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The inner voice of Karma

Man has infinite options to choose his doing. A person performing his Karma is held in high esteem.

india Updated: Aug 30, 2006 13:36 IST

The axis on which immortal philosophy of the Gita rotates is Karma (action, deed). The word is derived from the verb Kri, meaning to do, to act. Lord Shri Krishna says, "No one keeps quiet without working even for a moment. Your existence is impossible, if you do not work". "A frightened mouse runs to his hole; a scared serpent to a well, a terrified elephant to its lake – but where can a man fly from his Karma", questions the Garuda Purana.

There is no escape from work (read duty) for a living being. The Gita enunciates three kinds of Karmas: Karma; vikarma and akarma. Karma is the unclouded, virtuous deed; vi-karma is a bad, vicious act ; and a-karma is the deed done without any yearning, done just as oblation.

Man has infinite options to choose his doing. But a person performing worthy Karma is held in high esteem (Rig Veda). A good deed (Satkarma) is to perform one’s duty honestly; earn one’s livelihood without compromising with character; and behaving with others in a friendly way.

Assuredly, God will not ask "What kind of car did you drive?" He will ask "How many people did you drive, who had no transportation?" He will not ask, "How many square feet was your house”, He will ask. “How many people did you welcome into your home?” These are some basic tenets of Satkarma. One should also not despair; instead work for work's sake, without attaching any motive to it. "Then what do I earn out of it?" one may ask. The Gita answers that with work you have the right but not the result.

Pundalik looked after his parents with devotion. Pleased with his service (to his parents), God appeared Himself before him. But Pundalik paid no attention to God and remained engrossed in his work. Indeed, he asked God to wait till he had finished serving his parents. God was so pleased with his staunch sense of duty that He left his image on that brick as Pandurang for evermore.