Karma Yog

2:45- The VEDAS deal with the three attributes; be you above these three attributes (GUNAS), O Arjuna, free yourself from the pairs-of-opposites, and ever remain in the SATTWA (goodness), freed from all thoughts of acquisition and preservation, and be established in the Self.

2:46- To the BRAHMANA who has known the Self, all the VEDAS are of so much use, as is a reservoir of water in a place where there is flood everywhere.

2:47- Thy right is to work only, never to its fruits; let not the fruit-of-action be thy motive, nor let thy attachment be to inaction.

A real Karma Yogin is one who understands: (a) that his concern is with action alone; (b) that he has no concern with results; (c) that he should not entertain the motive of gaining a fixed fruit for a given action; and (d) that these ideas do not mean that he should sit back courting inaction.

– Swami Chinmayananda in his commentary on The Gita

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Bhagavad Gita 2:45-47

Writing a few shlokas everyday is a good exercise in bringing my mind to focus. These lines were today’s exercise and I stopped mid-way as the commentary was a clarion call. These three shlokas insist, illuminate and inspire. As I read the explanation for the first of the three, I felt there was an important message to listen to. The subsequent verses reinforced the intuition and I stopped for the day. There is more than enough to ruminate for ever.

Since the last couple of weeks, I have been living two lives. By day I work very hard to get things in order at the place I am working so that I can work fewer hours from June. By night and early morning, I am a hermit, reading, writing, contemplating, practising. My daughter is on a holiday and I have company only on the weekends when my husband visits. It is almost like being on a retreat. I sit for japa and it feels like I am in a forest with just birdsong. I will have a few more weeks of this life and it feels like a blessing to be relieved of my regular household duties for a while.
The shlokas I read today, especially the last one connected very strongly to my japa sadhana. There is change in the practice. For one, I do 24 repetitions now and the more notable one is an ability to stay with the words/meaning as I chant. Reading the commentary before beginning japa has helped to create a mental environment to bring a focus, an attention to the present. Somewhere I suppose I have stopped expecting anything to be visible and am settled into just seeing, observing, witnessing. Everyday there is a reinforcement of the literal meaning and a tentative exploration into the superimposed ideas.
The other day, I was chatting with a fellow practitioner and he mentioned that he wanted to first study the Sutras, then the Gita and so on. My study has been multiple texts, a little at a time and very often I find parallels in them. This helps in understanding some of the thoughts although I still feel it is very much on an intellectual level. But as the book says, my right is only to labour. If I stop to think about it, just the study itself provides immense satisfaction in the heart.

Hari Om

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