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Action without desire~nishkama karma~an incomplete post

May 4, 2011

One of the most rewarding aspects of serving, is that it can, somewhat paradoxically, show us the path to nishkama karma. Desireless action.

As a child, I was intrigued by the words of the Bhagavad Gita heard during many cultural events:

As I remember it translated – To action alone thou hast the right; not to the fruit thereof. I didn’t know it then, but this is what is called nishkam karma: action without attachment.

Fast forward to decades later, when Swami Shraddhananda gave us the messagePray, pray, pray, Gaia is calling, and then went on to explain that this is a prayer without words, without intention, without desire. It is the supreme prayer of merging by surrendering.

Surrender is not easy, detachment is not easy, giving up desire is not easy: so says the mind clouded by wandering into the land of maya, illusion.


It’s actually the most natural thing we have…a child throwing a pebble in the river and moving on, unmindful of where it falls, or what happens to it or to the river.

And the river flows on

Some words are written, some thoughts expressed…and the blog flows out. Incomplete in itself.

But not when it joins the streams of words and thoughts


Thanks to the Bhagavad-Gita website for the text of the verse.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 4, 2011 9:12 am

    We must dedicate every action of ours, including our breathing, eating, bathing, talking, standing, sitting, etc to the supreme, meaning I am not doing this only the god is doing this. This is the ‘Niskamya karma’ and complete surrendering.
    This is fully described in the meditation techniques available in the FB : Gaia Minute page.

    • May 4, 2011 6:44 pm

      Thank you for explaining, Sanmugan. Can you link to the meditation thread where nishkama karma is mentioned?

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