Maa karma phala hey tur bhoohoo maate sangostwa karmaNi
You have the right to work, but do not crave for the fruits of actions or works.
Let not be the fruits of action, your motive. At the same time the Lord warns us
that on account of this do not give up action and become chronically inactive.
KarmaNyevaadhikaaraste Slokas – Explanation
=KarmaNi+ Yeva +Adhikaaraha + Te
Maa phaleShu kadaachana
= PhaleShu + Maa kadaachana
At some time
Not(Maa is a prohibitive particle meaning No, Not, Lest)
Fruit of work
Maate sangostva karmaNI
= Maa astu + Te + Sangaha + AkarmaNI
Let not be
KarmaNyevaadhikaaraste Slokas – Further Reading
You have the right to work. Do not crave for the fruits of work. Let not the fruits of action be thy motive. At the same time, the Lord wants us not to give up action and become inactive, on account of this doctrine.
We should not work with the desire for results since such actions produce bondage.
Freedom of will is given only to man. If he performs his duty, carries out Lord’s injunctions, renounces all attachment to his actions and their fruits thereof and utilizes them as a means to realize God, he can easily succeed. Man has only the right to action, but not to renounce action. Obligatory action should not be neglected. Non-performance of duty is Taamasic. Avoiding one’s duty out of discomfort is Raajasic.
King Janaka is the best example of a Karmayogi. He was a king doing his duties, but always thinking that he was only an instrument in the Divine hands. As he was doing all his actions without attachment, he was enjoying peace throughout his life and after death he attained liberation.
In this verse, we have the philosophy of Karmayoga. Krishna teaches that in order to bring about inner purification, we should work with dedication, but without desire for the rewards of the work.
Often we see in the worldly life that many of us are afraid to take noble task or some social improvement schemes because we are afraid that the results may not be as good as we expect them to be. But, if some work falls to our lot, we must work to the very best of our ability, put all that in us and plunge in to the work. Once we have given off our best to the job, we need not worry about the results. They will surely be good, but if God wishes otherwise, as He is Karmaphaladaata, we must accept and surrender. Thus we have right to work with all our energy, try our best and leave the rest in His hands. Constant craving and hankering for the fruits of our actions dissipates our energy. Desire and craving brings about lack of concentration for the work at hand.
Secondly, we must not think that any of us has a right to give up work or action and sit idle. Since he has no hope to get the fruits of certain actions, or the fruits may take their own time to mature, he should not give up effort and action.
The future is being made by the present. If a farmer wastes his present chances to plough and sow because he fears dangers to his crops, it is certain he will have no crops to reap. Thus the present has to be utilized well to reap a good future.
But good dedicated work requires that one should not worry unduly about what happens later. If we give our whole mind and body to some unselfish work instead of half-hearted work with fear and anxiety, it means we are living initially in the present. Then the future fulfills itself.
Arjuna was inspired by Lord Krishna to take on the noble cause of a war for the sake of Dharma. He was advised to bring forward his best strength even if it meant killing his kith and kin as the cause was the noble one and sure to bear success.
Thus we know that Karma in itself is no evil, but when mixed up with desires it gets us bound to the wheel of cause and effect and rebirth.
We have four injunctions helping us to be a good workers. Karmayogi is the one who,
Has to work hard
Should have no desire for the fruits of his work.
Should not feel any despair or anger or unhappiness, if he does not get the fruits of certain actions.
Should not be idle and sit back without doing his work.
Our Swami says that intense hard work which is inspiring brings joy and ecstasy of self-forgetfulness. The work itself is a kind of reward to the good worker. He also says that any Sadhana done for reaching the Divine is its own reward.
The greatest Karmayogi of the world is the Lord Sun. he shines for all – for the poor and rich, good and bad alike. He performs Nishkaama Karma. We must practice detachment towards the results of Karma by treating all actions as ‘ Yajna’ performed for the glory of God. Effort and endeavour are the duty of a man. Success and failure depends on the God’s grace. – BABA
FROM GEETA DISCOURSES – BABA
Every action has a consequence or a result. There is a fruit for every action. Subsequently, the fruit gives rise to another action. The ongoing cycle of action and fruit, fruit and action goes on like a seed and a tree. These are natural cycles in the world. When this is so, why to take special interest in the fruit?
Since we have engaged in wrong actions in the past, we have grief and sorrow now. But we should never refrain from action. Recognize the importance of action and perform it well. Whether the fruit brings you joy or sorrow depends on the seed that was sown. How to get rid of the sorrow that is the result of your past bad action? It is only by engaging in good actions in present, that one remove the sorrow.
Swami says, “ If you perform 60 good actions one good feeling will emerge. The body can be compared to a clock. Actions are seconds hand of the clock. Feelings are minutes hand of the clock and your joy is compared to hours hand. If we perform 60 good actions the minute hand gives one good feeling and if we have 60 good feelings, the hours moves one place to give us joy.”
The Bhagavad Gita does not ask one to renounce activities and take Sannyaasa. It teaches us to practice Anaashakti which means developing detachment to the fruits of actions.
Swami often says that we are responsible for our destiny. He also says,
“Sow an action and reap a tendency
Sow a tendency and reap a habit
Sow a habit and reap a character
Sow character and reap a destiny”
Therefore, if our actions are right, our destiny is good.