Every person on the planet wishes to learn life management to prosper in life, be happy, with peaceful mind, and get the clarity on purpose of life. Lord Krishna has concealed every facet of life in Bhagavad Gita. The three paths given in Gita are Karma Yoga (Yoga of Action), Gyana Yoga (Path of Knowledge) and Bhakti Yoga (Path of Devotion).
Lot of misconceptions regarding “Karma Yog” are making the rounds to display Sanatan Dharma in bad light. One of the misconceptions is that person just needs to surrender to the god and his/her desires will be fulfilled without doing any sort of “Karma”(Work). Second misconception is that those who perform any sort of work should do it free of cost.
People mock Sanatan Dharma after going through these self-developed connotations with wrong notion and mal intent.
Let’s understand the real and deeper meaning of Karma yog;
कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन।
मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि॥ २-४७
(karmaṇy-evādhikāras te mā phaleṣhu kadāchana
mā karma-phala-hetur bhūr mā te saṅgo ’stvakarmaṇi)
Lord Krishna beautifully explained the concept “Action in inaction and inaction in action”. When Lord Krishna says just perform your duty sincerely without expectation of its fruit. What does it mean?
Psychologically, If we take a look with sentience, when we work on any project/task/activity and we are constantly focusing on result, it brings anxiety and a kind of unwanted pressure which affects the efficiency and creativity, increases stress, affecting relationships in many cases, affecting the whole activity which could have been done easily if the whole focus is put on the work without constantly thinking about the result. Lord Krishna wants us to get engrossed in everything we do instead of focusing on the result with halfhearted action. When one focuses on the result with lot of expectations in his/her favor and if the result goes out of the plan, then it makes the person frustrated, depressed and develops the mindset not to take risks in future.
For example; this badly affects the performance of the students when they just focus on result rather than putting 100% effort in studies causing distress, drug addiction, losing interest in studies, life looks boring, developing a weak mind set, depression, anxiety and suicidal tendencies.
Lord Krishna wants us to be in the present moment and perform every activity as divine act, whether small or big, one likes or dislikes, easy or difficult, even if no one appreciates you for your good work and no one is watching you while doing your work yet you have to do your work sincerely, effectively, treating it as divine worship which should be your commitment and right attitude. Selfless social work is not merely a karma yog however, everything which is done with right intent, good for society, environment and country, adds value, without ego, attachment and selfish motive is “Karma Yog”.
The ego focuses on fruits of action to fulfill unlimited and unwanted desires of a person losing awareness, dynamism, creativity, innovative ability, leadership quality and what not.
Too much attachment to any action or person ultimately brings disappointment, frustration when things do not go as per wish that’s the reason Lord Krishna says, do everything passionately however don’t get attached to it.
Bhagavad Gita Karma Yoga 3.35
श्रेयान् स्वधर्मो विगुणः परधर्मात् स्वनुष्टितात्।
स्वधर्मे निधनं श्रेयः परधर्मो भयावहः॥
( śhreyān swa-dharmo viguṇaḥ para-dharmāt sv-anuṣhṭhitāt
swa-dharme nidhanaṁ śhreyaḥ para-dharmo bhayāvahaḥ)
In this shloka, Lord Krishna simply says, “Just be yourself”, follow your Dharma (Righteous path). Be real to your idea of who you should be. Don’t stab to be what someone else is. While you may be an excellent pretender, there will always be fear in your heart. When you focus on “yourself”, you explore inbuilt potentials that can take you to newer heights and brings true happiness. Lord Krishna suggests “Meditation” as a regular practice to find out inner wealth and potentials in few shlokas (Verses).
न कर्मणामनारम्भान्नैष्कर्म्यं पुरुषोऽश्नुते |
न च संन्यसनादेव सिद्धिं समधिगच्छति ॥3.4॥
( na karmaṇām anārambhān naiṣhkarmyaṁ puruṣho ’śhnute
na cha sannyasanād eva siddhiṁ samadhigachchhati )
A person does not attain freedom from action by abstaining from action; nor does he attain fulfilment merely through renunciation. Lord Krishna has cleared all the doubts in above verse.
Those who still question and change the meaning to suit their agenda need to sincerely study and acknowledge Bhagavad Gita that is well-thought-out as “Book of Life and Work Management”.