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The inner meaning of the word 'Karma'


dattaswami
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The inner meaning of the word 'Karma'

The Gita says that the meaning of the word Karma has very deep sense (Gahanaa Karmano Gatih). This world is called as creation. Creation means work like explanation etc. Karma means work. Therefore this world is a form of work only. Work is a form of energy. Energy is dynamism or action or work. Matter is energy. Heat, sound etc. are forms of energy. Therefore the world which consists of space, matter, light, heat, awareness etc. is essentially energy or work only. Space is a form of energy. Awareness is also a form of energy. Therefore all this creation is work only. Work needs the worker. The worker is God. God is the creator and creation is His work. This entire world is said to be the dance (work) of Shiva. This entire world is just a game (work) of God.

Therefore you should realize that any part of this creation is work or dance or game of God. The working material (matter) is also a form of His work only. The forces in this creation are again His works only. Thus you should realize that every part of His creation as the work of God and thus we should constantly remember God. When you see an object, the object is His work. The process of seeing is His work. The subject (yourself), who is also an object for others, is also work of God. If you analyse yourself, you can realize that you are entirely His work only. The matter of your body, working forces like heat, circulation force of blood etc. are also His works. Awareness is His work. The basic form of your awareness which is energy is also His work only. Knowledge is the work of intelligence. Devotion is the work of mind. Service is the work of your body. Sacrifice which is a process of leaving something is also a work.

Therefore whatever you understand is work and understanding itself is work. The word Karma is frequently repeated in the Gita. There is nothing like static condition. Even in a static stone, the molecules, atoms and subatomic particles are rotating, vibrating and spinning indicating essentially the work only. The Gita says that work should be found in static state (Akarmanichayah). The Gita also says that you should find no work in the work (karmanya karma yah pasyet). What does this mean? This means, you should not think that the work is the work of itself. You should find the worker who is doing the work. You should not think that the work is going on by itself. The work is done by somebody.

[We must know clearly the word i) karma meaning necessary work in general and sub-divided as worldly work needed for maintaining the body etc., and work related to God, ii) karmayoga meaning work needed in the service of God only and iii) vikarma meaning doing sins, which include doing unnecessary works of world without relating to God or basic needs of world - as said in the Gita. The word samnyasa also means surrendering work to God (karmanah samyak nyaaso Bhagavati) apart from the meaning of leaving unnecessary worldly work (vyartha laukya karmanah nyaasah tyaagah). The context decides the meaning to be taken.

Worldly work needed for maintenance is essential and such work is included in the work related to God (karmayoga) since maintenance of body is essential in the service of God. Hence, all the necessary worldly works should not be left and doing the necessary worldly works is always better than leaving all worldly works totally to become finally inactive and leaving the worldly work for basic needs is also impossible. When all the works are left, work of God is also left and this is not the desired aim.

Hence, the conclusion is that one can leave all the unnecessary worldly works and concentrate on the necessary worldly works as well as the work related to God. This is the essence of nishkaama karma yoga propagated by the Gita (karmanohyapi.., tayostu.., naishkarmya siddhim.., shareera yatraa…, kaamyaanaam karmanaam… etc.).]

 

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