We have all lived our lives with the mistaken belief that we are in control of our actions. But over the centuries, the great sages have told us that we are in fact not responsible for our actions. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says: “The self, deluded by egoism, thinketh: ‘I am the doer.'” Ramana Maharshi said: “The present difficulty is that man thinks he is the doer. But it is a mistake. It is the higher power which does everything, and man is only a tool.”
There is tremendous freedom available in realizing that we are not the doer. With this realization comes the dropping away of guilt for so-called mistakes, for we see that our “mistakes” were not our doings. Feelings of hatred towards others dissolve as well, as we see that no one has really ever done anything harmful to us. All things happen exactly as they are supposed to happen, according to the will of God.”
The heart is beating by itself, hair is growing by itself, even thoughts are appearing by themselves. From head to toe, it is obvious that we are not the doers. So, why is it that we cling to this false sense of doer-ship?
The notion of doer-ship is suffering and bondage. Doer-ship is a myth born from the illusion of me and the mine. The myth is powerful in view that it is based on Reality. Between the doer and the deed what comes first? Surely the deed is a fact and the doer a mere concept / dubious. To gain freedom from doer-ship, practice being a witness, a mere onlooker in every event.
If we can recognize ourselves as a witness, get identified with it, and make the identification so deep that in every event, in each action, at all times, we are just an observer, then we become free from doer-ship. Every situation becomes a triangle. At one corner is the body, the second corner is the mind, and the third corner is the witness. Becoming centered in this third corner, we stop being the doer.
Whether it is hunger, a thorn-prick, or headache, there is constant awareness that ‘I know there is hunger’ and not that ‘I am hungry’; ‘I know that a thorn has pierced the foot’ and not that ‘I have been pierced by the thorn’; ‘I know that the head is paining’ and not that ‘my head is paining’! In this way, practicing being a witness in all activities, one becomes free of doer-ship.