The Balancing Act


How do we feel if we do not get proper sleep for a couple of days? We naturally feel drained out. Our energy and enthusiasm level goes down and we are unable to give 100% in our work throughout the day.

AOL blog- deep rest

On the other hand, when can we have really sound sleep? It is possible only when we have finished all our work. If the work scheduled for the day is half-done the remaining half keeps bothering us somewhere at the back of mind

AOL blog- balance your act

Deep rest is possible only when we give our 100% in action and complete our job.

Rest and activity are two aspects of life which appear completely opposite in nature but are in fact totally complementary to each other. They enhance each other’s value.

On a little subtler level ‘Rest’ (or ‘Nivritti’ ) means retiring within. Deep ‘Rest’ is possible only when activity of the mind slows down. True rest is cessation of all mental activity. Unconsciously or consciously we have always yearned for this type of rest in one form or another.

In sleep the mind and body slow down and we get recharged by the time we wake up in morning. Over the ages people have found out different ways to get this energizing rest through different means such as Prayer, Yoga, Pranayama, Satsang, Meditation, or by the Divine grace. Rest is the source of all energy required for physical as well as mental Activity (or ‘Pravritti’) in this world.

If we take a closer look at lives of all great personalities in the world, we find that they knew about this ‘secret source of energy within’ and used it consciously. For e.g. every day Mahatma Gandhi used to spend time in Satsang (Bhajans) and meditation. Mother Teresa had tremendous faith in God and hence Prayer was a great source of energy for her.

‘Nivritti’ is going back to our source within and getting re-energized.

AOL blog- pravritti

‘Pravritti’ is using this energy for our day-to-day activity.

AOL blog- pravrutti

‘Nivritti’ is like increasing our bank balance and ‘Pravritti’ is utilization of this bank balance. When you have sufficient bank balance you can smilingly spend it. Stress cannot bog you down. Work becomes a play. Multitasking becomes fun.

If one neglects ‘Rest’ and is more and more occupied with day-to-day ‘Activity’, then at one point of time he/she will become bankrupt and may not get success in any activity. This is a sure shot way to depression and mental illness.

On the other hand, if one totally neglects day-to-day ‘Activity’, then he/she can’t get real ‘Rest’. The person becomes dull and lethargic. Life remains shallow and meaningless. The mind can settle down and rest (‘Nivritti’) only when all worldly responsibilities and duties have been taken care of.

‘Nivritti’ gives wisdom to decide on the proper action and gives energy to execute the action. ‘Nivritti’ improves perception and enhances intuition.

‘Pravritti’ is required to fulfill the very purpose for which we have taken birth. ‘Pravritti’ is required to fulfill our true ‘Dharma’ in life.

AOL blog- the balancing act

Success is assured in life only when there is a balancing act  between ‘Nivritti’ and ‘Pravritti’ and to reach perfection in life, it is required to achieve perfection in both ‘Nivritti’ and ‘Pravritti’.

The ‘Art of Living’ courses are designed exactly to achieve this perfection in both aspects of life.

You can achieve perfection in ‘Nivritti’ only if you are able to master the Art of Meditation. The Art of living progreams like ‘Advanced Meditation Course’ and ‘Sahaj Samadhi Meditation’ are directed towards bringing this perfection in ‘Nivritti’. Meditation gives you inner perfection. Meditation can’t be learned from books, TV or computers. It can only be learned from a trained teacher who has developed a meditative mind. Just like fire catches fire, the mind learns meditation in presence of a meditative mind.

What stops us from achieving perfection in worldly activity (‘Pravritti’)?  We have set concepts about our own self and the world around us. We have fixed concepts about our own strengths and weaknesses. We build our own walls of limitations around us and these walls prevent us from giving our 100% while acting in the world. Art of living’s ‘Divya Samaj Nirman’ (DSN) course is designed to break all these mental barriers and enable one to explore ones unlimited potential.

At the deepest level, ‘Nivritti’ is Shiva and ‘Pravritti’ is Shakti. Shiva and Shakti are inseparable. Shakti is nothing but expression of Shiva. Shiva and Shakti can not exist without each other. Life is nothing but the primordial dance of Shiva & Shakti.

The wise one sees Nivritti’ in ‘Pravritti’ and ‘Pravritti’ in ‘Nivritti’. He sees ‘Action’ in ‘Inaction’ and ‘Inaction’ in ‘Action’. For Him there is no duality.

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Sanjay Sabnis


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  1. Very nice write up! You have very well presented the significance of spiritual practices & the Art of Living courses, which help one to experience deep rest to be 100 ‰ dynamic.

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