Skillfulness in action is called Yoga.
(Bhagavad-Gita, II, 50)
The man who forged swords for the Minister of War was eighty years of age.
The Minister of War said to him, 'Is it your skill, Sir, or have you a method?'
'It is concentration,' replied the man. 'When twenty years old, I took to forging swords. I cared for nothing else. If a thing was not a sword, I did not notice it. I availed myself of whatever energy I did not use in other directions in order to secure greater efficiency in the direction required. Still more of that which is never without use (Tao); so that there was nothing which did not lend to its aid.'
It is true that there is something which terrifies the the eye and surprises the soul to find that Mother Nature, with her great skill and wisdom and energy, has suddenly produced a thing like a stone cave or a blessed spot. But I have often stared casually at little things of this universe - a bird, a fish, a flower, or a small plant, and even at a bird's feather, a fish's scale, a flower petal and a blade of glass - and realized how Mother Nature has also created it with all her great skill and wisdom and energy. As it is said that the lion uses the same energy to attack an elephant as to attack a wild rabbit, so does Mother Nature truly do the same thing. She uses all her energy in producing a stone cave or a blessed spot, but she also uses all her energy in producing a bird, a fish, a flower, a blade of grass, or even a feather, a scale, a petal, a leaf. Therefore, it is not alone the stone cave or the blessed spot that terrifies the eye and surprises the soul in this world.
One with such a concentrated mind rises above the tumult of the subjective as well as the objective world. He is like the arrow maker, who while fashioning his arrows is conscious only of his task.
(Srimad Bhagavatam, XI, iii)
I desire to have in everything a purpose (niyah) even in my eating, my drinking, and my sleeping.
Ch'ing, the chief carpenter, was carving wood into a stand for hanging musical instruments. When finished, the work appeared to those who saw it as though of supernatural execution. And the prince of Lu asked him, saying,' What mystery is there in your art?'
'No mystery, your Highness,' replied Ch'ing ; 'and yet there is something.'
'When I am about to make such a stand, I guard against any diminution of my vital power. I first reduce my mind to absolute quiescence. Three days in this condition, and I become oblivious of any reward to be gained. Five days, and I become oblivious of any fame to be acquired. Seven days, and I become unconscious of my four limbs and my physical frame. Then, with no thought of the Court present to my mind, my skill becomes concentrated, and all disturbing elements from without are gone. I enter some mountain forest. I search for a suitable tree. It contains the form required, which is afterwards elaborated. I see the stand in my mind's eye, and then set to work. Otherwise, there is nothing. I bring my own natural capacity into relation with that of the wood. What was suspected to be of supernatural execution in my work was due solely to this.'
(Chung-tse Ch. XIX)
'Srimad Bhagavatam: The Wisdom of God'
By Swami Prabhavananda (Author)
The Srimad Bhagavatam is one of the most popular scriptures in India, and one of the most important, next to the Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita. This version focuses primarily on the teachings of Krishna, and the generally more interesting portions of the book. The translation's aim is to be true to the spirit of the original Sanskrit and be easily readable.