In the Bhagavad-Gita, Lord Krishna gives the message of “Karma Yoga” to the entire humanity through Arjuna, his friend and devotee.
Education and religion have one great objective, how to make the mind strong and steady. Such a mind is helpful in maintaining proper interhuman relationships. A strong mind is a great asset to every human being. The Gita contains ideas to make the mind strong.
Work with freedom, not with attachment. Whatever service you do to others, do it freely, with no miserliness, then you are growing spiritually. That is human excellence. To be detached is really very difficult. But by trial and repeated effort, one reaches that stage. It is not impossible. With faith and self-confidence, we must try. Then we will achieve it, not by selfish gain.
India is a thickly populated country. Still, we have not yet given a social orientation to that manpower. The Gita ideal of “Parasparam bhavayantah” must inspire our nation, especially the educated class so that we may banish illiteracy and poverty of the millions in our country. Each one by doing service to society in these dimensions should enrich one’s personality.
Here is an interesting story in the Mahabharata. An ascetic was doing ‘tapas’ in sunlight when a crane flying over his head excreted on his body. He looked at the bird in anger. His very look burnt the bird. He was happy that he had gained spiritual powers. Later, being an ascetic, he went to the nearby village begging alms. He stood in front of a house and begged alms. There was some delay in response. The ascetic just thought that the housewife didn’t know of his yogic powers. By a mere look he can burn her. The housewife was a yogi. She could read the thoughts of the ascetic and exclaimed, ‘Did he think she was a crane?’ The ascetic was astonished. After some instruction, the yogi housewife asked the ascetic to go to a butcher yogi to learn true yoga and higher dharma. The ascetic went to the butcher. The butcher asked him if he was sent to him by the yogi wife. The ascetic was dumbfounded. The butcher was selling meat. How could he be spiritual? No karma is good or bad. Our attitude is important. The butcher was dedicated to the divine and served God through his work. He achieved yoga thereby.
Do any work in a spirit of dedication to God. We are doing work every day. What is happening to our mind? When we do work every day, does our mind become purer? Does it experience joy and fulfilment in doing work? We don’t pose this question. We just work and wait for external results. When we work, we must develop devotion to God. The aim is to get external efficiency and internal joy and fulfilment leading to spiritual progress. It is the language of the soul and it expresses itself through the work we do.
All spheres of activity in our country – education, agriculture, industry, administration, and politics must be geared to this one ideal-how to make India a heaven on earth. Our pettiness, selfishness and small-mindedness must go. We must develop a generous personality. We have innate strength and energy. Have faith and self-confidence. Be a servant of humanity with the sole aim of making humanity better and better. Swami Vivekananda declared, “Be men yourself and help others to become men”.