The Art Of Right Action
The Bhagawad Geeta is a book that explains how to face problems- personal, social and national. Lord Krishna deals with the dynamics of action quite scientifically. There cannot be a nobler education for nation building than that which makes each one know how to live dynamically and realize his correct relationship with others.
Definite Technique for Action
Today man acts, works or strives without carefully examining the machinery employed by him, or the nature of the functions of its parts. The mechanism of response in man is constituted of the physical apparatus of the body and the subtler aspects of feelings and judgements. As long as the psychological and the intellectual prerequisites are not properly trained, actions cannot be dynamic. So there should be a technique by which the inner nature of man can be better integrated; then we can expect a better performance from him. For example, in the case of a car, when its engine is tuned up, its performance becomes perfect.
According to Lord Krishna, the essential dynamics of personality are getting wasted in our ordinary regrets of the past, our anxieties for the future and our excitement in the present. The Third chapter of the Geeta actually reveals an intellectually satisfactory technique by which all these wastages can be stopped and the energy directed into one’s chosen field of endeavour.
This technique is the Art of Right Action; in Sanskrit they call it “Karma Yoga”. The secret method advised is that a man of action, once he has entered the field of activity, should surrender entirely all his shackles- whether drawn from the past, lifted from the future, or gathered in the present- at an altar of his deep dedication. This altar may be political ideal, an economic theory, an intellectual idea, a religious faith, or even a spiritual belief. In short, while undertaking great endeavours, one must have a goal from which the individual, the community or the nation can constantly draw an infinite quantity of inspiration and act consistently. Such an inspired action is irresistible, and the results should be magnificent.
Sure Mantra for Success
In the concluding stanza of this philosophic poem we have in a nutshell the philosophy of the Geeta given to us by Sanjaya. He says: “There, where Krishna and Arjuna are, there alone are real progress, success, glory, good policies, and full justice.”
Here Krishna stands for spiritual values, and Arjuna, with his bow, for the generation ready to act in the service of the country. Human activities gather aglow and a promise to achieve great things only when the men of action are inspired by high ideals and self-mastery.
Merely because I take in my hand the Sitar of Ravi Shankar, I cannot play on it as his magic fingers will, because in my bosom his music is not discovered yet. The performance of the body is an echo of the contents of beauty in the heart. A national endeavour is an achievement gained by many hands and many feet, and unless they all are inspired by a disciplined heart and head, the endeavour can end only in a chaos of wasted efforts and perhaps sorrow to all.
Mere materialism alone is dangerous — we see the restlessness of the progressive nations everywhere, don’t we? A mere spiritual life can also be equally calamitous. A happy blending of both these seems to be remedy- the ideal way of life prescribed by the
philosophy of the Geeta. Cultured man striving to fulfill the destiny of nation can inaugurate an era of plenty, prosperity, and peace. The Bhagawad Geeta unfolds this scheme. I see it clearly. If at all any people in this world can demonstrate this, they are the people of Bharat. We shall then be pioneers of a spiritual socialism, a gentleman’s government, a happy generation of progress, love, and peace.
(Courtesy: News Bulletin — Chinmaya Mission)
H.H. Swami Chinmayananda