Correct Interpretation of Nishkama Karma Yoga

dattaswami2's picture

No votes yet

Hanuman did lot of work for the war and in fact He was responsible for finding Sita. He did not aspire for any reward and the chain of pearls rewarded to Him was also sacrificed by Him. Here you find the sacrifice of the actual fruit. Hanuman did not put on the chain on His neck and say that He has sacrificed the aspiration for the fruit! Similarly, Shankara left the mother actually for the sake of divine propagation of knowledge. He did not sit in the home serving His mother saying that He has sacrificed only the aspiration for the bond!

Shankara also said that He is not for the salvation, which is the fruit of His service (Na Mokshasya Aakamksha…). Since the expressed service indicates certainly the existence of real and good theoretical devotion in mind, service itself means the devotion. Therefore, you have now two stages only, which are knowledge and service. Hence, Lord Shiva came down twice only as Anjaneya representing service to God and Adi Shankara representing the propagation of knowledge of God.

Service means the real devotion as found in the case of your children to whom the real service is done without much expression of theoretical love to them, which must exist in your heart as fire for the smoke. Anjaneya also had the knowledge from god sun and His expressed excellent service to God indicates the existence of real theoretical devotion in the mind. Shankara also did lot of service in propagating divine knowledge and also expressed devotion through several prayers. Both have all the three stages but the stress is given on service by Anjeneya and the stress is given on knowledge by Shankara.

Anjeneya is monkey representing the lack of firmness and Shankara is a bachelor representing hundred monkeys (Brahmachari Shata Markatah). But this monkey nature is only external cover and does not relate to the firm internal personality. Both did service of God leaving all the worldly bonds with firm determination.

Trilok's picture

Shape or colour not important

Nice post.
Normally people looks first only from out side instead of seeing from inside due to lack of their pure knowledge.
We should love the beauty of heart rather than physical beauty.

Trilok | Fri, 08/13/2010 - 08:13
dattaswami2's picture

Internal Vs External attachment to God

Sage Shuka was completely attached to God and was completely detached from the family. He left his family and went away for the sake of God, though his father was running after him. His attachment and detachment were exposed and were not hidden in his heart. Veda says that one should leave the family as soon as the person is attached to God [yadahareva…]. King Janaka was also completely attached to God and was completely detached from the family like Shuka. But his attachment and detachment were not exposed and were hidden in his heart. They were exposed only when the Lord conducted the test [ Dattapariksha].

Once Janaka was immersed in God, while his spiritual preacher [Yajnavalkya] was preaching about the Lord. Then a servant came and told that his house and family members were burnt in fire accident. Janaka did not leave the place and told that the fire did not damage anything that belongs to him, because only God belongs to him. This was a test from the Lord. Therefore, Shuka and Janaka were equal in the spiritual path. In fact, Janaka was considered to be greater than Shuka and hence Janaka was appointed as examiner to judge the stage of Shuka. When Shuka asked his father about his position in the spiritual path, Vyasa asked him to approach Janaka for the test.
Since both are equal in attachment and detachment, in what way Janaka is greater than Shuka? Even though, both are equal in spiritual path, Janaka is greater than Shuka because Janaka participated in the service of God by ruling the kingdom that contributes to the peace of the world. The administration of world [pravrutti] is responsibility of God. The spiritual progress is personal. The social service is work of God.

Therefore, Janaka is not having any trace of selfishness and hence is greater than Shuka. Shuka left the family and proved his detachment. Janaka remained in the family and yet was detached. A person away from the fire is not burnt and this not greatness. A person, who is in the fire but not burnt is great. Therefore, Janaka is greater than Shuka in all angles. Gita mentions only the name of Janaka and not Shuka. Exposed detachment is not great.

Detachment in the heart, which is exposed during the test only is great. You can be attached to the world externally and participate in the service of society and your family, which is a part of work of God.

You can please your family by exposing artificial love and hide the real love to God in your heart. The truth comes out in the time of test. By this you are pleasing your family and the society, while pleasing the Lord simultaneously. By this you will set an example for others to follow the family life and contribute to the growth of the society. If you are not setting the family life, others try to follow you and get spoiled by secretly meeting the prostitutes, since they are not attached to God so much like yourself.

If everybody tries to follow Shuka and goes to forest, several night clubs will be developed in the forests! Sanyasa is certainly better than the family life, but family life is better than failure in Sanyasa. Externally family life and internally Sanyasa is better than Sanyasa, which is both external and internal detachment. The followers always fail in the internal Sanyasa and easily catch the external Sanyasa.

Hence, failures in sanyasa are many in number. Krishna was very much attached to the family life throughout His life. In the end, when everybody was killing each other, He just enjoyed looking at the cinema. His attachment to family life was an example to many, who cannot achieve the internal detachment. At the same time, when the time came he proved his internal detachment.

The external attachment was only to save others, which is called as lokasamgraha. He was attached to the family like an ordinary person. But, the difference is that the ordinary person is attached to the family both internally and externally. For external outlook, Krishna and ordinary person look similar, since both are attached externally. When the proper time of test comes, the internal detachment of Krishna and the internal attachment of the ordinary person get exposed and proved.

The two birds called as Kaka and Kokila look black externally. But, when spring season comes, the sweet voice of Kokila is exposed and the harsh voice of Kaka is distinguished. This is mentioned in the Gita [Saktah karmanyavidvamsah…..]. Shruti preaches Sanyasa, which is exposed detachment to world and exposed attachment to God. Gita preaches the hidden Sanyasa in the heart and external artificial attachment to the world for the sake of social service. Therefore, Janaka is greater than Shuka and Gita is greater than Shruti. Shruti or Veda is the preaching of knowledge by sages, who heard from God. Gita is direct explanation given by God. When somebody carries the message of some other person, clarity may be lost and hence misunderstanding is possible.

In direct preaching such error will not take place. In fact, Gita is more valid and hence should be treated as Shruti, heard from the human incarnation directly. Veda is the knowledge heard from God by sages and then revealed subsequently and therefore should be treated as Smruti in real sense, which is indirect scripture. Gita is the direct scripture recorded by Sanjaya from the mouth of the Lord. Hence, it is told that Gita is the clarified real essence of all the Upanashits, which are part of Veda.

At Thy Lotus Feet His Holiness Sri Dattaswami

Anil Antony
Universal Spirituality for World Peace

dattaswami2 | Fri, 08/13/2010 - 08:38