Monday, May 20, 2013

what type of karma do you choose?

Verse 3.9: Work done as a sacrifice for Viṣṇu has to be performed, otherwise work causes bondage in this material world. Therefore, O son of Kuntī, perform your prescribed duties for His satisfaction, and in that way you will always remain free from bondage.

If you had a choice, what would you choose - good or bad karma?

Whether we realize it or not, that's the question we face on a daily basis. Sometimes, however, the best choice may not be the one that has been presented, which is exactly the case here. That's why the Gita is offering us the other option. The one that many of us would not have thought of.

Good karma is definitely the way to go if the options were only limited to good and bad. But even then, there's something important to realize. The thing with good and bad karma, is that they both bind one to a temporary material body. That's because we don't always receive our karma in the body we are inhabiting in presently. Simply put, if we do something good, we may not reap that benefit now.

The goal of bhakti yoga is to free ourselves from the captivity of impermanence which is what we face here in the material world. Why is that? Because we are eternal souls and therefore all the temporality we experience doesn't sit right with any of us and that's why we are always longing for ever-lasting pleasure.

So whether it be good or bad karma, it still serves to trap us in an endless cycle of impermanence. The key to escaping this prison is by performing akarmic activities, those that result in no karma. The amazing aspect of performing akarmic work is the fact that it doesn't require one to give up their occupation or their talents. All it requires is a shift in consciousness.

This topic was briefly discussed in Chapter 2 when we discussed the secret behind working without attachment to the result. Instead of acting in a consciousness of "it's all for me", instead we work in a spirit of gratitude. Now we get a better understanding of why this consciousness shift actually benefits us. As Krsna says, it's because we will always remain free from bondage by working in this way. Or in other words, it won't tie us to having to take birth in another material body.

So....the choice is yours. The next time someone asks you whether you would choose good or bad karma, go ahead and choose akarma! That's the path by which we can experience our eternally blissful true selves.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this wonderful post. I like the idea of working in a spirit of gratitude. I will try to do that in this inpermanent world.