THE SPEAKING TREE
The art of karma management
Hasmukh Adhia | Jun 12, 2014, 12.02 AM IST
All human beings are always busy doing something. But very few know the Art of Karma. Fascinated by idealism of complete renunciation, Arjuna wanted to give up his karma as a warrior, believing that it would be a sin to kill his opponents, many of whom were his revered relatives. Should he give up his assigned karma? Krishna says 'no' and explains to him and to all of us the concept of why and how karma should be done.
Your chosen duty is described as 'swa-dharma' in the Bhagwad Gita. Everyone has to carry out their swadharma without carelessness and ego. Also while performing one's chosen duty, our attention should be on the quality of action, rather than being attached only to the fruits of action.
There are two types of fruits we get out of any activity — main fruit and subordinate fruit. For instance, in a game of sports, the main benefit we get is that of getting physical fitness and the subordinate fruit can be winning. Even if we lose, the main fruit is not going waste. Both winner and loser get physical fitness.
In life, the main fruit of discharging our duty properly is purity of mind which comes, although we do not notice it until it is pointed out to us. With purity of mind we get peace of mind, harmony and ability to enjoy what we have, independent of all other objects of so-called pleasure which we do not have. Subordinate fruits are wealth, position, rank, name and fame. Even if the latter does not come, the main fruit of purity of intellect is always obtained in any karma yoga.
Let us take the example of a driver who is engaged by a taxi company for a regular salary. He may be getting tips from some clients, which is his extra income. Suppose he starts thinking only about increasing his extra income, not even remembering that he is being paid fully for his job already, he would give best service only to those clients who give him tips, and neglect all others who do not. In the process, he is risking his main salary also, because there is a possibility of some of his clients complaining to his boss about his negligence and he may lose his job. Can he be happy this way?
We also forget, or do not notice, that God is giving us the main fruit of being happy and contended, even if other things are not coming in ample measure. God has already given us so much by way of infrastructure of free oxygen, water and sunshine which has been made more and more comfortable by many of our predecessors. Is that not good enough reason for us to feel grateful and in return give our own contribution to make this world a better place still? Can an ungrateful person be ever happy in life?
This does not mean that we only live on air and sunshine. As per the infallible theory of karma phala, one will definitely have good results for good work done. That taxi driver can surely hope to get extra income if he continues to give good service to all, whether they give tips or not. But moment we try to be selfish and work only for money or position, we`re in trouble.
So the Gita`s message is: `Do your best always, do not be utterly selfish and have no ego.` That indeed is the art of karma yoga. Post your comments at speakingtree.in