In order to be attuned to the Cosmic Consciousness, you have to be tuned in. If you haven’t tuned yourself in, then nothing will come. And if you tune to a wrong station, horrible things will come. But when you are tuned well, when you are at ease, everything comes to you; you don’t need to go after anything. The minute you stop wanting things, those things want you.

But watch out for the test! Because if you try to stop wanting things, with the desire that they will then come to you, nothing will be able to come because of your personal attachments. You will be tested to see if you have really let go of all your wants: money, name, fame, power, position, and even friends. Please don’t think that I’m simply talking about something theoretical; it is a fact, not a philosophy. You can even try this for a few weeks and see for yourself. Decide to not want anything, and do everything simply for the joy of doing it. Then, all your actions will be without any personal expectations. That’s what we call Karma Yoga: You don’t expect any result, or any reward for your actions because you don’t need to—you are already happy. You are happiness personified. So, what happens then?

Everything and everybody recognizes your contentment, your tranquility, your peace. And they just want to be with you. You don’t need to send invitations or make advertisements; you don’t need publicity agents! Have you ever seen any flowers sending invitations to the bees to come and get the honey? No. When there is fruit, the birds will come. We see this in nature. So just be filled with your contentment, and all  things will run to you.

This same idea is in the Bhagavad Gita. It says that the ocean never sends an invitation to the rivers, yet they all run toward the ocean. The rivers want the contentment of the ocean but even after all the rivers fall into the ocean, the ocean still remains the same; it doesn’t get excited over it. If ever the ocean started sending invitations, all the rivers would stop!

There is always some kind of motive behind sending invitations, so we must be careful. Be like an ocean, contented. Don’t run after things and then all the wealth will run after you. The scriptures say that a true renunciate will have everything: wealth, health, and wisdom. Why? Because, when you give up all desire, by being in that neutral or tranquil state, you become the owner of the entire universe. You are able to communicate with the cosmic knowledge and that is what is called communion or Yoga. You are in union with the Cosmic One and you realize that your individual consciousness is not different from the Cosmic Consciousness.

Because you are that pure, nothing can make you impure. That’s why the Bible said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Purity of heart means tranquility of mind. In that tranquility, you see the Cosmic Consciousness as not different from yourself. That is what is meant when Jesus said, “I and my Father are One.” In the Hindu scriptures, it is expressed as the individual soul being nothing less than the cosmic soul. But this experience is not given only to one or two individuals; it is the property of everybody. What should we do, how should we act to get into that stage of constant peace and bliss? Just lead a dedicated life, renounce your selfishness—that’s all. If I simply tell you to renounce, you might wonder, should l leave my house? No. Just renounce your selfishness.

Don’t cling or attach yourself to anything or anybody. When you call someone your wife or husband, it should be because you know you are there for the sake of your partner, not for your own personal benefit. Feel that God has brought you to be near that person to serve them and to serve your children; that’s your duty. Unfortunately, we seem to be constantly demanding something in return from our loved ones. When the husband looks at the wife and says, “Honey, I love you,” what does the husband expect the wife to do? To turn back and say, “Darling I love you too.” That means you love her to get love in return. When you give something to get something in return, it is called business, is it not? And that’s what’s happening nowadays between partners: “Honey, I will give you 10 ounces of love, if will you give me 15 ounces.” That’s not really love, it’s business. Real love is when you love for the joy of loving and don’t expect anything in return.

You will always be happy if you don’t expect certain results from your actions. Just do what you can, without expecting anything in return. Your own expectation causes anxiety, worry, fear, and what not. Even before you get it, you will wonder, Will I get it or not? I don’t know what will happen. That kind of anxiety comes in and the anxiety itself will make you unfit for doing that action. When a doctor has to operate on a loved one, doubts will come in such as, Can I operate on her well? She’s my wife, I don’t know what to do. Can I do it? The hand will shake even though the same operation, and even more complicated operations, are performed on other patients very easily. It is the expectation that shakes you, makes you unfit for a job. So to do a skillful job, means do it without any expectation.

If you expect anything in return, it is what you call, making an appointment. Before you even begin to do something, if you are expecting a particular result, you are making an appointment. And when you don’t get what you wanted, you call it, disappointment. So what is appointment and disappointment? Dis-appointment is nothing but your appointment that gets dissed. Isn’t it so? My slogan is: Don’t make appointments, and then you will not get disappointments. Do your duty, lead a dedicated life, a selfless life. Try it for some time and see for yourself. You will find that the whole world will appreciate you and afterwards, everything you could ever want will come to you.

The world wants and needs people like that. It might take a little time, but nobody will fail to recognize your sincere selflessness. When you are sincere, everything will come to you. So don’t run after anything; you don’t need to. That is the real Yoga. You might wonder why I’m not saying anything about Hatha Yoga, pranayama, meditation, or Japa Yoga. Well, selflessness is my Yoga. If you want something complicated, we can offer you that. Our instructors will teach you Hatha Yoga asanas, pranayama, and meditation. But I’m not just simply going to ask you to come sign up after the lecture. I’m not signing you up for a course! The only course is this: Lead a dedicated life. If you can do that, you will be happy; you will recognize your own happiness. You will be one with, united with, the entire cosmos. You will be one with God and nice things will automatically happen to you. There’s no need to run after anything—not even after any positions in life.

If you insist on having  me to teach some meditation, then go back and meditate on these points! If you think that these ideas are useful, apply them in your life and this will take care of everything. That is what we call Integral Yoga. It’s a complete Yoga and everything will fall into place, automatically. Your body will be healthy, your mind will be peaceful, your life will be useful. What else do we want?

So I wish that you all have a body of optimal health, a mind resting always in peace, under all difficulties, under all circumstances, and a life filled with purpose. That’s my sincere wish and prayer.

By Sri Swami Satchidananda