In the iconic verse 2.47 of the Gita, Krishna says that we have the right to do karma (action) but have no right over the karma-phal (fruits of action). He further says that karma-phal shouldn't be the motivating factor for any of our actions and also that, in consequence, we should not lean towards akarma (inaction). This is the most quoted verse from the Gita, possibly because of the various dimensions of life that it looks at.

The easiest approach to this verse is to internalise it and start implementing it without getting deeper into its logic or attempting an analysis of its various facets. We should deepen our shraddha (trust) in Krishna and start practising it. Krishna indicates ( 7.21-7.22 ) that shraddha can do miracles and bringing the literal meaning of this verse into practice can itself take us to the pinnacle of karma yoga.

The next progression will be to understand that focussing on karma-phal of our actions will make us lose sight of the karma itself and as a consequence, be denied of the karma-phal itself. A poorly executed karma (studying) by a student can never give the desired karma-phal(exam results). Krishna emphasises that we should only focus on doing our very best in any situation that we face.

Thirdly, karma happens in the present moment and karma-phal is always in the future, which is a combination of several possibilities. Krishna advises to always be in the present moment as we have a modicum of control only over the present but no control over the future or the past.

Whatever may be the approach or understanding, this verse has the potential to bring us samatva (equanimity) by helping us transcend the never ending waves of polarities.

Source - Daily World


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