तस्मादसक्त: सततं कार्यं कर्म समाचर ।
असक्तो ह्याचरन्कर्म परमाप्नोति पूरुष: ॥ १९॥
So, having spoken about the glory of कर्म, and that it is not a good idea to run away from कर्म, what is the relationship of the wise person to कर्म?
तस्मात् (therefore), keep on doing कर्म, but do it असक्त:, recognizing that one can only contribute to the result, one cannot control the result.
When one has this attitude after doing one’s best, there is freedom from dependence on the result. So, one stops defining oneself based on the outcome of an event, because a lot of self-judgment is based on how events turned out. Depending on whether the outcome of an event is a failure or success, judgement is placed on oneself, and one struggles with feelings of inadequacy.
Society defines what one needs to be successful, and then when one does not meet up to this, there is self judgement and a struggle with inadequacy.
So, असक्ति: is allowing the flow of कर्मफल in one’s life and not getting too caught up with any outcome. It is समत्वम् |
So, one can go on doing because one want results, but one should understand that one is only a contributor to the result, not the controller/decider of the result.
And by doing this, the पूरुष (person) gains परम् (the highest). How?
Because of doing कर्म without being attached to or obsessed with the results, one gets a contemplative/relaxed mind.
Then, when one listens to शास्त्र, the meaning is clear to one.
When listening, the mind gets distracted, and the words trigger associations with some other memory.
With discipline, the mind is quickly brought back.
This is one benefit of practicing जप, as it helps with this bringing of the mind back to the point of focus.
कर्मणैव हि संसिद्धिमास्थिता जनकादय: ।
लोकसंग्रहमेवापि सम्पश्यन्कर्तुमर्हसि ॥ २०॥
The example of Janaka is given. Janaka could refer to King Janaka, the father of Sita-Mata, or to King Janaka who had the dialogue with Sage Ashtavakra.
Both were wise people.
Here, भगवान् श्री कृष्ण: gives the example of King Janaka, saying that by कर्मणैव i.e. by कर्म alone, Janaka got सिद्धि/success.
Here success refers to परम(श्लोक १९) i.e. मोक्ष |
And what motivated King Janaka and others is लोकसंग्रह |
There is the स्वस्ति prayer, praying for the welfare of सर्वम् (all) – all beings from the creepy crawlers to Lord Brahma-ji.
Prayer is a कर्म using the कर्मेन्द्रिय of वाक्, and so it will give पुन्य |
सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः । सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः ।
सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु । मा कश्चिद् दुःखभाग् भवेत् ॥
May all be happy.
May all be free from disease.
May all experience what is auspicious.
May all be free from sorrow.
So, because of लोकसंग्रह i.e. for the well-being of everyone, one must perform कर्म, even if one gets wisdom. As one is not seeking wisdom in order to run away from कर्म |
One is seeking wisdom because one knows what the fundamental human problem is i.e. inadequacy because I have taken myself to be a limited form.
Then because of this incorrect concept of myself, one struggles, not knowing that this is a wrong conclusion about myself due to lack of thinking- अविचार सिद्ध |
Even in the light of शास्त्र, if one gets to know the Truth, not doing कर्म is not an option.
Because one has been given a slot in the cosmic wheel, one continues to do/contribute, though knowing the Truth.
E.g. King Janaka even after gaining wisdom, did not walk away to the forest, he continued with his responsibilities/duties.
यद्यदाचरति श्रेष्ठस्तत्तदेवेतरो जन: ।
स यत्प्रमाणं कुरुते लोकस्तदनुवर्तते ॥ २१॥
श्रेष्ठ: refers to the one who is a leader, the one who is respected in society.
Whatever a श्रेष्ठ: i.e. an important person does, the conduct/behavior of this person, most people will follow.
Nowadays, influencers are famous i.e. people who are famous for being famous; and whatever these people do, everyone wants to do.
Good role models are sportspeople and entrepreneurs as these people show how discipline & hard-work pay off.
And long-ago freedom fighters would be role models.
But now, anyone who is rich and famous is a role model, because this is valued.
Whatever influential people do/say, it is followed.
This is a reminder that in our respective circles, what we do is emulated.
For instance, in the leadership role as a parent, children do what they see one do, not necessarily what is told to be done.
So, all of us are leaders in some role that we play.
Once one is leading change, one is a leader, as change always begins with me.
Ironically, everyone agrees that the world should change, but no one puts their hand up to volunteer to institute change.
Leading change means that one is willing to do what is required.
So, it all starts with me and my self-mastery- how do I manage my time, effort, energy, responsibility.
Then, people will be inspired and they would want to follow what one is doing.
It is not about being a self-appointed leader looking for a title.
It is doing because no one else does, and something needs to be done/organized.
It is not about looking around to see who is going to pick up the slack, or who is going to give me responsibility.
If one is given a responsibility, one may grudge that.
Responsibility is always taken.
But if one takes responsibility, after seeing what needs to be done, one becomes better and more effective at what is taken up.
And so कर्तृत्वम् becomes कौशलम्, with the offering of कर्म to ईश्वर |
So, a person may be involved in लोकसंग्रह in order to prevent others from falling into अधर्म |
Leadership styles differ, as people try without wanting to do what needs to be done- The opportunist just wants to influence a bunch of people, and the idealist wants people to follow exactly one’s vision.
Then, there is a servant-style leader where one does what needs to be done.
So, recognizing that I am a role model for children and for others,
and recognizing the responsibility that I have,
knowing that people are watching me,
there is the understanding that I need to be accountable.
So, everything matters.
Sometimes I forget to see what I am struggling with is in fact the results of a contribution I made, with the best effort I could. I fail to realize whatever it is that hurt me were just the results and out of my control. So I try to pick apart the results and obsess over figuring out where I might have gone wrong in my contribution, etc trying to control what I really cannot control. I am thankful for this reminder that keeps coming from learning with you, Swaminiji. That I can stop defining myself by the outcome of an event .. it is so freeing to remember this. 🙂