All About Me?
What feels better: when I get what I want, or when someone else gets what they want?
What feels worse: when something “bad” happens to me, or when something “bad” happens to someone else?
OK. Those were easy. Now, what feels better: when I make effort and make my own situation better, or when I make effort and make someone else’s situation better? Hmmmm.
Now, what feels worse: when I unintentionally do something that makes my own situation worse, or when I unintentionally do something that makes someone else’s situation worse? Hmmmm
Where does the ego fit in? Where does attachment to particular results fit in? Where does karma fit in? Where does accepting “God’s will” fit in? Do we ever really control the results of our actions? What controls the results? Is it random? Is there a God? If God controls the results, where does effort fit in?
Here are some interesting points from Paramahansa Yogananda’s commentary on the Bhagavad Gita 2:47.
”The truth is that when a person works for their own material gain, one is not so wise, alert and happy as when executing small or large plans just to please God. The actions of the devotee are for the Infinite alone, not to please mankind nor to satisfy his/her own material desires. Happiness does not follow a life of egotistical interest. Human beings should therefore play their designated roles, not for the satisfaction of their own egos, but for the working-out of the divine plan. Even though it is difficult to find out what life’s duties are, still, if one seeks God in meditation, the voice of one’s inner conscience guides one aright.”
I am so grateful that providence provided this perspective which so beautifully answers the slew of questions above. I had written all the questions not knowing how I would answer them. Then, this morning, I went to Starbucks with my Bhagavad Gita as I love to do when I can find time, and it just so happened that I was up to verse 2:47 in my ongoing study of this most excellent version of the Bhagavad Gita with commentary by one of my favorite teachers, Paramahansa Yogananda. The verse itself teaches: “Thy human right is for activity only, never for the resultant fruit of actions. Do not consider thyself the creator of the fruits of thy activities; neither allow thyself attachment to inactivity.”
In Service with Love,
QUOTES FROM MY NOTES
You cannot control the result. Learn to control your reaction.
Even to have the ability to act at all is due to grace. Remain humble.
Learn to make your best effort without ego, without pride.
Before taking any action, accept all possible outcomes in advance.
When we are susceptible to attachments and aversions, our duties will suffer.
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