Going Beyond Laziness !

posted on 9 July 2014 | posted in Information

"Why are people lazy? Is it evil? What causes laziness? One thing is obvious - laziness and lazy people are not welcome and accepted in our society. Laziness is even condemned and thought to be a demoniacal quality. But my realisation is that it conceals something divine. This is why we are drawn towards it and almost everyone has a natural propensity to laziness.

The lazy individual wants to be free from all possible actions and responsibilities, both mental and physical. God too is lazy but His laziness is divine: it is called maha nidra or yoga nidra. It is a state where there is no creation, or rather creation goes into a state of rest or inertia. Nature has an aspect of inertia, which the Hindus have called tamas. At night, we enter into that state. However, due to our modern, irrational and unscientific way of living, we fail to attain a state of complete inertia, thus our sleep is not good. This is why during the whole day we are not as vibrant as we should be.


God is bliss. In the state of inertia or laziness, we have a faint glimpse of that. God is also inaction, which is totally different in quality from inertia. However, laziness and inertia unconsciously remind us of our state of inaction, which is of sheer bliss, peace and absolute freedom. By being drawn towards indolence, laziness, sleep or inertia, we are in fact being drawn towards God, but that experience does not transform us, thus we miss Him. Like sex, laziness is a natural tendency that we have to transcend, otherwise we become obsessed by it.

We can experiment with laziness. I mean that even lazy people can meditate and attain enlightenment. How can that be possible? First of all, know that by adding awareness to anything, we can transform it into meditation. It is obvious that a lazy person cannot sleep for twenty-four hours a day. He must stay awake for at least a few hours daily and those hours can be used in a very creative way. The first thing is not to feel guilty of one's laziness. Be intent upon using it as a technique. Remove all feelings of guilt, then go into total laziness with full awareness, that is, observe your state of being, simply watch. Determine to be as lazy as possible for one or two weeks doing strictly the minimum of activities. But remember that you should be as alert as possible about this experiment. If it is done with full awareness, then you will never be lazy again after that period of inactivity.

Try another experiment: simply lie down on bed and fix the white ceiling without any aim. Do not even think, do as little activity as possible for at least one week. Here I would like to issue a word of warning. If you use this as an escape, then nothing good or creative will result and you alone will be the loser. Such experiments are for those who wish to achieve something or go beyond their natural traits. Laziness or inertia is a great power; in fact, it is power in potential. After a long period of inactivity with awareness, much energy is generated and it can be used creatively.

In the Mahabharat, we have the story of Muchukund, a sage who had received a boon from the gods, after having helped them to win a battle. The boon was that he would be able to go for deep and long sleep and if he was unnecessarily disturbed, the cause of that disturbance would be reduced to ash by the fire that would be liberated from his third eye. Once Krishna was being pursued by a rakshas (demon). Knowing the boon of Muchukund, Krishna led the rakshas in the cave where the former was in deep sleep. Once inside, Krishna hid himself. Seeing Muchukund, the demon thought that Krishna had changed his form into that of the sage in order to escape from him. He therefore shook Muchukund who woke up angrily and released fire from his third eye, thus reducing the rakshas to ashes. And Krishna's work was done!

This is a highly symbolical story. The opening of third eye symbolises awareness, the rakshas represents the ego that disturbs the force of tamas or inertia and Krishna stands for the inspirer of the mind, which is represented by Muchukund. It is he who plans the awakening. The cave is the deep recesses of the mind concealing the third eye.

We all conceal much inertia deep within our unconscious mind, but still deeper within us is the great awareness manifested in the third eye. By releasing enough awareness, we can transform our inertia, laziness and indolence, which veil the mind and prevent it from reflecting the Supreme Soul. Denying our inertia or laziness will not help its transcendence. Only acceptance will, but that alone is not enough. We have to get rid of it soon because the joy we get from laziness is gross, temporary, illusive and the cause of innumerable evils. Laziness in itself is not the problem. Prolonged laziness is the real trouble. Hence, instead of blaming or rejecting lazy people, let us help them.

The way we generally behave with people having negative traits like laziness does not encourage them to be frank, thus they show false images. Great intelligence, insight and wisdom are needed to help them and these qualities can be found in spiritual people. In fact, the solutions to problems of the world lie in the hands of the enlightened beings. But alas! Such beings are absolutely rare and the existing few are not valued and respected. Man should be taught right from his childhood to accept his instinct, animal nature and what people call evil and natural traits. Then they should be taught to transcend them. Of course, there is a whole science to it and that should be taught at school. Today such a science, which I call the 'science of self-transformation', is almost inexistent though it is slowly paving its way in this materialistic world. In fact, this is what I am proposing to humanity.

Let those who wish to learn make the first step, by an Enlightened Master and a living Buddha!

By Swami Paramananda