Thursday, October 30, 2008

LORD KRISHNA, GITA - KARMA AND RESULTS

I have always been attracted to Lord Krishna. I do not know the reason why. Maybe because He is one who can be imagined in any role of life - as a son, as a friend, as a lover, as a husband - one has the choice to take a pick based on one's personal inclination. There does not seem to be any rigidity in how you want to relate to Him. I can visualise Him in many different forms and stages of human life depending on my mood. I love to chant His many names and just enjoy listening to His bhajans, specially the ones sung by Pandit Bhimsen Joshi; His many exploits as a child (mythology). I am not the temple going kind but always have Him close to my heart.

I always had the desire to read the Gita but could not do so until I was hit by a life changing event. I was in Ambala at that time. I remember picking up my 'Hamara Bajaj' scooter and driving straight to Haridwar/ Rishikesh. On that day in Rishikesh, I bought a pocket edition of the Gita, Sanskrit Shlokas with literal English translation. I remember sitting down under a mango tree on a concrete bench in the backyard of Gita bhawan, i believe. I finished that pocket edition in one sitting - a very major feat for me - without even being of aware of what was happening around me. When I looked at my watch, i realised that i had been there for a just over 3 hours. This reading relieved me of all that i was going through and I was ready to take on the world once again. I have never been able to read the Gita after that event in 1992, although i am convinced that the wisdom in that little book is way beyond words. Why? I don't know - His wish, maybe.

Gita says 'Do your karma, do not worry about the result, leave the result on God. I have always understood this intellectually but have not been able to implement it in my life. This morning I saw an article in the Times of India credited to Swami Tejomayananda. The article brought a new meaning to my understanding of the above philosophy. I am going to reproduce Swamiji's words below, as I may not be able to do justice to the interpretation given by Swamiji if i try to put it in my own words.

"People must understand that joy lies in inspired action and not in material gain. When happiness depends on the result, we postpone our experience of happiness to the future. There is contradiction here. We want happiness in the present but have, by depending on the result, delayed the experience of enjoyment to the future."

"The secret of enjoying life is to understand that joy lies in the very performance of the action. Action is always in the present and so too is happiness." Unquote.

Karma is always in the present, and happiness can also be only in the present. We perform karma in the present, and start thinking about the results which will come sometime in the future. We always hope for the results to be in our favour, which will give us happiness - if the results do not turn out to be to our liking, which it may, then we are saddened. So, if we can just enjoy the perfect execution of our karma, which is in our control, then we can be happy always. Wow...this makes sense but will i be able to implement this in my life? Will you be able to??

Let me try. At least the thought and words have come......action will follow if we are earnest in our desire.

6 comments:

Goofy Mumma said...

You inspire me too!

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi JMJ :)

Very interestinting and informative posst.

Many thanks for sharing.

Have a nice day :)

Reflections said...

"I have always been attracted to Lord Krishna."
So are my kids....they love that serial on Cartoon network(I thk:-P) and are always walking around calling"Kaanha, kaaanhaa":-D

But jokes apart, "if we can just enjoy the perfect execution of our karma, which is in our control, then we can be happy always."
Yes, easier said than done. It requires patience, an awareness of our actions & goodness in our hearts. I do believe we can, maybe not 100%...we will make mistakes but we can definitely improve on it.
What do U think sir????

J P Joshi said...

goofy mumma: I found the words of Swami Tejomayananda very positive and inspiring, and that was the reason for this post. Good that you found it inspiring.

JP: Thank you for your comment.

reflections: You are right...'easier said than done'. Gita philosophy makes a lot of sense, but is challenging to implement in modern living, but not impossible for the truely determined. Practice makes perfect, I believe.

Balvinder Singh said...

Yes Joshi, our epics and holy books not only give us the strength and inspiration but also contain lots of knowledge which fits into any contemprary period. Today's management lessons can be found in Gita, Ramayana, Mahabharat etc.

J P Joshi said...

Balvinder: The wisdom contained in our epics is in a language that is not understandable by most people today and it is also very abstract, by design - it was meant for the truly determined, and was meant to be delivered to you through a Guru.

However, i find a lot of this wisdom, like yoga, is coming back to us from the west in easily understandable language. I read this book 'the secret' recently - it is full of the same wisdom.