karte raho, ka’m karte raho,
Ka’m karte karte maro
Marte, marte bhii ka’m karo

Hence this stands as yet another case where the publishers could not properly transcribe Baba’s original teachings.


In these following discourses Baba also reviews this critical point, “Die while working, and work even while dying.”

“Incantation and Human Progress.” Tatanagar, 30 Nov 79, Bangla

“Action Leads to Progress”, Patna, 11 Jul ’79 Hindi

“How an Ideal Person Should Live”, Subhasita Samgraha-12


Baba says, “The psycho-spiritual approach makes a person deeply introversial, one-directional, strong and dynamic…Such a magnanimous and devotional mind rises above petty quarrels and interpersonal and inter-group conflicts.” (Prout-12, p. 15)


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