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Naiva Kinchita Karoti sah PDF Print E-mail
Gita - Gita Articles
ty=ktv== k:m=*f:D==s=Vk:m=*[y=v=&T==eCip= n=Ev= ik]:ic=t=< k:r=eit= s=/ ++äî++

tyaktv| karmaphal|sa]ga= nityat&pto nir|%raya+
karma[y abhiprav&tto’pi naiva ki=cita karoti sa+

One who has abandoned attachment to the fruits of work and remains ever content and dependent on no one but God, such a person ? though engaged in activity ? does nothing at all, and incurs no K|rmic reaction. (4.20)

 

He has no clinging
He knows that results
Are not in his control
He is ever satisfied
He depends on nothing
He is always busy
Doing something and yet
He still is a non-doer all the time.||4:20||

We explored first half of this shloka in our last column. It is worth looking at the second part as well. All of us work. Work is being done. When does a work become non-work? How is it relevant? Why should we even consider that kind of work? Does it matter if we get karmic reactions or not? These questions do not arise for every one. A man who is hungry needs food. A person who is sick requires medical attention. A poor man does not care about spirituality in the same way as does a rich person. There are always exceptions, but by and large need is a relative word.

These questions were much more common in Krishna’s times. There was prosperity around. People were spiritually at a higher plane. There was a general desire for finding out truths of life in most people. People were generally well educated. The level of education and knowledge is obvious from the level of discussions that is present in Upanishads and Vedas. Krishna is not talking to illiterates as did Mohammad and Jesus. The level of intelligence was on a higher pedestal. Arjun has put forward strong logic against the war. That logic is used even today by people who talk against any kind of war and violence. But still Arjun’s level is in the material world. Krishna takes Arjun on a spiritual path. The language he uses sounds strange to us because we want to fit it into our bucket.

In my column “Desire and Sankalpa” I mentioned two level of our existence. One is living in the ‘desire-driven community’ and the other is in the ‘desire dropped community.’ As long as we are in the desire driven community and we want to keep the control of our lives, we are subject to rules of karmic reaction. That is what Krishna says here again. We all want to take credit for what we do. There is nothing wrong with that. We want to keep the control of being the doer to ourselves and as long as we do that we shall be the doer. As long as we are the doer, we are subject to its flaws. I should not even call it flaws because it is just a law of nature.

There is a catch here and the catch is in the word responsibility. If I do not want to own what I do, am I shying away from my responsibilities? I am not looking for credit for what I do. I make an invention and I am not looking for patent in my name. I have a house but I do not care if some hooligan occupies that house. I am being generous in these examples and there is a feel good factor sometimes in these decisions. Now I am angry one day and kill some one in the process. I can say that I do not want to take the ownership of that. How appropriate will that be?

A person living in the desire-dropped status does not run away from responsibilities. In fact he becomes responsible for not only what is happening because of his actions but for whatever happens around him. It is important to pay attention to how Krishna lives more than what he says. Whatever he has said in Gita has been fully lived by him as well. He is a living example of how Gita can be lived in real life. We are very smart people. We make him God and then use that special status to convince ourselves that we cannot live and practice Gita.

Krishna says that a person who drops his attachment to the fruits of action (tyaktva karmaphalasanga) also works but his work is like not working at all. Such a person does not carry baggage of results. We all carry baggage of results of what we have done in the past. This baggage gets heavier every day. It has to happen by default. We treasure the good results and hate the bad ones. We like to dwell upon both of them given a right surrounding. Krishna wonders if we need to carry this baggage. I would like all of you to consider this question as well. It is a good thing that memory of the baggage is wiped out at the time of death. Yet we do carry baggage from past lives in the form of Samskaras and bring them to our current life. Do we need to do that? The answers are in these verses.

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