Wednesday, June 16, 2010

III: 22


Chapter 3, Verse 22

“I have no work to do
In all the worlds, Arjuna,
For they are mine.
I have nothing to obtain,
Because I have all.
And yet I work.”

Srila Prabhupada:

“One who must receive the results of work has some designated duty, but one who has nothing to achieve certainly has no duty.”

[…and by receiving those results dutifully, i.e., equanimously, without attachment, by offering them immediately to the higher power to do with as it or he or she – fill in your preference – sees fit, we approach that state of one who “has nothing to achieve.”]

Ram Dass:

“We do our Dharma to fulfill a desire, within the desire system. There’s an attachment in there, the attachment to becoming free, and that’s what motivates us to work. But if that’s all there is, then once we get free and have no attachments, why would we work? Krishna is letting us in on a whole new basis for action here. Imagine people who have absolutely no personal desire to do anything, including not to get free. They are not trying to develop themselves. They’re already there. They have no more moral motives. They may set up hospitals, dispensaries, and schools. Are they doing Karma Yoga? Outwardly, their actions might seem like that, but the spirit of it, the motive from which they are acting, is completely different. The motive is different in that there is no motive. There is no intention behind their actions. They are just being the expression of Dharma. They are just being compassion. The very life itself becomes a statement of how it all is when you’re done with it all, and any forms or acts that are used are simply the vehicles of that transmission. Such a being is beyond the forces of nature, no longer attached at all to body, mind, reason, and the senses, but using them still. In that place you’re no longer doing Karma Yoga. You have become an expression of it.”


4 comments:

Jessica said...

Sounds lofty & relatively unachievable for most of us (in this lifetime at least)...but certainly motivation for the "fake it til you make it" approach! I may be attached to the causes & conditions of this dharma, but I will offer it to the Divine anyway.

Krishna Jaya said...

There is a subtle disconnect here. I notice it sometimes with food. There can be an unskillful attachment...perhaps an over-the-top indulgence of my sweet tooth, or a situation when my body does not need food yet and I eat anyway...and along with that the remembrance to offer it to the Divine anyway, "faking it till I make it." Am I going to be happy with this approach? If so, I'm going to stay stuck with the unskillful attachment.

Jessica said...

Hm, good point...without discrimination, this approach could serve to reinforce negative habits rather than positive ones. I was thinking more about acting out one's dharma or "divine purpose" (you can probably define it more exactly!), and offering the fruits of that dharma to the Divine even if it's not free of attachment.

Krishna Jaya said...

Thanks for the clarification. The Sanskrit word for one’s individual dharma or path in life is Swadharma, and Lord Krishna will address it coming up in about a dozen verses when he will tell Arjuna that it is better for Arjuna to do his Swadharma imperfectly than it is for him to do someone else’s impeccably. It is better for Arjuna to do his soldiering imperfectly than to take up a begging bowl in the role of renunciate, no matter how impeccably. This applies to everything in our lives from big things like choosing life-partners and careers to seemingly little things like how best to use our aptitude and gifts as members of local organizations. So we try to find out our Swadharma, and then follow it as consciously as we can, endeavoring to remember to offer the fruits to the Divine, recognizing that this process will help reduce attachment to specific outcomes and thus help us to reach the goal.

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