Brian’s Reflection: Friday, May 21, 2010
Those who are motivated only by desire for the
fruits of action are miserable, for they are constantly
anxious about the results of what they do.
-Bhagavad Gita 2:49
So. What is the issue here? It is about the underlying motivation of our actions. The point seems simple. If we do what we do with an outcome in mind – especially if we anticipate something beneficial to us – we will indeed be “constantly anxious”. We can never know the result of any actions we take. And if we are thinking about producing a specific result, it means that we are certainly trying to manipulate or control what happens, to our benefit. We all know – if we are over 40 – that this doesn’t work.
So. What the Hindu Scriptures are saying is, We must be clear about what we value, know what our bottom-line principles are. And we must act out of those values and principles. The results are not ultimately important. What is important is our integrity. If our actions, done on the basis of integrity, achieve something useful and advancing of Love and Compassion and Justice, fine. If not, we have done our best. The results are not in our control. But whatever the results, we have been a person of character and principle. This is what must underlie our Life, our Religion, our Philosophy.
And of course: should our actions, based solely on our integrity, bring blessings to Humanity, well and good! Our being can rejoice.
That is the “reward” of acting from integrity. Delight and Wonder.