*** continuation from last week ***
After the introduction to the Gita and summary of the same in the second chapter, we are taken to the chapter “Karma Yoga.” Irrespective of who the individual is and where he/she hails from, everybody on earth has to “Work.” To experience happiness we have to work and to overcome sorrow also we have to work.
“Karma Yoga” is the conduct of right actions that takes us back to experience the happiness that abides within. We are told that the happiness in not in the objects around us but our own perception of the same. The same object which is the source of pleasure for some is the source of sorrow for others.
The knife used in the kitchen to prepare the food, the knife used by a surgeon to operate on the sick, the knife used by a butcher in his profession is the source of happiness.
On the other hand the knife used to kill somebody or the knife that is taken as a tool to play can turn out to be source of sorrow. It is the bhavana / attitude towards the work and the object of work that makes all the difference.
Karma yoga is to teach the attitude to the work we undertake.
Ajnana is the lack of such knowledge in action.
Opposite to the sorrow is the state of happiness.
We will also be told in this chapter that even the happiness can turn out to be source of sorrow.
The happiness we experience from the world around us can be traced back also to ignorance. Happiness from around us has a time span fixed to it. After a while, the peak of happiness fades out and in some cases leads to sorrow also.
Longing for a child after marriage and getting a child out of wedlock brings in tremendous happiness. How long does it last? Birth of a child is not the beginning of eternal happiness but a mixture of happiness/sorrow as the child grows.
The day we change our bhavana and think in terms of duties towards the children our whole life changes.
If all our actions follow the code as given in the scriptures we find that our entire life is full of happiness without any room for sorrow to creep in. This state of happiness is “Ananda.” Karma yoga gives us an insight into our duties and warns us of the consequences of wrong actions.
** will be continued **
Copyright for the texts on Bhagavad Gita by Dr. P.V. Nath, UK.
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