[Advaita-l] A Perspective - 21-1

Kuntimaddi Sadananda ksadananda108 at gmail.com
Mon Mar 1 02:17:35 CST 2010

Sarva karma sanyaasa:

We are addressing some of the questions raised in the course of these
presentations. One is by Shree Bhaskar in terms of sanyaasa.


*And finally, what your good self explained in the mail pertains to 'karma
phala tyAga' with ahaMkAra & mamakAra tyAga...But story does not end there,
shankara at various places without any ambiguity insists on 'sarva karma
saNyAsa' too i.e. nivrutti mArga.  If time permits kindly share your
thoughts on these two points.  *


Here is my perspective on the topic addressed:

Karma phala tyaaga is what it says – I am renouncing the results of an
action – What does that mean or what does that really involve. Let us take
an example. I worked very hard for a month and as a result I got paid, the
salary that is due to me. Now scripture says I have to practice karma phala
thyaaga for my chitta suddhi or for purification of my mind.  Does that
involve renouncing my salary? If so, pretty soon I will be on the streets
begging for food. In addition, I will be dragging all others who depend on
that salary. Obviously that is not what karma phala tyaaga implies. When it
says that I have to renounce the results of my action, I can do so only if
there is feeling that the results are mine that is there is a mamakaara
associated with the results. I cannot definitely renounce that which does
not belong to me. There is a famous saying in Telugu – attagari sommu alluDu
daanamu cesinaTTu – that is it is like mother-in-laws wealth the son-in-law
is readily and freely donating to others. Hence, I have to own it for me to
renounce. The salary belongs to me since I worked hard and earned out my
sweat; we say. That is our attitude when we perform an action and gets the
results of the action.  We think we deserve. By the by, there is a booklet
with the title - Serve & Deserve - by Swami Tejomayanandaji glorifying
Hanuman who serves without any expectations and returns; hence deserves to
be revered as God himself.  The essence of the book is -  I have to serve in
order for me to deserve.

The renunciation of fruits of the action, therefore, involves a change in
the attitude with which I receive the fruits of my actions. In addition, it
involves an attitude with which I expend or dispose off the fruits of
action. First, the purpose of karma yoga is to prepare my mind for jnana
yoga, the very karma has to be done with Iswara arpita buddhi or an action
performed with an attitude of offering to the Lord. Lord will accept only if
it is offered with devotion – yat karoshi yadaShNaati .. tat kuruShva
madarpanam – whatever you do, eat etc offer it to Me – says Krishna. Before
that He says,- I will accept whatever you offer – patram, pushpam, phalam,
toyam, yo me bhktyaa prayacchasi– who ever offers me a leaf, a flower, a
fruit or even little water, I will accept it if it is offered with devotion.
Therefore it is not what I offer but with what attitude I offer counts.

Since the Lord is everywhere, including in the field of action that I am
involved, in order for me to offer the action to the Lord, the action should
be offer-worthy. That means first it should be 1) dhaarmic action, and 2)
complete action, well executed to the best of my ability, taking into
consideration all the factors that go into the action. Dhaarmic actions
could be those that are obligatory; that is obligatory because of my status
in the family, in the society, in the organization that I am involved or
actions that are done for the benefit of society at large. We say Lord is
omnipresent, that is present everywhere or there is no place where He is
not.  However, when I recognize this fact and recognize His presence in
every field of action or set-up that I am involved, I cannot but be a
devotee all the time. Hence I am not a devotee only in the temple; I have to
be a full-time devotee, if and when I recognize the truth of the statement
that He is omnipresent. That is jnaana part of the karma yoga, that is, the
recognition of His presence everywhere, in every field of action.

Hence karma yoga involves performing all obligatory actions while remaining
as a full time devotee of the Lord. Hence as a father I am a devotee + a
father thus becoming a devoted father, as a husband I become devoted
husband, similarly devoted wife, devoted son/daughter, devoted
student/teacher, devoted employee/employer, devoted citizen; thus the seal
of devotion goes with every action, since in every action He is there.  Hence
Krishna says yogaH karmasu koushalam – the dexterity in action becomes a
norm for a karma yogi. This is what is involved in offering action as a
prayer to the Lord, as a devotee. All the obligatory actions become the best
that I can perform with as much of perfection as possible. In that
perfection, the Lord Himself manifests in the action or the action itself
becomes an inspired action. The second aspect is to recognize that Lord is
karma phala daata – the one who gives the results for the action taking into
consideration innumerable factors that are involved in framing the results.
Let us take a simple action of throwing a stone. Once I throw a stone or
once throwing action is completed, the trajectory of the stone does not
depend any more on me but on the gravitational laws, frictional laws etc
which are authored by Him. In addition, other factors can come in, such as
someone or something coming in between the stone and the target thereby
undermining the result of the intended action, for which I have no control.
 Hence all those factors that I have no control in formulating the results
of the action are together called daivam, discussed in 18th Ch. of Gita. In
essence, the results for my action come from Him and I have no control on
the result. Another way of looking at this is, I can only perform an action
in the present and the result is always is future to the action and I have
no control on the future. Hence Krishna’s statement – karmani eva
adhikaaraste; maaphaleshu kadaachana – to be translated as, one has only
choice in action but not in the results of the action. I cannot will the
result of an action. Thus I have recognized His presence in the set up and
perform the action as best as I can and offer the action with devotion as a
prayer to the Lord. Since the result of action comes from Him, I accept the
result as prasaadam (I do not know an equivalent word in English) that is
with reverential attitude, since it comes from Him. This means there is no
mamakaara in the result when I accept the result as His prasadam. I have no
attachment to the result. Next when someone offers as Lord’s prasaadam my
attitude in receiving it is an attitude of reverence, since it comes from
Him. Irrespective of whether it is a sweet, hot or bitter; food, flower, or
water, I accept it without questioning why or why not –thus only with a
reverential attitude without any likes and dislikes superimposed on it. Thus
the result is accepted without a reaction. If the result is not what I
wanted, then I learn from the result and formulate or refine the next course
of action and perform with greater skill which again is offered to the Lord
as kaikaryam or as a prayer. Krishna says when everyone performs their
allotted action cooperatively for the benefit of the totality, it forms a
yagna and the gods which are deities of the phenomenal forces have to shower
the results when they are pleased by the action (that is when the action is
perfect). Thus we please the gods in performing our action in unison
cooperatively, and gods have to please us by giving proper results; and we
perform again thus setting the eternal wheel of action and results. In the
cooperative action, I have to share the results with those who participated
in the yago of action, in proportion to the input. That is the wheel of
dharma set into eternal motion- says Krishna. In essence the karma phala
tyaaga involves 1. performace of action as a duty (which is called service)
and accepting the result as prasaadam – without reaction other than a
reverential attitude. In the process mamakaara or notion that this is mine
goes away – What I have is His gift and what I do with what I have is my
gift to Him- says Gurudev Swami Chinmayanandaji – this continuous exchange
of gifts forms dhaarmic wheel of action set forth by the creator himself in
the beginning of creation, says Krishna. This is the essence of karma phala
tyaagam. In the process, from the result, I utilize part of it for my and
for my family needs, and the rest I put back into the field of action for
the benefit of the totality. Thus whatever I have is His gift and that has
to be properly utilized giving back to the totality or to the Lord Himself
as my gift, after taking care of my needs as well as those who depend on me.
Living within that frame of mind will purify the mind and prepare it for the
jnaana yoga.
{Due to length we will continue in the next post}

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