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Gita Lesson - 0504: Karma

Bhagavad Gita
Unit - 05
Lesson - 0504: Why do people do mere Karma?
By Raja Subramaniyan

Although the superiority of Karma Yoga is revealed in the Gita, people do mere Karma because of two reasons. The majority of them are not intelligent enough to understand the message in the Gita. Those who have the required level of intelligence may not think that this message is important to them.

Mind has four modes namely Intelligence, Mind, Ego and Memory. Only for those whose intelligence is more powerful than the will be able to do Karma Yoga. Others, since their mind is more powerful, they will work for immediate material results.

Mind receives the inputs from the sense organs and it drives the action organs towards getting more pleasure from the external world. If the mind overrules the intelligence, it will direct the action organs towards what the person likes rather than what is good for the person.

Example: A diabetic eats sweets against the advice of the doctor. This means his intelligence is weaker than his mind. The Intelligence knows very clearly that eating sweets is not good for the body. However, the mind overpowers intelligence and indulges in what it likes and not what is good.

It is essential that the intelligence gains control over mind. This can happen in three ways.

One: To get more knowledge. This will strengthen the intelligence.

Two: To abstain from sense pleasures for a specific duration. This will weaken the mind and release it from the control of sense organs.

Example: Abstaining food during the month of Ramadan is an exercise to bring mind under the control of intelligence.

Three: To perform regular exercises to train the mind to obey the intelligence.

Example: We need to fix a set of daily tasks based on what is good for us (Example: Regular physical exercises) and carry out the task even if there were distractions from the mind pulling us towards sense pleasures.

If people do not practice these three steps, their mind will always keep oscillating between various goals. Such people will keep changing their goals and means continuously and as a result, will not progress. The Intelligence should strongly control the mind, towards the single goal of Joyful Living.

We need to depend on the Vedas and the Gita to know the purpose of living. Due to varied interpretations of the Holy Scriptures (in multiple religions), our intelligence does not gain the essence. As a result, the mind continues to run after sense pleasures offered by various sense objects of the world. It is like being cheated by ornamental flowers of a tree, which does not yield any fruits.

Thus, most people are carried away by the power of sense objects. The world is full of varieties of objects that feed the five senses with sense pleasures. People continue to be attracted by worldly pleasures, and as a result, they are prone to suffering as well.

Only when they see the limitation of worldly pleasures in giving lasting happiness and understand the superiority of the knowledge revealed in the Gita will they see the possibility of ending suffering totally.

The message revealed in the Gita will continue to be a secret to a majority of the people for this reason.

Teaching 17: Material pursuit should lead to spiritual pursuit

Chapter 2: Wisdom is the solution [Verses: 42 - 44]

2.42-43 Men of small knowledge are very much attached to the flowery words of the Vedas, which recommend various materialistic activities for elevation to heavenly planets, resultant good birth, power, and so forth. Being desirous of sense gratification and opulent life, they say that there is nothing more than this.

2.44 In the minds of those who are too attached to sense enjoyment and material opulence, and who are bewildered by such things, the resolute determination to be on the path of yoga does not take place.

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