Chapter II, Verse 47
Sri Nerode’s Translation:
Thy duty lies with action only; never with the fruits thereof, so let not the fruit of action be thine motive. Neither let thyself be a victim of inertia.
Once born each person must fulfill his purpose. Act to the best of one’s ability by following intuition (or at least one’s conscience) in the present moment without attachment to results.
Krishna makes the point that every person should take action without concern for the results, repeatedly throughout the Bhagavad Gita.
Unfortunately, most commentaries claim that Krishna instructs Arjuna to strive for “disinterested action”. This is false!
Not being focused on results is completely separate and different from performing actions without concern. Krishna instructs Arjuna not only to be intuitively and completely engulfed in his current activity but also to take action. A requirement of life is action.
Embrace the moment. Perform all actions with enthusiasm and to the best of your ability. To be concerned with the results of any activity takes you out of the moment. The past is gone and the future never truly arrives. All that consciousness can truly embrace is the present moment.
The undisciplined mind with a roving intellect and restless sensory feedback cannot grasp the meaning of “action without regard for the fruit of action.” Concentration techniques, moments of meditation and the helpful support of the various sorts of yoga are required to embrace enthusiastic living without limiting and egoistic goals.
School children ask the question, “If a tree falls in the woods when no one is present, does it still make a sound?”
Sound is the fruit of the action of the falling tree. The action is the tree falling. That a human mind and intellect can wrestle with this question illustrates the ego’s choice to focus on the least important aspect of living – the result. The experience of living is enjoyed in the moment (the tree falling) and not in the report (the sound of the fall). The ego imprisons each individual’s expanded awareness by this trick of evaluating all actions by their results.
Easter Eggs (hidden references to deeper meanings) in the original version of this this verse include:
The Sanskrit of this verse is concerned with time. When time, the consideration of either the past or the future, is involved then a “fruit” of action is to be expected either consciously or sub-consciously. When one is present in the moment completely, only then does the result of the action cease to impact one personally.
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