My dear Pranav,
Vinoba had his own way with words. Whatever work we do we must put our
emotions into it. Otherwise, it becomes drudgery. He explains it this
way. A currency note is a piece of paper, When you invest it, stamp
it with the emblem, it becomes valuable. We must invest or stamp our
emotions in our work to make it valuable (1).
What is an idol? It is a piece of stone or wood or metal. By
putting my emotions into its sculpting, I make it an idol of God. I
have made a piece of stone into God. Stone can be broken, but how
can you break my emotion? That is the beauty of Idol worship. The
moment I remove my emotions from the idol, it becomes again a piece
of stone, metal or wood.
Whatever we do, we must do with feeling. If you give wages, you take the
work and pay the money. It is an exchange. But if you give dakshina (offering), it has to be given with water as required by
custom. Your action or work must also be made moist or tender with
your emotions. Then alone it becomes an offering. It becomes more
than just giving.
An approach, attitude or emotion towards your work makes all the
difference, Vinoba explains it still further. Two people go to the
bank of the river Ganga. The water of Ganga is H2O for one
person. He takes a bath and cleans his body; he obtains from that
bath only physical cleanliness. The other person while taking a bath
in the same river imagines that this Ganga was born at the feet of
Vishnu, passed through the hair of Siva hundreds of risis and munis
have taken bath in it for hundreds of years. Many great events have
taken place on its banks. I am bathing in such water of Ganga
(which is only H2O for the other person). The other person not only gets cleaned
physically but he reaches a higher level of thinking. He takes a bath along with this emotional cleansing. His mind
also gets clean with his body. The same action gives different
benefits to different people. This way, even a dirty bull takes a
bath in the Ganga and gets an H2O benefit of physical cleaning, but
he cannot get this higher satisfaction.
Vinoba thereafter says that when someone wears khadi, he not only
satisfies his physical need of covering his body, but also keeps the
home fires burning in many a poor weavers' houses. He helps them
eat at least once a day. He wears enough khadi cloth with this
emotional involvement. A woman who offers water to tulsi before eating
is joining herself to the total living creation in the world. By
her action she becomes aware of the ecosystem around her.
Vinoba explains a lot of rituals in this way and invests them with
a deeper meaning. You can find more in such things when you think
about them. This is the beauty of the sutras in Hindu thought.
As a Hindu, you are not bound by a book or a word. You can interpret
words in your own way. That is why ideas have always remained
totally free in India. Different philosophies and ideas have
flourished together. All of them are right, from one view point or another.