Dexterity in Action

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We saw in the previous blog that efficient and diligent action in daily life bring out intelligence. Now this concept of action (Karma) is vital to our understanding of spiritual life. In one of the posts i read that Geeta is a boring crap and the author wanted to know 2 or 3 lines that bring out its greatness. While i am not going to satisfy his curiosity & he will probably have to find out for himself, i want to state that its unique contribution is that it deals in detail about the facets of action (Karma). The subtleties of renunciation of action (sanyas) and their efficient performance (yoga) has been brought out and reconciliation of seemingly opposite approaches has been made in a artful and masterly fashion. Understanding of it may require a bit of knowledge of traditional approaches and the dilemma ( predicament) of Arjun the main protagonist of Mahabharata (epic depicting battle between two armies symbolising good & evil).

In the post How to free from karma - by doing or not doing ? Nancy has given a very clear description of Karma & it can be found in

My approach has been to look at conditioning & how to reduce or eliminate it. But what i want to discuss here are the various approaches advocated by the sages for whom i have the highest regard. i am going to take only this approach to action as advocated by them, to the men who remain a part of mainstream society & not monks who are not part of this forum. i also feel that contrary to the views expressed in this forum, the enlightened sage do not loose their individuality but only the ego & ignorance. In fact they gain their unique identity. It is only at a further stage of development that even this dissolves into the great immensity. Even in this state they are seen to favour a particular approach. However, stations of these sages are too high for such a seeker as me to comment about and therefore i am going to adopt a re-conciliatory approach rather than dialectic ( Vada).

Ramakrishna Paramahansa gave the advice to keep the mind focused in God and then perform actions. He told this story of the maid servant who plays with the masters child as if the child was her own and yet knowing in her heart that the child was not hers. She even boasts to her friends with words like my Shyam ( masters child) is very cute etc. She would then be not so attached to the child and he felt that actions would then not taint her or in any case the impressions would not be as strong to produce strong results.

Geeta goes a step further and at the end of the discourse exhorts Arjuna to leave the discrimination of right & wrong and after surrendering to the Lord undertake all actions ( even battle).Krishna feels that by such an attitude he would not incur any sin.

Our reactions are based on where our heart (emotions) is, about how much we value a particular thing. Now if we give importance to our devotion to the Lord we would not give importance to our success & failure, thereby not get tainted by action.