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Thread: Freedom over action alone...

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    Freedom over action alone...

    Hari Om
    ~~~~~~
    On this earth we are prone to action ( kriya) . Even in inaction there is action (BG 3.5) Each of our acts influences the total environment . There is no independent action.
    Swami Krishnananda says it this way, ' everything is all things and anything is everywhere'. Hence every thing is connected , yet we ( in ignorance , that would be me) see's Diversity and multiplicity. This is what we wish to remove, that leaves in Moksha.

    Even if you think you are in your home and perform actions, without touching another being, this action reaches all corners of Creation. Why do most spiritual conversations sooner or latter disucss action? Because it is that which binds the individual. And being without action (performed by the 3 guna's) suggests one has arrived at Moksha.. That is, established in the SELF, outside this field of cause and effect. So , action is a common subject of discussion.

    If I may, lets discuss action and two concepts. Lets start with the wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita - Krsna informs Arjna , ' You have control over action alone, never over its fruits' (BG 2.47) Krsna also suggests skill in action as the resolution to this, but we will save this for later.

    Krsna also says, …unfathomable is the course of action (BG 4.17). What does this mean , and have you experienced this? Simply stated , actions go far and wide and the results of those actions fructify at different times. Its as if you are walking down the street and you find something on the ground, say a gold coin, something of good fortune. Or a person walks across the street and (unfortunately) gets hit by a car. At that instant no action was induced to find the coin, it was there. Like that actions are unfathomable, as they come to fruition in time, space and cause. [ this has happened to me more then I wish to count - that is the wack in the head!].
    This is apurva, or unseen potency which bring about events from past actions, either individually or collective actions of a family group or society.

    Lets take the first idea, 'You have control over action alone, never over its fruits' (BG 2.47). What does this mean? Lets again take an example. A baseball player steps up to bat , he is in good shape, exercises, stays fit, practices, has excellent body-mind coordination and comes to bat with the right intention of getting a hit. Now, he has control ( some say freedom) over the action he chooses e.g. plays baseball, gets in shape, and all the things to increase his potential of getting a hit, but when its all said a done and he swings the bat, it is no longer under his control. If he gets a single, double, home run, or even of a Hawk sweeps down and takes the ball out of the air thinking it's prey, is now left to the universe and all the unfathomable actions , laws of nature that plays the role here i.e. Apurva is now in play.
    Like that, our actions can fructify in multiple ways and when something curious happens we think its mystical, or fate, or luck or etc. etc. yet it's the result of the universe responding to us, to past actions.

    So how does one gain favor to increase one's potential of success so the universe sees us a friend and supports our desires? How does one remove oneself from the binding force of action-reaction?

    If there is interest, we can pursue this with another post and go a bit deeper. I first wanted to set the stage and see if HDF members had this experience and will find the knowledge of interest.


    pranams,
    Last edited by yajvan; 13 June 2007 at 04:20 PM. Reason: spelling errors...oooooops!
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Freedom over action alone...

    Pranam Yajvan ji


    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    Hari Om
    ~~~~~~
    Lets take the first idea, 'You have control over action alone, never over its fruits' (BG 2.47). What does this mean? Lets again take an example. A baseball player steps up to bat , he is in good shape, exercises, stays fit, practices, has excellent body-mind coordination and comes to bat with the right intention of getting a hit. Now, he has control ( some say freedom) over the action he chooses e.g. plays baseball, gets in shape, and all the things to increase his potential of getting a hit, but when its all said a done and he swings the bat, it is no longer under his control. If he gets a single, double, home run, or even of a Hawk sweeps down and takes the ball out of the air thinking it's prey, is now left to the universe and all the unfathomable actions , laws of nature that plays the role here i.e. Apurva is now in play.
    Like that, our actions can fructify in multiple ways and when something curious happens we think its mystical, or fate, or luck or etc. etc. yet it's the result of the universe responding to us, to past actions.




    pranams,

    This is a good subject to discuss, not wanting to sound pedantic, could you please explain where it is said we have control over actions?

    We certainly have right to perform action but if we had the control over action then surely the result would be as desired. When one is bating be it baseball cricket or any other sport, the strike would have been instinctive and not precise and thus any number of result would ensue from it.

    bhagvat gita further explains

    pancaitani maha-baho
    karanani nibodha me
    sankhye krtante proktani
    siddhaye sarva-karmanam

    adhisthanam tatha karta
    karanam ca prthag-vidham
    vividhas ca prthak cesta
    daivam caivatra pancamam



    Learn from Me, O Arjuna, the five causes, as described in the Saamkhya doctrine, for the accomplishment of all actions.
    The place of action, the performer, the senses, the endeavor, and ultimately daivam. (18.13/14)

    sarira-van-manobhir yat
    karma prarabhate narah
    nyayyam va viparitam va
    pancaite tasya hetavah

    Whatever action, whether right or wrong, one performs by thought, word, and deed; these are its five causes. (18.15)


    Jai Shree Krishna
    Rig Veda list only 33 devas, they are all propitiated, worthy off our worship, all other names of gods are derivative from this 33 originals,
    Bhagvat Gita; Shree Krishna says Chapter 3.11 devan bhavayatanena te deva bhavayantu vah parasparam bhavayantah sreyah param avapsyatha Chapter 17.4 yajante sattvika devan yaksa-raksamsi rajasah pretan bhuta-ganams canye yajante tamasa janah
    The world disappears in him. He is the peaceful, the good, the one without a second.

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    Re: Freedom over action alone...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ganeshprasad View Post
    Pranam Yajvan ji
    This is a good subject to discuss, not wanting to sound pedantic, could you please explain where it is said we have control over actions?

    Jai Shree Krishna
    Namaste,
    pls consider looking at Chapt 2 verse 47 of the Gita. ( this is Swami Prabhupada's interpretation... my teacher says it differently, yet the intent rings true)

    karmany evadhikaras te
    ma phalesu kadacana
    ma karma-phala-hetur bhur
    ma te sango 'stv akarmani
    karmani--prescribed duties; eva--certainly; adhikarah--right; te--of you; ma--never; phalesu--in the fruits; kadacana--at any time; ma--never; karma-phala--in the result of the work; hetuh--cause; bhuh--become; ma--never; te--of you; sangah--attachment; astu--be there; akarmani--in not doing.

    The key word is 'right'... karmani is actions, not so much perscribed duties, yet I respect Swami-ji's words. Yet note, 'never the fruits'

    pranams,
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Freedom over action alone...

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    Namaste,
    pls consider looking at Chapt 2 verse 47 of the Gita. ( this is Swami Prabhupada's interpretation... my teacher says it differently, yet the intent rings true)

    karmany evadhikaras te
    ma phalesu kadacana
    ma karma-phala-hetur bhur
    ma te sango 'stv akarmani
    karmani--prescribed duties; eva--certainly; adhikarah--right; te--of you; ma--never; phalesu--in the fruits; kadacana--at any time; ma--never; karma-phala--in the result of the work; hetuh--cause; bhuh--become; ma--never; te--of you; sangah--attachment; astu--be there; akarmani--in not doing.

    The key word is 'right'... karmani is actions, not so much perscribed duties, yet I respect Swami-ji's words. Yet note, 'never the fruits'

    pranams,
    Pranam Yajvan ji

    thank you unfortunately i still fail to see where he is sugesting that we have control over the action, right yes, but contriol? here i bring the tranlation of swami prabhupada including the purport

    TRANSLATION
    You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty.

    PURPORT
    There are three considerations here: prescribed duties, capricious work, and inaction. Prescribed duties refer to activities performed while one is in the modes of material nature. Capricious work means actions without the sanction of authority, and inaction means not performing one's prescribed duties. The Lord advised that Arjuna not be inactive, but that he perform his prescribed duty without being attached to the result. One who is attached to the result of his work is also the cause of the action. Thus he is the enjoyer or sufferer of the result of such actions.
    As far as prescribed duties are concerned, they can be fitted into three subdivisions, namely routine work, emergency work and desired activities. Routine work, in terms of the scriptural injunctions, is done without desire for results. As one has to do it, obligatory work is action in the mode of goodness. Work with results becomes the cause of bondage; therefore such work is not auspicious. Everyone has his proprietary right in regard to prescribed duties, but should act without attachment to the result; such disinterested obligatory duties doubtlessly lead one to the path of liberation.
    Arjuna was therefore advised by the Lord to fight as a matter of duty without attachment to the result. His nonparticipation in the battle is another side of attachment. Such attachment never leads one to the path of salvation. Any attachment, positive or negative, is cause for bondage. Inaction is sinful. Therefore, fighting as a matter of duty was the only auspicious path of salvation for Arjuna.

    if we have the control over our actions then i think the result would be as desired.

    Jai Shree Krishna
    Rig Veda list only 33 devas, they are all propitiated, worthy off our worship, all other names of gods are derivative from this 33 originals,
    Bhagvat Gita; Shree Krishna says Chapter 3.11 devan bhavayatanena te deva bhavayantu vah parasparam bhavayantah sreyah param avapsyatha Chapter 17.4 yajante sattvika devan yaksa-raksamsi rajasah pretan bhuta-ganams canye yajante tamasa janah
    The world disappears in him. He is the peaceful, the good, the one without a second.

  5. #5

    Re: Freedom over action alone...

    Hi GP,

    I think control over action simple means applying skillful judgement in action. When slapped I have the choice of slapping back or producing the other cheek.

    We certainly have control over what we choose do, but not on the results...what's the confusion? I'm not quite getting it ....
    What is Here, is Elsewhere. What is not Here, is Nowhere.

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    Re: Freedom over action alone...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ganeshprasad View Post
    Pranam Yajvan ji

    ---TRANSLATION
    You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty.

    ------
    if we have the control over our actions then i think the result would be as desired.

    Jai Shree Krishna

    Namaskar to all,

    Freedom over action is available only to those who do action without doing anything, while established in the Self.

    One who is established in the knowledge that the powers of Prakriti alone act, sees inaction in action and action in inaction.

    A difficult proposition, indeed. Since we consider wrongly all action to be done by the 'ego I', which desires positive results. Is it possible to renounce the fruits of action in such a case?

    Om Namah Shivayya
    That which is without letters (parts) is the Fourth, beyond apprehension through ordinary means, the cessation of the phenomenal world, the auspicious and the non-dual. Thus Om is certainly the Self. He who knows thus enters the Self by the Self.

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    Re: Freedom over action alone...

    Quote Originally Posted by sm78 View Post
    Hi GP,

    I think control over action simple means applying skillful judgement in action. When slapped I have the choice of slapping back or producing the other cheek.

    We certainly have control over what we choose do, but not on the results...what's the confusion? I'm not quite getting it ....

    Pranam sm


    May be I am making fuss over nothing for that I am sorry.

    I can see by your example how we may have control over what we may choose.

    Question is any given event of our making? Would we have chose someone to hit us?

    Our choice is a reaction to an event, in your example, where is the question of control over the event itself.


    karya-karana-kartrtve
    hetuh prakrtir ucyate
    purusah sukha-duhkhanam
    bhoktrtve hetur ucyate

    Nature is said to be the cause of all material activities and effects, whereas the living entity is the cause of the various sufferings and enjoyments in this world.(13.21)

    I guess I am trying to make a point that while we have the right (adhikar) to perform an action to a given circumstance, our action would have been a reaction only.

    Jai Shree Krishna
    Rig Veda list only 33 devas, they are all propitiated, worthy off our worship, all other names of gods are derivative from this 33 originals,
    Bhagvat Gita; Shree Krishna says Chapter 3.11 devan bhavayatanena te deva bhavayantu vah parasparam bhavayantah sreyah param avapsyatha Chapter 17.4 yajante sattvika devan yaksa-raksamsi rajasah pretan bhuta-ganams canye yajante tamasa janah
    The world disappears in him. He is the peaceful, the good, the one without a second.

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    Re: Freedom over action alone...

    Quote Originally Posted by Atanu Banerjee View Post
    Namaskar to all,

    Freedom over action is available only to those who do action without doing anything, while established in the Self.

    One who is established in the knowledge that the powers of Prakriti alone act, sees inaction in action and action in inaction.

    A difficult proposition, indeed. Since we consider wrongly all action to be done by the 'ego I', which desires positive results. Is it possible to renounce the fruits of action in such a case?

    Om Namah Shivayya
    Pranam Atanu ji

    True indeed and the result is further bondage in prakriti.

    therefore Krishna says

    yat karosi yad asnasi
    yaj juhosi dadasi yat
    yat tapasyasi kaunteya
    tat kurusva mad-arpanam


    O Arjuna, whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer as oblation to the sacred fire, whatever charity you give, whatever austerity you perform, do all that as an offering unto Me. (See also 12.10, 18.46) (9.27)


    By this attitude of complete renunciation (or Samnyasa-yoga) you shall be freed from the bondage, good and bad, of Karma. You shall be liberated, and come to Me. (9.28)

    Jai Shree Krishna
    Rig Veda list only 33 devas, they are all propitiated, worthy off our worship, all other names of gods are derivative from this 33 originals,
    Bhagvat Gita; Shree Krishna says Chapter 3.11 devan bhavayatanena te deva bhavayantu vah parasparam bhavayantah sreyah param avapsyatha Chapter 17.4 yajante sattvika devan yaksa-raksamsi rajasah pretan bhuta-ganams canye yajante tamasa janah
    The world disappears in him. He is the peaceful, the good, the one without a second.

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    Re: Freedom over action alone...

    Hari Om
    ~~~~~
    Quote Originally Posted by Ganeshprasad View Post
    Pranam sm

    I can see by your example how we may have control over what we may choose. Jai Shree Krishna

    Namaste Ganeshprasad,
    this is exactly the point, we have the liberty of choice. This is characterized as our 'right'.
    [ not sure I like this word as its a bit bold, but we will go with it ]

    After that its the fullness of the Universe on how it responds, as actions are far , deep and wide on how it bares fruit for the native. And our past actions play a key role.

    The next point once we get comfortable with this, is What happens when there is no 'two' for action and reaction to happen? When one becomes Brahman , Tad Ekam, That One. Then where can there be a re-action if there is only one? This is how the Laws of nature change as knowledge is gained..

    Just like physics - we have Newtonian physics, then we learn more,
    and we have Einsteinian physics, then Quantam physics, then String theory and Super-sting theory. Has the Universe changed at all? It’s the same.
    What changes is our level of consciousness and understanding about the Universe. Like that, as we unfold our full potential , different laws become Applicable to us… this is the Greatness of this Being. Unfathomable.

    pranams,
    Last edited by yajvan; 07 March 2007 at 02:10 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  10. #10

    Re: Freedom over action alone...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ganeshprasad View Post
    I guess I am trying to make a point that while we have the right (adhikar) to perform an action to a given circumstance, our action would have been a reaction only.

    Jai Shree Krishna
    That is true, at least as long as duality persists.
    What is Here, is Elsewhere. What is not Here, is Nowhere.

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