If you consider all great illumined sages, saints and yogis you will see a common pattern; they always combined the inner knowledge of the mind with outer actions. Though they had spiritual illumination they still continued to express themselves in the external world; they always worked, but while maintaining inner awareness. This is the difference between the average person and the sage. The average person acts without awareness, while the sage keeps a continual flow of awareness. Most people perform actions (the realm of Shakti) with little or no awareness (the realm of Shiva). The sage acts, gives expression to his individuality (Shakti) but while maintaining the awareness of the totality (Shiva). He merges the logically opposite aspects of individuality and universality, of action and inaction, of Shiva and Shakti.
Let us consider a few well-known sages to illustrate the common principle of balance and harmony of the ida and pingala. Christ was illumined, yet he continued to act in the world. He taught his disciples, apostles and followers and travelled all over Galilee. He acted with total awareness. St. Teresa was an illumined saint, but she did not stop working, she did more and more work and urged her followers to do the same. Kabir was an illumined bhakta, but he continued to earn his living by weaving and expressed his illumination through his ecstatic songs. All these people lived both in the world and beyond the world, combining these two seemingly contradictory modes of being.
Buddha was illumined, but he did not stop acting in the world. He is usually depicted sitting in padmasana or sometimes lying on one side. But this does not mean that he remained motionless like a corpse after his illumination under the boddhi tree in Gaya. Had he done this then the system of Buddhism would never have arisen. His compassion compelled him to teach. Furthermore, he urged his disciples to teach the ‘Dharma’ to others; he instructed them to work for the good of man. Mohammed was a husband and a father with many duties. He was an active man, but amid his external activities, he expanded his inner knowledge. He was illumined in a cave on Mount Hira. He continued working, but combined his work with awareness, balancing the ida and pingala aspects of his being. Krishna and Rama were both active. In fact, in the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna urges Arjuna time and time again to know the meaning of action within inaction, to be totally aware while acting with intensity. Krishna did not tell Arjuna to escape from the battlefield at Kurukshetra and go to the Himalayas to meditate and practise austerity. No, Arjuna was told to fight, but with awareness.