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Thread: Desireless action

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    Desireless action

    Hello all,

    Let us discuss the following.

    Premise 1: Krishna advises Arjuna to act without desire.

    Premise 2: Desire is a necessary condition of action.

    Conclusion: Therefore, Krishna's advice is a contradiction.

    Regards,

    WM

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    Re: Desireless action

    namaste,
    Could you provide reference for Premise 1? I don't know where Krishna advises arjuna to act without desire.

    Quote Originally Posted by wundermonk View Post
    Hello all,

    Let us discuss the following.

    Premise 1: Krishna advises Arjuna to act without desire.

    Premise 2: Desire is a necessary condition of action.

    Conclusion: Therefore, Krishna's advice is a contradiction.

    Regards,

    WM
    satay

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    Smile Re: Desireless action

    Hello, wundermonk..

    Would you provide us exact references for premise 2 ? While reading Bhagavad Gita, I didn't find such premise, at least by directly.

    As you think, 'Desire is not a necessity for action. Krishna says that controlling desire is difficult task but not impossible. He places Sanyasa(Detachment from samsara) & Buddhiyoga( Detachment from samsara without desiring fruits of action) on the same level. He refuted those so called pandits who say action can't be done without desire. He explains Arjuna without desire, you should follow your duty and never desire for any positive or negative fruits. You should burn your desires about fruits in the Yadnya which is none other than Vishnu. You should think that god alone acts under the influence of destiny and you're aloof from your body & Maya. In advanced version of gita, Uddhava Gita, Krishna instructs to consider the self indifferent from Brahman. Who contemplates oneself as Brahman, without much delay he gets established in Brahman, he becomes Brahman himself.

    Jai Krishna Govinda..





    Hari On!

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    Re: Desireless action

    Reference for Premise 1: Krishna advises Arjuna to act without desire.

    Quote Originally Posted by BG 2:47
    To work alone you have the right, and not to the fruits. Do not be impelled by the fruits of work. Nor have attachment to inaction.
    Reference for Premise 2: Desire is a necessary condition of action.

    Quote Originally Posted by BG 2:37
    If slain, you shall win heaven; or if victorious, you shall enjoy the earth. Therefore, arise, O Arjuna, resolved to fight.

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    Re: Desireless action

    Quote Originally Posted by wundermonk View Post
    Reference for Premise 2: Desire is a necessary condition of action.
    If slain, you shall win heaven; or if victorious, you shall enjoy the earth. Therefore, arise, O Arjuna, resolved to fight.
    .
    This doesn't mean Desire is necessary condition of action. You have wrongly perceived this. I think we should not interpret all verses of Bhagavad Gita individually without looking into contexts.

    In earlier verses it is mentioned that Arjuna doesn't wish take any bow against his own relatives. He was frightened by the sins that could have been incurred after killing them. He thought that he would go to hell if he do this hilarious act. Arjuna at that time was confused about his own duty and he forgot the duty of Kshatriya-Varna. Then he requested shri Krishna to take him as his Shishya. At first, generally, Guru teaches Shishya according to his Mind. He has to come in the lower level according to shishya's level of understanding. In the same way, Krishna told Arjuna to give up this false notion of fear about Hell. Kshatriya never incurs a sin when he follows his duty. Performing one's own duty according to varna is the door to heaven. In fact if you don't follow this duty you'll incure the sins. Actually happy are warriors who come by a war like this. In this battle, you'll either get killed or win..So if you follow your duty to follow battle, there's no any harm to you in either case. If you win, you'll enjoy the earth and if you get killed, you'll enjoy the heaven.... How did you come to be deluded that you will incur sin by performing your duty? Will a person who crosses a river in a boat get drowned? Will a person walking straight on a highway stumble? But he who does not know how to walk properly will miss his footing.
    If a person drinks milk mixed with poison, he will surely die; likewise a person incurs sin if he does his duty with the motive of gain.

    So Arjuna, wake up...Stand up with a bow in your hand and fight with valour. Hold alike pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat, and get ready for battle; then you will not incur sin.

    Shri Krishna is scolding his dearest shishya Arjuna " You grieve and yet spout words of wisdom. Where is Grief for you? "
    Last edited by hinduism♥krishna; 30 April 2014 at 08:16 AM.
    Hari On!

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    Re: Desireless action

    namaste,

    Quote Originally Posted by wundermonk View Post
    Reference for Premise 1: Krishna advises Arjuna to act without desire.
    This only says to have no desire for the 'fruit' of the action. It says nothing about desire in relation to the action itself. Obviously 'desire' is a necessary condition for action otherwise how else are we going to act on anything?
    Last edited by satay; 30 April 2014 at 05:11 PM.
    satay

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    Re: Desireless action

    hari o
    ~~~~~~
    namasté

    Quote Originally Posted by satay View Post
    namaste,
    This only says to have no desire for the 'fruit' of the action. It says nothing about desire in relation to the action itself. Obviously 'desire' is a necessary condition for action otherwise how else are we going to act on anything?
    You are speaking clearly on this satay...( well done).

    Kṛṣṇa says the following in the Bhāgavad gītā (chapter 2, 47th śloka)
    karmai evādhikāras te
    mā phalesu kadācana
    mā karma-phala-hetur bhūr
    mā te sago'stv akarmai

    This says, you certainly (eva) have ādhikāra (claim , right , privilege, control) of your (te or ti) karmai (of your actions) , but never or not (mā) of its fruits (phalesu) .

    For some reason this tends to cause some people consternation, yet it seems straight forward as I see it.

    iti śiva
    Last edited by yajvan; 30 April 2014 at 03:57 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Desireless action

    namaste,

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    hari o
    ~~~~~~
    namasté

    For some reason this tends to cause some people consternation, yet it seems straight forward as I see it.

    iti śiva
    Yes, it is clear isn't it? He says not to desire fruit but also points out the impossibility of 'inaction'. So not sure what the confusion is.
    satay

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    Re: Desireless action

    Namaste,

    A very good discussion indeed ! Satay has hit the nail on its head. Actually, the message of Bhagwad Gita and its practical application should be very clearly understood. In the whole of Bhagwad Gita, the non-attachment to Karmaphala has been stressed upon.

    Arjuna must be focused to fight and fight with all his might to win the battle (mark these words ... this ensures focused action and well-defined aim). But he should not be bogged down with the outcome of the war. He may fight and win and he may also fight and lose. The focus should be on fighting in the best possible way and not on the goal and he must be equanimous in accepting both success and failure.

    It would not be out place to mention that this was taught to me in one of the classes of Management too by one renowned professor. This helps not only spiritually but also helps you to give your 100% to the action without being bothered about success or failure. This helps you to remain calm and composed and usually you tend to do better in any competitive environment. Attachment to fruits of action bring in undesirable tension/nervousness which tends to blunt your effectiveness. Australian Cricket Team used this philosophy very effectively (without spiritual effects): One of their coaches once said : "Focus on the process and not the outcome. Well performed process will take care of the result but focusing on result will make you lose focus on the process and that would result bad result."

    OM
    Last edited by devotee; 01 May 2014 at 12:48 AM.
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: Desireless action

    Quote Originally Posted by hinduism♥krishna View Post
    This doesn't mean Desire is necessary condition of action.
    In most theories of motivation and action (both Western as well as Indian), action necessarily implies the pre-existence of desire. For e.g. according to Manusmriti:

    Belief -- > Desire* -- > Action.

    Nyaya and Vedantin had a long series of dialectics along the following lines.

    Why should the mumuksu pursue the goal of moksha? Because it is a state of absolute bliss (as per Vedanta) or it is a state of absence of pain (as per Nyaya). However, one requires to first desire this state of absolute bliss/absence of pain, in order to undertake the means for attaining moksha.

    * - one possibly needs to differentiate different types of desire. Are there certain permissible desires (such as the desire to attain moksha) and certain impermissible desires (such as the desire for excessive wealth and sense pleasures)?

    At first, generally, Guru teaches Shishya according to his Mind. He has to come in the lower level according to shishya's level of understanding.
    This I agree with.

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