What Did He Get Out Of It

[Krishna and Arjuna]“As the ignorant perform their duties with attachment to results, similarly the learned may also act, but without attachment, for the sake of leading people on the right path.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 3.25)

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सक्ताः कर्मण्यविद्वांसो यथा कुर्वन्ति भारत ।
कुर्याद्विद्वांस्तथासक्तश्चिकीर्षुर्लोकसङ्‍‍ग्रहम् ॥

saktāḥ karmaṇy avidvāṁso
yathā kurvanti bhārata
kuryād vidvāṁs tathāsaktaś
cikīrṣur loka-saṅgraham

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada explains that Arjuna began the conversation with Shri Krishna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra as a military man. Arjuna ended the conversation still a military man. Though there was no shift in occupation, that dialogue, which is known as Bhagavad-gita, made all the difference in the world.

Imagine a situation where an adult is employed at a particular business. They have been there for many years. It is a small firm, so this adult must wear many hats, as they say in the industry. Their focus is not limited to one particular area.

If an outside auditing firm were to be brought in, they would immediately flag this arrangement as a huge risk. This is because there is one point of failure. If anything should happen to this employee, the business could be brought to a screeching halt.

It is better to have redundancy. Form a team to support various departments of operation. Every employee should have a backup, which is another person who can carry out the same basic functions, more or less.

The situation is what it is. This employee decides to take some professional training. This is to up their skills, to hopefully help with future work. It will enable them to stay relevant within the field, which is always changing its standards and best practices.

The business is kind enough to pay for this training. The session lasts about a week. The employee enjoys what they hear. Their eyes get opened to new ways of thinking. They are thankful for the chance to associate with peers, people who work for other companies but in similar roles.

[Professional development]After successfully completing the training, the employee remains where they are. They do the exact same work for the business, for the exact same salary. There is no change to their daily routine. The business now has an employee with more skills in charge of vital responsibilities, but the same dependency is there.

An outside observer may have concerns along the following lines:

“What was the point to that? You sat in a training session for an entire week. It’s not like you got a vacation. Now, the company expects you to do more work, for the same rate. You haven’t improved your life at all.”

With Arjuna, there was an improvement. Though he did not shift occupations, there was clarity in vision. There was enthusiasm to get the job done, but for a different beneficiary. There was confidence that the work being carried out was proper and just. It was in line with dharma.

Most importantly, there was less regard for the specific outcome. That is to say, Arjuna would carry out his work as a matter of duty. He was a military man by birth and associated qualities. He was qualified to release arrows on the battlefield, in defense of the innocent.

He heard Bhagavad-gita and he was still as much qualified. The difference is that everything was dedicated to Krishna. This was always his mentality, but the temporary show of doubt and hesitation was for the benefit of future generations.

This is good news for any person who similarly enters that conversation space. Though a person seeking wealth is one of the four general categories of those who approach the Almighty, for Arjuna staying the same brought an even greater reward.

चतुर्-विधा भजन्ते मां
जनाः सुकृतिनो ऽर्जुन
आर्तो जिज्ञासुर् अर्थार्थी
ज्ञानी च भरतर्षभ

catur-vidhā bhajante māṁ
janāḥ sukṛtino ‘rjuna
ārto jijñāsur arthārthī
jñānī ca bharatarṣabha

“O best among the Bharatas [Arjuna], four kinds of pious men render devotional service unto Me—the distressed, the desirer of wealth, the inquisitive, and he who is searching for knowledge of the Absolute.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.16)

We don’t have to change our occupation. We don’t have to abruptly leave home. We don’t have to drastically change our way of life, if we are not ready. We do not even have to change locations. The yoga that Arjuna practiced can be implemented from where we live at the moment.

[Krishna and Arjuna]That same kind of yoga, karma-yoga, can bring benefits on a level equal with the more officially identifiable spiritual personalities. When properly implemented, giving up the results of one’s activities for the benefit of Shri Krishna is just as powerful as sitting in a remote cave and constantly chanting the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

In Closing:

Though position the same,
A higher realization came.

Benefit from conversation taking,
For different purpose making.

With arrows on battlefield released,
Confidence in goal increased.

Krishna auspicious in this way,
Elevated even when same to stay.

Categories: bhagavad-gita

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1 reply

  1. Radhe Radhe ❣️ oshriRadhekrishnaBole ❣️ Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare
    Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
    Jay Jay shree Siya Ram

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