Wednesday, August 5, 2009

II: 47

Chapter 2, Verse 47

"You have the right to work,
But never to your actions' fruits.
Act for the action's sake,
And do not attach
Yourself to inaction.”

Father Bede Griffiths:

“Now Krishna comes to the basic doctrine, the fundamental teaching of the Gita. We must do our work, fighting the battle, doing whatever work we are required to do, but without seeking for a reward. Naturally, the lower mind seeks its reward. Whatever it does, it does for a selfish purpose. By removing the selfish purpose and by not seeking the reward, our work will no longer bind us. We will see how the Gita gradually develops this theme and deepens it, but the basic understanding is clear in this verse.”

Ram Dass:

“Gandhi said, ‘Without desire for the result, and yet wholly engrossed in the due fulfillment of the task before you, you are said to have renounced the fruits of your action.’ Once we've really done that, we're finally free to act spontaneously in whatever way we're drawn by our Dharma to act. We're no longer being pulled or pushed in other directions by our attachment. We're not trying to get anything out of it. We're acting solely to fulfill our Dharma.

I'll go and give a lecture, and maybe it turns out to be a clunker. Everybody gets up and walks out. That's hard on a lecturer, if you're concerned about the fruits of your action! I will go away feeling humiliated, shaken, my ego crushed. That experience will burn into me, and slowly that humiliation and hurt will keep working on me and working on me until, after a while, I come to see it as one of Maharajji's greatest teachings. The people in that audience were showing me how I was clinging to my own model of what a ‘good’ outcome would be. If I'm really lousy, maybe that's the best thing I can do for you… maybe I'm throwing you back on yourself to get the teaching. I do my acts the best I can. And how it comes out…well, that's just how it comes out. Interesting, nothing more. It's a matter of letting go of expectations.”

Ramana Maharshi:

“An accountant working all day in his office and scrupulously attending to his duties might seem to the spectator to be shouldering all the financial responsibilities of the institution. But, knowing that he is not personally affected by the in-take or out-going, he remains unattached and free from the ‘I-am-the-doer’ feeling in doing his work, while at the same time he does it perfectly well.

In the same way, it is quite possible for the wise householder who earnestly seeks Liberation to discharge his duties in life, which after all are his destiny, without any attachment, regarding himself merely as an instrument for the purpose.

Such activity is not an obstacle on the path. Knowledge and activity are never mutually antagonistic and the realization of one does not impede the performance of the other, nor does performance of the one affect the realization of the other.”

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails