Food and mind

Ashish Chandra ramkisno at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri May 17 09:30:30 CDT 2002

On Fri, 17 May 2002 12:34:56 +0900, Somik Raha <somik at YAHOO.COM> wrote:

>This was a great mail to read. I have actually been aware of these various
>points. In fact, one should not take food which is eaten by another, but if
>the other is a great guru or deity, then his eating it, passes on the good
>things to you. The "jhootha" becomes "prasad".
>You are 100% correct- these are indisputable facts. But I am also told that
>if you take neither credit nor harm - and give it all to the Lord, then it
>is not supposed to affect you - at least thats what Krishna tells Arjuna in
>Sankhya Yoga, and later as well. How do we see these rules in the light of
>that. That is the essence of my entire argument - that if you believe in
>karma yoga philosophy and take neither credit nor sin, then should these
>fruits affect you ? It is quite another debate about the difficulty of
>achieving such a state.

Shri Krishna told Arjuna these things in the battlefield. There was a
concept of Guru-Shishya at play - Shri Krishna was the Guru and Arjuna was
his worthy disciple. It would be incorrect to read whatever is written in
the Gita and interpret it any way you like because it was said in a context
and to a certain someone capable of recieving that knowledge.

In the case of Karma Yoga, who is the doer? You are the doer, not Bhagawan.
What Bhagawan is saying is that if you leave the result to me (offer it to
me), then the karma-phala would not accrue to you. What does it mean? When
does the Karma Phala not accrue to the doer? Where is the Karma performed
i.e. at what level? Anyone can, on some reflection, answer this question.
Before we do an act, its sankalpa (desire or affirmation to do the said
act) occurs in the mind. The physical parts of the body are mere
instruments. The karma phala accrues in a visible form as well as a subtle
form. The subtle form is the vasana (impression) that it forms in the mind.
For Karma phala not to accrue, we have to give up the idea that we are the
doer. Then who is the doer? It would be absurd to say that my hands do
something and I claim I didn't do it. But what we really need to do is to
dissociate ourselves with the notion that I am this body and mind even as
they perform the actions they do. Only then does karma turn into Karma yoga
and the phala not accrue. It is not an easy thing to do and that is why
years of Vedic Karma are prescribed in the Karma Kand of the Vedas - the
idea is to attain chitta shuddhi.

This is my understanding of Karma Yoga as taught in the B.Gita and
elsewhere. As long as I claim I am the programmer, or I am the Yajaman or I
am the writer, Karma phala cannot be escaped no matter which book you refer
to. It is not an overnight process. It will take years, perhaps several
lives to attain the perfection of a karma yogi. But one can start by doing
actions that are good, even though there is a desire (conscious or
unconscious) to reap their fruits. Good actions bear good results. That is
why Vedas exhort one to act. If you have to act, do only good. Would you
not say that would be a good place to start as opposed to just mentally
imagining that I do not bear the fruits of my code even though I pocket the
paycheck? I am not making any assumptions about your Sadhana. I am only
putting forward what I know.


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