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August 24, 2006

Why 'Nishkama Karma'?

This post is just to keep the blog alive. I saw a post on the Bhagavad Gita community on orkut, which made me make a long post as a reply. This blog is just a copy paste of both the original post, and my reply:

Hi all,
The geeta from what I have read says that the true disciple of the lord (the sanyasin or the yogin), he does the work which he is ought to do without seeking its fruit. It further goes on to say, that the yogin should do his work without any attachment, nor with any involvement or passion. Now, my question is what is the true meaning of these lines? How is it possible to succeed in the current world if you do not show any attachment or liking towards the work you do. I have always held the belief that to attain happiness, u should like the work that you are doing. It seems contradictory??

First of all, the BG is not a guide to become successful in the materialitic way of life. It is for becoming successful in a spiritual way of life, which is inclusive of the material aspects of life, (not exclusive, quite contrary to what most people think). So, if you want to become successful in this world in the materialistic sense alone, then pick up a book of Shiv Khera, Dale Carnegie, etc. But if you want overall spiritual success, then pick up the BG.

Non-attachment to work does not mean that the work quality has to drop. It will drop if you are not a yogi, but the quality will be much better if you are a yogi. Why?

Yogi is one in whom the "yoga" has taken place. Yoga of what? Yoga means union. So, it is the union of the Atman and the Parmatman. In other words, the energy of the Almighty works in a yogi. Therefore, this energy, which is very powerful, can work at a very high level of efficiency. And since it is this energy of the Divine which works in him, he DOES NOT need to be passionate or interested in his work, and yet, he can work. He becomes capable of doing anything without getting bored, tired or stressed. In fact, interests, likes and dislikes become meaningless to such a person.

But in the case of ordinary people, where we do not have that Divine Energy in us, we need to be 'interested' in our work, we need to have a 'passion', and we need an incentive called the 'fruit', without which we won't work. We are incapable of working without all these, which itself shows that we are like dead donkeys.

BG is a guide to attain the state of the yogi from our current state. And if we have to attain that state, we need to practice being in that state of mind. Which is why we have to practice 'Nishkama Karma'.

15 Comments:

Blogger nandu said...

Is it something that comes through practice and conscious effort, da? Are there other ways of approaching it too?

04:15  
Blogger The Ignoramus said...

well.. do you have any other ideas?

08:15  
Blogger Phoenix-Revived said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

03:25  
Blogger Phoenix-Revived said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

03:27  
Blogger Phoenix-Revived said...

But in the case of ordinary people, where we do not have that Divine Energy in us
Divine energy is very much in us, just asleep.

we need to be 'interested' in our work, we need to have a 'passion', and we need an incentive called the 'fruit', without which we won't work. We are incapable of working without all these...
If your mother fell sick, you would tend to her without expections of returns. Here 'passion','fruit of work' etc don't figure in. Only compassion does. When a being can relate this compassion to the universe, then the 'dead donkey' syndrome won't exist.

03:29  
Blogger The Ignoramus said...

more than compassion, what you would have is love.

08:12  
Blogger Phoenix-Revived said...

'Love' is an attachment, 'compassion' is not.

00:57  
Blogger arbit said...

Love is an attachment..who said that
Possessiveness maybe can be termed as an attachment..
Secondly the poster was referring to 'work' literally, when he talked about incentives and passion as a driver for work.
When you don't identify yourself as the doer, where is the question of passion or incentive, you are just an observer..observing your body and mind as an instrument doing work. You as such do nothing except being yourself..you are just being.

01:48  
Blogger The Ignoramus said...

Love is an attachment??? LOL. I am not talking about romantic love dear.

Compassion is an emotion. Love isn't.

05:04  
Blogger nandu said...

Looks like the ppl above are just using different "labels" (love/compassion)for that same unconditional, unselfish and unegotistical soul-movement.
@ the ignoramus: And I asked my previous question cos somewhere in the post (maybe between the lines), I read "desire to reach a certain state/to be free of the falsities one sees in the present state" as the means of attaining the state of the yogi. Of course, u used the word "have", not "want"--in the last sentence--but it just made me wonder...

09:02  
Blogger Trespasser said...

Now, my question is what is the true meaning of these lines? How is it possible to succeed in the current world if you do not show any attachment or liking towards the work you do.
What is success ? How do you define it ? Is it the possession of material wealth ? Is it having a lovely wife ? Is it being the richest ? If yes, then are the poor unsuccessful ?

I have always held the belief that to attain happiness, u should like the work that you are doing. It seems contradictory??
Liking work - is that an attachment ? Hating work - is that non-attachment?

First of all, the BG is not a guide to become successful in the materialitic way of life. It is for becoming successful in a spiritual way of life, which is inclusive of the material aspects of life, (not exclusive, quite contrary to what most people think).
How do you define material way of life and how do you define spiritual way of life ? If there is a definition, are the two intertwined ?

So, if you want to become successful in this world in the materialistic sense alone, then pick up a book of Shiv Khera, Dale Carnegie, etc. But if you want overall spiritual success, then pick up the BG.

Isn't everything the same ? Isn't Dale Carnegie or a Shiv Khera a subset of the BG ?

Non-attachment to work does not mean that the work quality has to drop. It will drop if you are not a yogi, but the quality will be much better if you are a yogi. Why?

Yogi is one in whom the "yoga" has taken place. Yoga of what? Yoga means union. So, it is the union of the Atman and the Parmatman. In other words, the energy of the Almighty works in a yogi. Therefore, this energy, which is very powerful, can work at a very high level of efficiency. And since it is this energy of the Divine which works in him, he DOES NOT need to be passionate or interested in his work, and yet, he can work. He becomes capable of doing anything without getting bored, tired or stressed. In fact, interests, likes and dislikes become meaningless to such a person.

But in the case of ordinary people, where we do not have that Divine Energy in us, we need to be 'interested' in our work, we need to have a 'passion', and we need an incentive called the 'fruit', without which we won't work. We are incapable of working without all these, which itself shows that we are like dead donkeys.


So, a spiritually upliftment converts dead donkeys to live donkeys (rather a machine) which can do anything without a motivation? Is this the essence of karma?

BG is a guide to attain the state of the yogi from our current state. And if we have to attain that state, we need to practice being in that state of mind. Which is why we have to practice 'Nishkama Karma'.

13:31  
Blogger Trespasser said...

There were a few ants in a jungle. One day, they came across a giant structure. The first ant said - "It's white and gelly". The second ant said -" It's a grey solid rock". The third ant said - "It is a pillar". The fourth ant said - "It is hairy".

What they were observing was an elephant. The first ant was looking at the eye, the second at the back, the third at the feet and the fourth at the tail. And they drew different conclusions. Man is in a similar position. He is observing life from various perspectives and trying to decipher what it is. Only a handful have succeeded in finding the answer to that.

13:39  
Blogger giusippe said...

excellent!

12:05  
Blogger DR.Nanasaheb said...

Nishkam karma Yoga is mis understood. It only meand doing karma without keeping an eye on results. doing it as your Dharma. Without expectation of specific results which is future. Doing work is present. let the constant obcession of fruits of karma not bog you down and result in your preparion or performance.
Altruism is another name for Nishkam karma Yoga. It is proved that if you practise Altruism your coronaries dilate . It is endorphins which give this effect. As opposed to thatt anger and rage constricts thye coronaries. Dr. John Hunter who described Angina Pectoris chest pain said"my life is in the hands of scoundral who make me angry. As anger caUSES CONSTRICTION AND PAIN.Obsecession with gain or esult visiates the work. You end up with dis appoitment and frustation. It affects future work also. Do your best and accept with grace the result. May analyse it for future. Dr. Nanasaheb Chaudhary -a Geeta Premi from Akola India.

13:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey its so much stuff in one small blog.. i know you are a classmate - but i do not who you are.. can you share?

maalika

21:49  

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