Question: Sir, it is written in Bhagwad Gita and is often quoted by wise “Karam kro, fal ki chinta mat karo” (Act and don’t think about the result.), so my question is that in this contemporary world, is it really possible for any one of us to do our jobs without expecting any result?
Acharya Prashant: So, first of all what you have quoted is not at all correct. Anyone who says that Krishna, what’s your name?
AP: Mayank, sit. Anyone who says that Krishna has said that, act and don’t think of the results, don’t worry about the results, does not understand Krishna. Krishna is not saying Karm karo (Do the action). He is not at all saying, ‘act’. He is saying, “let action happen”. He is saying, “Let action happen, Karm hone do tum karta mat bano. Let action happen you don’t become the doer, let the doing take place.”
The central message of chapter 3, 4 and 5 is against doer-ship, letting things happen. Not pushing things, not blocking things. Letting existence flow. Neither am I trying to make things happen, nor am I trying to stop things from happening. There is a particular symphony, a particular arrangement, a universal order, it will take its own course.
Gita is talking of effortless action. Action is happening, there is no one who is making a mental effort. That’s the message of Krishna. And when you are saying that in this time and age, is this message applicable? Mayank, times change, Truth does not change. Truth is truth, precisely because it has the timelessness to it. It does not change, this age, that age, 10000 years hence, infinite number of years hence, Truth will remain Truth. There is no way it is going to mutate or adapt. Yes its representation will change according to the demands of time, no doubt. Language changes, words change, contexts change, Truth doesn’t change.
When he is saying that, let action happen and don’t be affixed with the result, what he is saying is, “As long as there is an actor, as long as there is a doer, a Karta, he would always worry about the results. It is not possible to act and yet be free of the results.”
That is why I said that those who are saying that, The Gita says, “Karm karo fal Ki Chinta mat karo”, they do not understand Gita. They have no connection to Krishna, because
If you are the one who is doing the Karma, you would always be the one who would worry about the results of Karma. Freedom from the results of Karma is possible only when you do not become the Karta(doer), only when you know that this is happening through me, not by me.
I am, what Krishna himself is, just the Nimittakarak, I’m not the one through whose desire is bringing about this action, not that it is happening through me, I don’t need to take it too seriously, I do not need to become infatuated, obsessed with it. Let the action happen and the action knows how to happen.
You see, usually we play the game, the game of Living.
Krishna is saying, “Let the game play you, you don’t play the game, let the game play you. The game very well knows how to play you.” There is a universal order, the game knows how to play you. If the game could give birth to you, if the game could give sunlight and fresh air to you, if the game could make you breathe and digest and grow, then the game surely knows how to play you, you don’t need to worry and be tensed, you don’t need to think about the future.
Be absorbed within, stay centered and let the happening happen.
Remember, when we are saying, “Let the happening happen”, that does not mean that I will stop it from happening. If the happening says that right now I must study or I must run then allow yourself to run, when it is the moment to weep and cry then allow yourself to cry, don’t hold back your tears, let it happen. The simpler word is let it. Let it, don’t block it, don’t push it, you get out of your way, that’s how Zen puts it. Get out of your own way, you will flow, life will flow, you are the one who is blocking the flow. Get out of your own way and that is what Krishna is also saying the same thing that Zen says. Difficult to handle, right?
-Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Let action happen, you don’t become the actor
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