Right to Good fruits

You work so hard for that big presentation at work, that important test at school, or that marriage you tried to save; and then you are startled by the disappointing results. Words like “But, I worked so hard”, resound in your head! You look around to find others having it easy(Or do they? Well, that’s for another time). It hurts. It does.

Unless the LORD builds the house, 
They labor in vain who build it; 
Unless the LORD guards the city, 
The watchman keeps awake in vain. — Psalm 127:1

It is all His providence. I understand. Or may be I didn’t. Thus, started a quest to understand the concept of Karma…

A typical system expects a certain input to provide a certain output. Although in life, we mostly redefine the system by providing only a part of the whole input, and expecting a specific outcome. An outcome that we deemed worthy of our contribution in the big picture. Naively believing that the system owes it to us. Every event around us seems to be guided by this invisible law we designed and forged for ourselves.

Karmanyevadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadachana,
Ma Karmaphalaheturbhurma Te Sangostvakarmani
You have the right to work only, but never to its fruits.
Let not the fruits of action be your motive, nor let your attachment be to inaction.

…Borrowing an idea written in the Gita, and a particular interpretation given by Swami Vivekananda — “…Let us do good because it is good to do good; he who does good work even in order to get to heaven binds himself down…”. The authors of the Puranas, mostly passed under the generic name of Vyasa and Kapila seem to have taught this by precept. They wrote some of the greatest philosophies not seeking any recognition or fame. They died quietly, leaving their books to posterity, without even bothering to sign their legendary masterpieces.

Unfortunately, today there is a sense of urgency in seeking the results, for we want to reap the fruits ourselves, and we want it now! We are selfish and self-absorbed.

Alright then, we continue to work hard. But what about the part where you look around and find others having it easy? Knowingly or unknowingly we try controlling and judging the actions/re-actions and destinies of those around us — futile attempts to tame something that is not under our control.

The poor man and the oppressor meet together; the Lord gives light to the eyes of both. — Proverbs 29:13

To Him each owes life, the poor may be consoled that his miseries shall come to an end, and the deceitful may be warned that the good fortune earned through oppression shall end too. The sun shines on both the poor and the oppressor, God does good to both, and therefore they ought to be ready to do good to one another.

Despite the funny fact that no one truly knows if they are the oppressor or the oppressed; the message to both is straightforward— Do Good.

This system of Life is a complex arrangement that neither has a handbook, nor an empirical formula to define its behavior. We are simply incapable of fathoming all the possible inputs to an event, all the parameters inherited from the past or borrowed from the future that affect this system’s functioning. All that is in our control is our contribution to the system. Let’s focus on doing our bit of the script, and let’s do it well. Let’s try giving it our All, with no expectations tagged.


References —

Bhagavad Gita Interpretations | Psalm 127:1 Interpretation | Proverbs 29:13 Interpretation