(Continued from page 8)
they are put in here as the necessary associates of an ideal doer, show that a work done with healthy detachment is not a work which is indifferently done or something which is executed as an unwanted evil necessity. One enjoys doing the work. And one does it efficiently. It is the spirit with which one does the work rather than the mundane carrots that bring the joy.
Unelated by success and undepressed by failure: Here it is that the student will know what it is to dedicate his work to his mother. It is common knowledge that when a child does not perform in school it is the father, (generally), more than the mother, who will be uncompromising. The mother usually takes the stand that the child did its best and she hopes for a better performance in the future. The dedication to the mother by the teen-age student of all his work, both its success and its failure, achieves two things. First, it takes off the sting of the performance (positive or negative) from the student . Secondly the mother is prepared to take the disappointment of the failure better. In the general case of the man in the world, the success and failure would not be taken personally as to cause excitement either way, because one knows by his dedication to the Cause or the God, that one has done the best under the circumstances.
The alchemy of the yajna attitude of even ordinary acts to a larger cause, be it as concrete as one's mother at home, or as unsubstantial as God in heaven, or as abstract as any impersonal noble cause, has to be experienced to be believed. It confirms the recurring emphasis in the scriptures on the importance of correct attitudes. Therefore it is the attitude with which you approach your karma that is important, rather than the karma itself. It is precisely this train of argument that Lord Krishna uses in urging Arjuna to fight and not to retreat. Arjuna is immersed in the disease of false identification with the eternal world of 'his' kith and kin, says Krishna. Neither they nor he are permanent everlasting entities and so there is no sense in crying over the possible death of what is destined to die. If he identified himself with his Self, which is what he ought to do, then neither the heat and cold of the external world nor the alternatives of pleasure and pain of the mental world would affect him. His right is only to the action and not to the results thereof. Equanimity concerning success or failure is the yoga for him. Not to retreat from a war already declared is the svadharma of the Kshatriya that he is. If he thinks that retreating to solitude, renouncing the world, would give him peace, he is mistaken -- for, the attitude with which he renounces is the deciding factor. If the attitude is not that of a jnAni who has attained enlightenment, but is that of an emotionally charged
Aug.2, '99 ©Copyright V. Krishnamurthy Home Contents Next