Lord Krishna You Should Only Focus On Karma, Not On The Fruit Of Labor. But How?
Lord Krishna said you should not think about fruit and focus on your karma but how can a person work without any goal?
Lord Krishna has said, “Do what you have to do, but without any expectations of any reward.”
In this busy life, we make infinite goals in our life. For example: I want to become a Mechanical Engineer; I want to work for a multi-national company; I want to buy organic vegetables so that I can maintain good health; I want to marry a rich girl without siblings; I need to have so much savings for my daughter’s marriage; I want to retire with a boat house;…..!!
We make multiple goals. But when we are unable to procure a result conforming to our goal or receive a reward that we had expected on completion of work, we become nervous, anxious or angry and consequently cause pain and hurt to ourselves as well as others. This hurt and pain is due to our attachment towards the fruit we expected and abhorrence towards the scenario wherein our expectation didn’t get fulfilled. This is why, Lord Krishna has said, just do your work and accept the result, be it positive or negative the way they are, with composure and equanimity.
By focusing on our work, we are actually working towards our goal.
And we must put in our best efforts too to achieve the goal.
But when we succeed in attaining the goal, we must understand that it is because ‘currently my good karma that I’ve done in past has manifested’.
And similarly if, for some reason, we happen to fail in achieving our goal, we must know that it’s actually due to my karma and not because of the reason we can see outside that we failed. What we see outside is only a nimit (a visible cause) but the result is because of our own past karma, good or bad, which is the actual cause.
This understanding will help us accept whatever fruit we receive, with composure and equanimity.
Lord Krishna has never said, work without a goal.
In fact, he always had goals. Let me explain this with his own life experience. I am sure you know the story of Mahabharata wherein there was a struggle to achieve succession of the land between the two groups of cousins, named Pandavas and Kauravas. Pandavas and Kauravas had made an agreement that Pandavas would get five villages after 13 years of exile. After 13 years, when the Pandavas came back home, the Kauravas declined this agreement. Consequently, the Mahabharata war happened between Pandavas and Kauravas. With this background, I will continue with the example.
What was Lord Krishna’s goal?
Based on the principle of virtue and righteousness, the Pandavas must get their land according to the terms decided between Pandavas and Kauravas (Duryodhan and Dhitrashtra et al).
What was the effort to achieve the goal?
Lord Krishna made all his attempts to convince Duryodhan and Dhitrashtra, that Pandavas must get their land (5 villages) according to the terms decided earlier.
What was the result of his effort to achieve the goal?
Duryodhan and Dhitrashtra were not convinced. They did not want to give even an inch of their land to the Pandavas.
What were the effects of the result?
Mahabharata war happened between Pandavas and Kauravas. Pandavas won the battle.
Learnings from Lord Krishna
Lord Krishna focused on the goal and worked out his best efforts to prevent the war.
But, both before and during the war, he had zero attachment or abhorrence towards the fruit of his efforts. He considered “War” as the fruit of karma, which could not be evaded! However, he faced the war, with complete knowledge that there is God, a Pure Soul, within every soldier’s heart and that God is immortal.
He imparted this knowledge to Arjun (a Pandava) as well, that ‘you must view everyone as a Pure Soul. Pure Soul is the ultimate God that we all have in our body. Therefore, in every person, see the God within him. If you see it that way, you will not bind any karma even if you kill the person.” This was the reason why Arjun got Moksha/Liberation in that same birth. If he had not seen the God within every person, he would have bound very bad karmas for killing so many people and would have gone to hell after death. However, that did not happen, because he saw God (Pure Soul) within every soldier in the war.
Summary of Lord Krishna’s impactful message
Make plans/goals in life. And try your best to work towards the goal. Focus on your karma, but without thinking about the fruit or the result that you would get on completion of your work.
And when the result is out, try and not be attached or have any abhorrence towards any kind of result that follows your efforts. If the result (fruit) is negative, if required, make alternate plans, but do not lament or fight or develop dislikes, rather accept the result and stay in equanimity. After all, it’s the result of our own past karma. If the results come positive, again we’ll just understand that it is due to some good karma done by us in past. If you look at it that way, you will be able to focus on your work properly and at the same time not bind many new karma.
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