Duties without expecting fruit?


Karmanye Vadhika Raste Maa Faleshu Kadachan
Ma Karma Fal Heturbhuh, Ma Te Sangotsva Karmani


Meaning: You have a right to “Karma” (actions) but never to any Fruits thereof. You should never
be motivated by the results of your actions, nor should there be any attachment in not
doing your prescribed activities.

Many a times I heard people saying, it is for losers. Because you are not sure of the results, you are trying to escape from your failure by saying this. Some even said when you do not get motivated by the results, how will you perform your duty sincerely. I dare to interpret this as I understand this is a very powerful verse from Bhagabad Gita.

To understand this, we have to understand what is karma? Karma is not just any action. Here Karma means your duties. Duties to yourself, to your family, to your society and ultimately to this mankind. This is something that is expected from you as an entity of this humanity. Duties are not something which you can escape from. You are born as a human being to do certain duties, not just enjoy the fruits. Escaping from doing your duties is certainly a quality of an escapist.

Why do anybody try to escape from his/her duties?

1. We are uncertain about the results. As we try to motivate ourselves by the results and result is uncertain, we are to avoid doing our duties.

2. We know the results of performing the duty and we see results are not favorable to us. This is because we are just thinking ourselves. We are selfish.

If we are not selfish and we are not driven by the results or outcomes, then we can perform our duties with great easy and pride.

We have to understand that is is our right to do the duty. We should not fear confronting any force that stops us from doing the duty. Again, when we did our duty, we must move ahead to perform the next expected duty than sitting and enjoying the results of the duty that we performed. This does not mean we must not enjoy the results but this means we must not attach ourselves to the results. When we attach ourselves with the results then we find ourselves in unhappy state because, either results are no longer favorable to us after certain time or we miss doing our next duty.

Then one question arises, are we not supposed to enjoy while in this world? Yes we are. But if you think happiness comes from the results then we are looking at short-term enjoyment. Trust me, when you continue performing your duties selflessly, you enjoy more and this enjoyment nobody can take from you. It gives you ultimate happiness. If you plant a tree expecting great fruits, then you may enjoy fruit but this will be short-term but if you plant trees as your duty to this planet earth then you will get ultimate pleasure when you keep on planting trees and taking care of them.

There are several instances where people were punished or killed for doing their duties. Fear of that consequence makes us weak and diverts our attention from the duty. Fighting that fear is called as courage.

We have to be self motivated. Motivation to perform a duty. Motivation of travelling the path while doing the duty is a persistent motivation. This will not die with time. This will stay alive even after you die in others heart and minds.

I remember an incidence, Monika (my wife) was there in Goa before our marriage. She was coming to her room from work and I was expecting her to call me once she reaches so that we can talk. I did not receive any call and then I called her several times but no reply. We were not married then and the only lifeline we had been the telephone conversations. I was worried and trying to call her every other minute but without any luck. I was worried. Then finally I got her after 4/5 hours. I was worried about her as well as frustrated. Then she called me and told me what happened. She was on her way to room (Friends shared a room) and found one woman met with one accident on a deserted road. There were very few people but they were either busy or scared of getting themselves in to trouble (police etc) as that woman was almost dying. Monika although new to that place jumped into action. She got some water from nearby shops. She managed to stop one truck and pleaded to take her to nearby hospital. Luckily the truck driver agreed. She took her in her lap. That lady’s head was badly bleeding. She tried to stop bleeding by using her ‘Dupatta’. The truck driver was not familiar with that place. They some how reached to a hospital after asking many people on the way for direction. Then when she went inside the hospital, she could not find any doctor as doctor’s have left home and there was only one nurse in emergency. She called the doctor by taking the number from the nurse. Doctor was busy at his home clinic. She convinced him that the situation is not good enough. Then the hospital wanted police to come first as well as nearest relative to approve before they start any treatment. Somehow she managed to get the police and called the nearest relative by scanning all contact numbers available from that injured lady’s purse. After several complexities she manages to get the treatment start. Once the girl was somewhat out of danger and as soon as her relatives came, They were from Goa. Monika went back to her room and then she called me. That woman did not have any number to contact Monika nor Monika had taken any number of that injured lady. They still do not know each other. But this gives me and my family a great pride as well as pleasure because she did her duty. I take great pride every time I think of this act, as her husband.

There were possibilities that the woman could have died, Monika could have fallen in other troubles in an unknown city and Police problems also. But she did not care about the results and did her duty. also, she did never tries to get any credit for doing this act. That is the reason she could do her duty.

Hence staying motivated because we are going to perform a duty that we are supposed to do and not getting attached to results or fruits will make our life much easier and happier. This is my belief. I am not there yet but hope I will reach one day.

2 thoughts on “Duties without expecting fruit?

  1. Sakti, your interpretation of acting out of duty, not results was so well rendered in your story about Monika. I too would be very proud of her–for her humanity and courage.

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