Today’s meditation: Detaching with Love
In the third discourse of the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna questions why he must engage in this action terrible action of war after having attained detachment from outcomes and from objects. Krishna explains to him that people must perform actions because of their prakriti, a nature. He says that we don’t attain perfection by doing nothing, but rather by continuing to act and yet remain detached. He goes on to explain that desire is what gets in the way of clear thinking, that we end up taking wrong paths (make wrong decisions or take wrong actions) because of our desire for a particular outcome.
There are three qualities that make up human nature, or prakriti. These are known as the three gunas – rajas, tamas and sattwa. We should, according to the Gita, perform actions that relate to our particular nature. The goal is to reach sattwa through our actions meaning we become pure. Our actions are done simply out of pureness with no goal in mind. We work for the sake of the work itself. When operating with a rajasic nature, our actions tend to be goal oriented – we have an outcome that we want to reach. Tamasic nature is darker. It is more toward inaction due to laziness or ignorance.
We go through life, though, not trying to attain a sattwic state, because that too is our ego reaching for something. Rather we transcend our nature over time by doing our duty for the sake of others and nothing else.
Doing nothing is never an answer. Even maintaining the body through nourishment is an action. Our thoughts are actions according to the Gita. We take action unselfishly, for the nourishment of others.
“Therefore, without attachment, do thou always perform action which should be done; for, by performing action without attachment man reaches the Supreme” ~ The Bhagavad Gita