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Understanding Karma Yoga -Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2: 49

Skillful action requires both knowledge and practice. If you want to do something well, you need to know your subject…then you need to practice it to become skillful.  

49
Indeed, ordinary action is by far inferior to Karma Yoga, Winner of Wealth, so seek refuge in Knowledge Yoga. Those whose motives are for the fruits of action, are to be pitied.

Alternate translation:
Action-yoga (Karma Yoga) is necessary to become a ‘winner of wealth’, but first one must have knowledge of what Karma Yoga is. What it isn’t, is self-motivated action. Those whose actions are motivated by the results of actions are unhappy and unfortunate.

This verse calls our attention to two types of action: ordinary action and Karma Yoga (action-yoga), known in other texts as the Highest Action. We learned in the last verse that Karma Yoga refers to action that takes place when one is “fully occupied with union”. We are to understand that this Action Yoga is superior to the ordinary garden variety action of every-day life, and further, that, once knowing it, we would feel compassion for those who are limited to the ‘inferior’ kind.

This verse recalls earlier verses on the Yoga of Knowledge where the teachings on action began. This was where we were enlightened as to the truth about ‘action’ and our true nature as divine, non-physical individuals whose natural state is one of non-doership. It is imperative that we at least know about this in order to understand the truth about action, for it is necessary to understand the truth about action to understand Yoga. 

We are all familiar with ‘ordinary action’. We are engaged in this kind of action all the time. But the Yoga of Action, Karma Yoga, is not common but superior. So we are being advised to ‘take refuge’ in the Yoga of Knowledge from earlier verses to properly understand and practice Karma Yoga, lest we be one of . . .

Those whose motives are for the fruits of action. Such persons, which surely make up nearly all of humanity, are to be pitied.

Clearly, acting for the purpose of getting desirable results is being frowned upon. But equally clearly, there is something of much greater value being suggested here, so it is worthy of our attention. Apparently the Yoga of Action is where we’ll find the gold (after all, Krishna does call Arjuna “Winner of Wealth”).

Once we understand the truth about action and find ourselves fully occupied in union as per the last verse, we will be congratulating ourselves on our good fortune and wanting to shout it from the roof-tops. But alas, as you have surely gathered by now, such understanding does not come readily, but requires a few things most people are going to be reluctant, if not completely unwilling, to accept, and are more likely to string us up by our toes than thank us. So we remain silent. Or enigmatic.

So if you have just joined us, and are interested in sleuthing out the gold, you will want to investigate this chapter up to this point, and continue on from here. Welcome to our little band of eager seekers!

Namaste (I bow to the Real You),
Durga Ma


TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.

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Abandonment of Attachments -Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2: 48

All action occurs in nature, but you are not nature. What you really are does nothing. Trick question: If what you are does nothing, how can you achieve your aims? 

48
Having abandoned attachments, indifferent to success or failure, all your actions are performed absorbed in Yoga, Winner of Wealth. It is said that indifference is Yoga.

Yoga = Union

When through indifference to success or failure attachments are abandoned, you become absorbed in Yoga and all actions are Yoga. When absorbed in Yoga, actions that occur are not yours because you have no connection with anything but Yoga and are naturally indifferent.

Note the payoff here: Krishna (God) has called Arjuna (You) “Winner of Wealth”.

Abandonment of attachments and indifference to success or failure. Abandonment of attachments means you give up holding on to something. In this case, you are abandoning holding on to concerns about successful or failed outcomes—you give up holding on to something being the way you want it to be (success), and are not upset if it turns out the way you don’t want it to be (failure)—you are indifferent to the outcome. Attachment cannot survive in the presence of indifference.

Indifference = Yoga
Abandonment of attachments to outcomes
= surrendering yourself to God in meditation
= Yoga

By applying this principle to your everyday life, you will find that your endeavors are automatically more successful. When you truly and finally give up on something you want, it is free to come to you. When you apply it to your meditation, success is inevitable.

All your actions are performed absorbed in Yoga. ‘Absorbed in Yoga’ means ‘fully occupied with union’. This describes Surrender Meditation. Non-attachment and indifference to outcomes led us to this Yoga in the first place, and every action that occurs is now automatically performed freely and spontaneously due to being fully occupied with Yoga (union).

Indifference is Yoga.  In Surrender Meditation, you are indifferent: you are surrendered to the Divine. You are not trying to meditate a certain way, to make anything happen, to stop anything from happening, or to get any certain result, so your meditation is automatically successful whether it looks that way to you or not.

The only difficulty here is that we come into this practice with preconceived ideas. Preconceived ideas become expectations, and expectations become attachments—we want things to turn out a certain way because we think they should. But for surrender sadhana to work, we take what we get. To us, “indifference to success or failure” means that we do not have any investment in what our meditation experience will be like, whether our meditation will produce the results the we think it should, or not. We abandon ‘shoulds’.

Surrender Meditation is the excellent practice of giving up both attachments and motives, for a specific time period, in a proper and conducive setting, and the meditation is spontaneous. For those of us who practice this radical form of meditation, our meditation is our ‘lab’ where we discover for ourselves that we are not the cause of action, that this was the Truth all along, that what we really are does nothing and never did.

All action occurs in nature.
You are not nature.

Answer to the Trick Question: When you can give up attachments to outcomes, success will come. Things may not look quite how you thought they would, but they will be better than you expected. Indifference to success or failure is the key to reaching your aims and goals.

Namaste (I bow to the Divine You),
Durga Ma


TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.

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The Truth about Action, Inaction, and Yoga – Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2: 47

All action occurs in nature, but you are not nature. Trick question: If what you are is not what causes actions, how can you be responsible for your actions? 

The Yoga of Action
(Karma Yoga) 

47
Your sphere of action is action itself, not its effects. Never consider yourself to be the cause of action or its effects, or allow effects of action be your motive for action. And never allow yourself to become attached to inaction.

Based on the Sanskrit, I count seven rules, or principles, of action stated in this one verse:

  1. Action is your ‘sphere of action’ (what you are entitled to). You are ‘connected with action’ (karmani) in this way only.
  2. Yoga‘ is action. So your sphere of action is Yoga.
  3. The effects of action are not yours. (Actions are none of your business, but are the business of Yoga.)
  4. You are not the cause of action.
  5. You do not produce the effects of action (action does that).
  6. Do not allow yourself to be motivated to act based on the effects of action.
  7. Do not suppose that these rules mean that you should resist action.

Action happens. It happens, as we learned in the last two verses, because of the interactions of the modes, or qualities, of nature (the three gunas). It is therefore inconsistent with the way things really are (dharma) to consider yourself to be the cause of actions, or a creator of the effects of actions, or to act based on what you expect the outcome of an action will be. It is the nature of nature to move, so trying to stop it is foolish because it is impossible. Action happens. Period.

Your sphere of action is action itself, not its effects. Actions will therefore happen without you. You don’t do anything in the first place. If you try to make something happen and it happens, you will fool yourself into believing that this was you doing something, you making something happen, when in truth, it was just nature doing her thing.

And never allow yourself to become attached to inaction. The same is true of trying to stop something from happening. Trying to stop something from happening is doing something. Trying to not do anything is doing something. You are still attempting to make yourself the actor by trying to stop action from happening. This is the core of the ‘ego’ (ahamkara, ‘I-doer’), and a waste of time.

This verse reveals the scope of the Bhagavad Gita as
a text on Yoga, 
a manual for achieving union with God,
eternal happiness, 
and liberation from rebirth.

____________________

The Science of Action

This verse explains Surrender Meditation, how it is practiced, and how it works to free you from sorrows, karma, bondage, and deliver you into the joy of union, Yoga.

Yoga is the science of action. It has roots so old they extend beyond known history into many, many thousands of years ago. The Gita was originally very short and to the point, and later expanded upon to give us what we call the Bhagavad Gita, the Song of God, which was later included into the heart and soul of the Mahabharata, the longest and oldest epic poem ever written. While the Gita is understandable as a text for understanding the nature of life and how to live it well, at its deepest level it is a complete text on achieving Yoga. Its origins are consistent with the origins of authentic meditation, or samadhi, and is pertinent to those who practice it.

Regarding Surrender Meditation

Shakti instigates all action. When you are surrendered to Absolute God in your meditation room, you accept what God brings. You are not invested in what that is — whether actions happen or not, whether you get any certain results or not. Consequently, Shakti is free to give you exactly what you need at any given moment.

You must not try to control the meditation or Shakti cannot work for you. Trying to remain perfectly still and inactive is an attempted action that will stop Shakti in Her tracks. Let go of your preconceived ideas about meditation and surrender to Her. She is God presenting as Divine Energy for your good.

One of the names of this practice is Karma Yoga, ‘the act of uniting with Absolute God’. Trying to make something happen or stop something from happening will prevent this unification (yoga, ‘union’).

Know this, but do not worry about it. Know that you surrender yourself as best you can, and that your surrender will increase over time, that all is well, and no progress is ever lost.

Answer to the Trick Question: You are not.
What you really are does nothing. It is only the ‘you’ that you believe yourself to be that believes it acts and assumes responsibility for actions and their effects (accumulates the karma that holds you in bondage). The Real You knows better. The Real You has always been free and in joy.

Namaste (I bow to the divine one that you really are),
Durga Ma


TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.