Art of Working Skillfully

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, say science and the Srimad Bhagavad Gita. However, it is also a well-known fact that refraining from work is not possible.

What, then, is the way? 

The answer is performing work in a responsible manner with zero attachments to the result of the work. Your attachment to the result can give rise to various emotions such as greed, disappointment, lack of self-confidence, anger, jealousy, or even extreme euphoria in the case of success, all of which can lead you to make wrong choices.

A well-disciplined and responsible person always does work to the best of their ability. There is no question of compromise on the quality of the work of such a person. 

Arjuna asks Krishna in the 12th chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita, who is better versed in Yoga – the one that worships Krishna, or the one that worships the Imperishable and formless Absolute Brahman. Krishna explains to Arjuna in Shlokas 3 to 5 of the same chapter that people, who worship the Imperishable, Indefinable, Unmanifest,  Omnipresent, Unthinkable, Eternal, Formless, and Immovable; and have their senses controlled, possess a balanced mind, and are engaged in the welfare of others; certainly, go to Him. However, those whose minds are set on an unmanifest and impersonal Absolute Power, face difficulties in reaching the goal. It is because people always identify with the body and when there is no perceptible form, it is difficult to perceive.

Let us go back to Shloka SBG 9:27 in which Krishna says, “Whatever you do, do it for Me and as an offering unto Me.” Now, try to imagine you have a close friend who has neither a form nor a face and see how and what you feel. 

When visualising something, it is essential that the object has a form. If you tried to visualise the wind, for example, you would probably end up imagining huge waves in the sea, trees bending due to the wind, or things flying in the air, but you would never be able to imagine the wind simply because it is formless. 

Krishna, the JagadGuru, confirms in Shloka SBG 12:05 that He is the personification of the All-pervading Supreme Brahman. Bhakti, or devotion towards Krishna, is an excellent way to develop and hold focus. In psychological terms, a devotee could visualise Krishna in a particular form and create a mental anchor using that image in the mind. Such a mental anchor in the form of an image in the mind can be recalled at any time by the person so that even if they were in a state of severe mental turmoil, they can achieve instantaneous peace of mind. 

As per the Shloka SBG 9:27, all you have to do is to visualise Krishna in a form of your choice, dedicate your work to Him, and get cracking. Because of your devotion to Krishna and the dedication of your work to Him, the quality of your own work will be exceptional because you are not worried or scared about anything, and no unnecessary thoughts have entered your mind and affected your concentration.

A skill is something you are proficient at or are able to do well, for which practice and focus are essential requirements. Do not forget the four main requirements, namely, 

1. Being unattached to the results of your work,

2. Remaining balanced and neutral to success as well as to failure because both are merely learning experiences,

3. Having Social Responsibility as your core principle,

4. Offering all your work as a sacrifice to the Supreme Brahman personified as Krishna.

SBG 2:48 You have to be established in Yoga, O Arjuna. You have to do your duty without any attachment to its success, or to its failure. This kind of equanimity is known as Yoga.

SBG 2:49 Work done which is prompted by desire is much lower than work done through wisdom, O Dhananjaya. Those who perform actions with a selfish motive or for gains remain disappointed. However, those who practise Karmayoga, are free from disappointments and sorrows because they have a balanced mind and are not worried about the results.

SBG 2:50 Enriched with this wisdom, you get rid of both good and bad reactions even here on earth in this life. Therefore, you should take to Yoga, which is THE ART OF WORKING.

Practise KarmaYoga, and excel in whatever you do.

Stay blessed.
Jai Shri Krishna.

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Life is a gift - Let's live it!

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