Performing one’s duty without attachment

10 Free Action The second part of karma-yoga is ‘performing one’s duty without attachment to the fruits of the actions’. The word which is translated ‘fruit’ can be rendered ‘result’, but the first is better because it implies a distance from the action, and this is the sense of the Sanskrit. If a fruit-tree is planted, the result of the action is that the tree stands there in the ground; the fruit comes much later. To perform an action without attachment to the fruit does not mean without caring whether it is done well or badly. When cleaning a brass pot, or making a speech, a yogiis not to do it carelessly; with the brass he must rub evenly and vigorously, and with the speech he must prepare it with a definite structure, and speak firmly. He must not do these things badly and then say, ‘I did not care …

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Face to Face Bhagavad Gita Chapter 11

Chapter XI Face to Face The chapter begins with Arjuna’s confident belief that his delusion has been dispelled. He has by now heard the supreme mystery of adhyātma, in the Lord’s declarations of his own glories. Arjuna has forgotten that in Chapter VIII the adhāyatma was explained as the self-nature (sva-bhâva) in every man, not only the Lord outside. Again, he has heard the Lord say (X.20) ‘I am the Self in the heart of all beings, ‘but he could not incorporate that into his experience. There was an unspoken reservation: ‘but not in me.’ He could not apply the divine adhyātma glory to his own inner self. Similarly in II.17 it is said that the Self is everywhere: but in nearly all hearers there is an inner whisper: ‘Yes, but not exactly here.’ Arjuna asks to see the universal form of the Lord directly. He assumes that what he will see …

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