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Yogastha Kuru Karmani

In Bhagavad Gita, Yoga is referred to at many places. However, the definition of the word Yoga is given in two slokas. Both the slokas are from the second chapter.

Sloka 1:

yōgasthaḥ kuru karmāṇi saṅgaṁ tyktvā dhanañjaya

sidhyassidhyōḥ samō bhūtvā samatvaṁ yōga ucyatē

Sloka 2:

buddhiyuktō jahātīha ubhē sukṛta duṣkṛtē

tasmād yōgayā yujyasva yōgaḥ karmasu kauśalaṁ

In the past, many authors commented on the two slokas according to their understanding. Very few could comment on the true meaning of the two slokas. According to the last part of the first sloka, samatvaṁ yōga ucyatē, “Equanimity is Yoga”. What is Equanimity?

**O Dhananjaya, Do karma being in yoga.

Discard the attachment.

Whether you succeed or fail in your attempts, take it equally.

Equanimity is Yoga. **

Here, the meaning needs to be understood carefully.

First – The Lord was referring to Karma Yoga and not to any other yoga.

Second - How to do Karma without attachment? How can karma be continued without expecting any result? Neither can we remain without doing any karma, nor will Nature allow to remain so. Hence, we must do karma. The result of our karma is not decided by our effort alone. It is decided by various inputs, circumstances, good luck and many more factors. So the outcome can be anything from success to failure. If we understand this point well, there is no room for any attachment. When there is no attachment, mind will be in a balanced state. It will not feel high or low because of the success or failure. This balanced state is the State of Yoga.

Third – The above situation shows the state of a Sadhaka. When perfection is reached, the state of self-realization remains with him always, so naturally, result does not affect him. If we are aware that whatever we are doing is not ours, then it is called the natural state of Yoga. As Mother of Jillellamudi said, ‘Think everything is done either by Him or by You’, then you will not have any sorrow.

If you think He (God) is doing the work through you, then you won’t have any sorrow because it is He and not you doing it. It is His sweet will and you are not concerned with the result. If you think you are doing it, then you are responsible for your failure. So you have to improve yourself. Both ways, there is no need to feel depressed.

So the secret of how to do karma is revealed in the two slokas. We are all bound by karma. Nobody can remain without doing karma. Hence, we all have to learn how to do karma. Karma can be done reluctantly and also willingly. But the real secret is to do it with full effort yet remaining unaffected by the outcome. This is the teaching of Gita.

Since the Gita contains such practical secrets, it has been the spiritual compass to the world since many thousand years.

All rights reserved. This article has been translated by Akhila J, which was originally posted in on January 7, 2009. The content or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express permission of the publisher.

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