Most popular,ever liked and much frequently quoted verse around the globe from Bhagavad Gita preached by Sri Krishn is about the true concept of the performance of action i.e ” Karma” where HE says that seeker has the right to action but not to its results. So seeker should persuade himself that fruits of action simply do not exist. He should not covet these fruits and neither should he grow disillusioned with action.
Sri Krishn sings in Chapter two of Bhagavad Gita:
karmaṇy evā’dhikāras te mā phaleṣu kadācana,
mā karmaphalahetur bhūr māte sango’stv akarmaṇi
“Since you are entitled only to the performance of action
but never to the fruits thereof,
you should neither desire rewards of action
nor be drawn to inaction.”
Sri Krishn has first used the term “action” (karma: meaning both action and its consequence) in the thirty-ninth verse of the chapter two. He has described its characteristic traits.
(a) He has told Arjun that by the performance of action he will be freed from the bonds of action.
(b) He has then said that the seed or initial impulse of action is indestructible. Once it is initiated, nature has no means to destroy it.
(c) There is, Arjun has been told, not even the slightest flaw in this action, for it never abandons us while we are stranded amidst the temptations of celestial pleasures and worldly affluence.
(d) Performance of this action, even in small proportions, can emancipate us from the great fear of birth and death.
As for the way of doing it, he says in the forty-first verse of the same Chapter:
“On this auspicious path,
O Kurunandan (Arjun),
the resolute mind is one,
but the minds of the ignorant are divided and many.”
The mind which is earnestly and firmly oriented to selfless action is unified. Selfless action is only one and its outcome is also one. Spiritual accomplishment is the only true achievement. The gradual realization of this attainment by fighting against forces of the material world is an enterprise. This enterprise and resolute action, with a single goal are also one and the same. Then what about those who propagate more than one mode of action? In Sri Krishn’s view they are not true worshipers. The minds of such men are endlessly divided and that is why they conjure up endless ways.
Explaining why it is so, he adds that the minds of men without discernment are riven by endless divisions, because of which they tend to invent and elaborate an unlimited number of rites and ceremonies. So they are not true worshipers. They use pretentious and ornate language to describe these rites and ceremonies. So that man’s mind is also poisoned who is lured by the charm of their words. The ordained action is, therefore, only one.
In the forty-seventh verse of Chapter two, Sri Krishn has told Arjun that he has a right to action, but not to its fruits. So Arjun should not desire these fruits. At the same time he ought not to lose faith in the performance of action. In other words, he should be constantly and devotedly engaged in its performance. The verse is usually interpreted as meaning:
Do whatever you wish,
only do not desire its fruits.
That is, say those who interpret the verse thus,
what selfless action is all about?
Further Sri Krishn adds which is very important to understand in reference to the concept of Karma. He says:
“The equipoise of mind
that arises from profound absorption
in the performance of action after renouncing attachment
and being even-minded in respect of success and failure is,
O Dhananjay (Arjun),
given the name of yog.”
Resting in yog, renouncing infatuation for worldly ties, and looking at success and failure with an equal mind, Arjun should undertake action.
Sri Krishn’s pronouncement is that men should do selfless action. Equipoise of mind is what is called yog. The mind in which there is no unevenness is full of equanimity. Greed destroys its evenness, attachments make it unequal, and desire for the fruits of action destroy its serenity. That is why there should be no hankering after the fruits of action. At the same time, however, there should also be no diminishing of faith in the performance of action.
Renouncing attachment to all things, seen as well as unseen, and giving up all concern about achievement and non-achievement, we should only keep our eyes fixed on yog, the discipline that joins the individual Soul with the Supreme Spirit, and lead a life of strenuous action.
Yog is thus the state of culmination. But it is also the initial stage. At the outset our eyes should be fixed on the goal. It is for this reason that we should act keeping our eyes on yog. Equanimity of mind is also named yog. When the mind cannot be shaken by failure and success, and nothing can destroy its evenness, it is said to be in the state of yog. It cannot then be moved by passion. Such a state of mind enables the Soul to identify himself with God.
This is another reason why this state is called Samattwa Yog, the discipline that makes the mind filled with equanimity. Since there is, in such a state of mind, complete renunciation of desire, it is also called the Way of Selfless Action (Nishkam Karm Yog). Since it requires us to perform action, it is also known as the Way of Action (Karm Yog). Since it unites the Self with the Supreme Spirit, it is called yog. It is necessary to keep in mind that both success and failure should be viewed with equanimity, that there should be no sense of attachment, and that there is no desire for the rewards of action. It is thus that the Way of Selfless Action and the Way of Knowledge are the same.
~ Revered Gurudev Swami Adgadanand Jee Paramhans ~
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