I was looking into what Hindu Philosophy says about work and ran into Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 Verse 47 again. I have come across this verse many times. But its almost like I had turned a blind eye towards it.
Chapter 2, Verse 47
KarmaNyaavadhikaarasthae maa phalaeshu kadaachana
Maa karmaphalahaethurbhoo: maa thae sangO(a)sthvakarmaNi
Thy right is to work only, but never to its fruits; let not the fruit-of-action be thy motive, nor let thy attachment be to inaction.
The stanza gives the four injunctions guiding us to be true workers. A real Karma Yogin is one who understands:
- that his concern is with action alone;
- that he has no concern with results;
- that he should not entertain the motive of gaining a fixed fruit for a given action; and
- that these ideas do not mean that he should sit back courting inaction.
In short, the advice is to make the worker release himself from all his mental pre-occupations,
and thus through work make him live in the joy and ecstasy of inspired self-forgetfulness.
The work itself is his reward; he gets himself drunk with the joy and satisfaction of a noble work done.
The work is the means; the Higher Self-experience alone is the Goal-Divine.
In this (Detached performance) there is no loss of effort, nor is there any harm (contrary result).
Even a little performance protects one from great fear.
The term ‘attachment’ in the Geeta has a peculiar flavour and, through-out its length,this term has been used to indicate the spirit in which an ego-centric personality will come to work in any field of activity while fulfilling his own egocentric desires. Thus, ego and its desires are the component parts of attachments. When an ego strives to fulfil its own burning desires,it comes to live in a certain relationship with the world of things and objects around. This wrong relationship is called ‘attachment’.
The same idea in the wordings of Swami Ishwaranand
- You can choose your action.
- You cannot choose the result of action.
- You can choose your reaction.
- May you not be without action.
Apprehension of result breeds inaction, How true!
The next level of thought is realizing that you are not the doer, that’s a bit too advanced for me now.
This morning (thanks to Bangalore traffic) I happened to read some funny quotes on a Car. The driver was in mid-thirties and he must be a brave man :-). This is what the stickers said.
The driver does not carry any cash, he is married.
My wife gives me sound advice, 99% sound 1% advice.
Before marriage a man is INCOMPLETE, after marriage he is FINISHED.
Married man do not live longer, it just seems longer.
My wife complains that I do not listen to her, or something like that.
A quote from Rocky Balboa by Sylvester Stallone
“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!”