“Srimadbhagvadgita” (As it is called in Sanskrit) literally means The song of the Bhagavan (Divine) and has had numerous interpretations, commentaries and translations in history. It has formed the basis for millions of people, on how to conduct their lives. I am just about beginning to get my feet wet. I am no scholar and neither do I purport to understand the entire text. I am just highlighting a minuscule part and that too my understanding on it. So here goes.
The portion that I am referring to is a dialogue or rather a discourse from Shri Krishna (The Divine) to Arjuna (The great warrior) on “Karma” (Act or deed). Yeah! All of us know that one and have heard it so many times “Karma”!!!. And it is also implied that we are here because of Karma – good or bad any which way we look at it. And all we are doing here is resolving the past karma or creating more with our thoughts, actions, deeds :-). The understanding that I had till now was that it is the Karma that binds you and puts in trouble :-) or makes you happy but it does not seem to be so. It is actually the “Expectations of results” from your Karma that is binding you. Since it feels to be pretty important, let me reiterate it once again “It is not the Karma that binds you but the expectations of results to that Karma, action or deed that binds you” and binding you could have many interpretations here. Like Bind you to the cycle of birth and death, bind you through your ego or mind as we call it, bind you to not do anything else or focus on anything else till you have tried and tried, again and again to achieve a certain result, bind you to the misery of thousands of thoughts that follow a particular act and so on.
In a standard scenario once the mind binds you to a certain result it creates anxieties, fears, and complexities. You try to control the whole thing and when you don’t get complete control (which probably never ever happens) it frustrates you more and more. This binding, which the expectation of the results creates, is supposedly the cause of most of miseries that we face because once we feel we are driving the results we become the doers and failure or success becomes a personal responsibility.
Let us take an example, a business scenario where you are giving a business proposal to a client. You prepare, you do your work and submit the proposal. You have a vested interest here that if you get this business, you meet the targets, you get the bonus and you will be happy. Oops!! Happy!!! Is it really so? Whichever way the result goes whether you get the business or not get the business you are suffering as long as you are bound to the results. So let us say you submitted the proposal on a specific date and the results are supposed to be out after a month. In between there is nothing you can practically do in a business sense of things, however you are doing it all the time “IN YOUR MIND”. There is a constant dialogue in the mind about losing and winning. What if I lose it “Oh God my boss will be so pissed off”, I won’t get my bonus, my vacation would go for a toss, I will not meet my targets. Or the other end of it where the mind shows a much rosy image, if I win this, I will be going on a vacation, boss will be happy, will have more money and so on. But irrespective of whatever the result is, I have lost a month living just with my mind and all the stories that it tells me. And there could be stress, anxieties and even sleepless nights involved here. Of course we can extend this example to any situation like our relationships with friends, family and expectations that go with it. The story line might change a bit but the gist and the effects remain the same.
So what is the way out? After all, we have been programmed that way i.e being driven by results, expectations? So Shri Krishna tells Arjuna the way out is to do your Karma, the action or deed surrendered to the divine, god or whatever names we might want to give to this energy. The results are then taken care of themselves. This could also be understood in a larger, more acceptable parlance of “Letting go of results” or “Thy Will be done”. Isn’t it also like saying just do what you are doing at that particular moment without thinking about anything else? Instead of letting your mind build hundreds of permutations and combinations of things that might or might not happen.
Could it be as simple as that? Doing everything that you need to do but just getting out of the way surrendering to a greater power. What would that do? It will suddenly lift the entire burden of the things that we carry on our shoulders, also letting you live in the now or respecting the current moment, which again we all keep hearing in our paths to implement. I have tried it more than once now and as soon as I say I surrender this to Isness or Divine something shifts inside and you move from a jumbled up, all confused place to a certain inner shift, peace with the understanding that I, as in this persona, is not in control here. It is surely Work in Progress at my end and you might wanna give this a shot too. I surrender this post, content and whatever has happened here to the divine. Karma is my responsibility but the results are not. Thy Will be done. :-)
Jagjeet Singh Ahluwalia