Choice in action

कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन |  (भगवद गीता: २: ४७)

karmanyevaadhikaraste ma phaleshu kadachana| (Bhagavad Gita: 2: 46)

The word ‘adhikara’ here means our choice, our free will, our right, something we have power over. This choice Krishna says is only with reference to the actions (karma) we perform. There is never a choice with reference to the results of actions (karma-phala) at any point of time. Thus at any given time we can choose to act, not act or act otherwise and that makes us a karma-adhikari. But the result for every action maybe entirely different from what we want.

Since we perform a particular action to accomplish a specific purpose, it seems as though we have figured out that action which will get us our goal. But often when we analyse the goal, we find that it falls under one of the four categories: more than what we want, less than what we want, the opposite of what we want or exactly what we want. What is up the sleeve of the future we simply do not know and it is always a wonder.

When Krishna told Arjuna this, he was not giving him advice but was simply stating a matter of fact. And a statement of fact is not advice; it is a teaching. That water is made up of two parts of hydrogen and one part of oxygen is a statement of fact. “Your choice is only in action, never in the results thereof” is a statement of fact.

Having known this fact we can focus fully on the task at hand, here and now. When the mind is totally available in the moment, not wandering into the dream world of the future or in the by lanes of the past, it is said to be in yoga (union). Such a state of mind creates, constructs, excels.

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