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Karma Yoga - Wrong Perceptions on Law of Causation in Hinduism

Updated on April 23, 2012

Misinterpretation of Sanchita Karma

Hinduism is one such religion with full of scriptural heritage - with varied concepts & philosophies which offer learning in various dimensions. In every dimension we learn something new depending on our spiritual progress. One such philosophy is philosophy of Karma Yoga specifically about sanchita karma which teaches the Law of Cause and Effect.

Like every famous scripture of Hinduism, the Law of Cause & Effect also has different dimensions. On one level it advocates importance of action, at another level it teaches us to not to be attached with our fruits (results) of action. On one side it teaches us to build our own destiny by doing our Karma, on the other hand it highlights the importance of Prarabdha also called sanchita Karma(Fate because of our previous actions). It seems apparently that these scriptures are self contradictory and there is no systematic logical reasoning involved behind them.

But the truth is that if we look at them in totality, we will find that they are the part of most logical knowledge giving us holistic approach to look at life in totality. Like every coin has got two sides and the coin itself is incomplete without either of the sides, every principle of Hinduism is to be looked in totality and then only its true message can be understood. contradictory and there is no systematic logical reasoning involved behind them.

Most Misinterpreted verse from Bhagvad Gita

Presenting below one such verse from Bhagvad Gita, which is also most misunderstood verse based on Karma Yoga :-

Karmanyevadhikaraste ma phaleysu kadachanaa

Maa karmphalheyturbhurma tey sangoustvakarmani”

“To work alone is under ones control, but not its fruits

(results), Neither our motive should be just the results

nor should we attached to inaction”

The first line is very famous and is very frequently quoted while motivating one to work without expecting any results, it is misinterpreted consciously as – ‘ Do your work and do not expect result’.

At times it is also misinterpreted while justifying the failures in achieving results as –‘To work alone is under our control, but not the results’.

However if we read the complete verse, we will find that how misleading is the first line without the second one – and in totality it gives the motivation of the highest level and is relevant not only at personal front but also at work place.

Karma Yoga - The True Inspiration

The complete verse indicates the message that although the results of our action are not in our control, but since the actions are under our control, we should not at any point of times surrender ourselves in front of failures and stop doing our work. It happens only when a person is attached with or obsessed with the results, he want to achieve, but due to lack of patience, or his obsession, he is discouraged from trying any further. Our defeat or the failure is only when we stop trying because of fear of failure, But if we are the man of action and believes in Karma Yoga – the law of Cause and Effect, we never stop trying and are ultimately emerged as winners.

Famous quote from the book which is also its title explains the same in one line–‘Count your chickens before they are hatched’ .

Great Article to read on Karma Yoga

If you like this article and want to know more about it, you can quench your thirst for more from wonderful article of Mr. CV Rajan about Karma Yoga.


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    • chaturrajneesh profile image

      chaturrajneesh 5 years ago from India

      It is certainly useful for those who practice it in real life even at workplace. Thanks for your time.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I don't know enough about yoga or Hinduism to interpret this hub, but it sounds like it would be useful to those who understand the precepts. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • chaturrajneesh profile image

      chaturrajneesh 5 years ago from India

      Thats true, Sidkemp, We do our best from our side and leave the results to HIS ALMIGHTY. Thanks for checking my hubs.

    • SidKemp profile image

      Sid Kemp 5 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach)

      Thank you. Karma yoga is best known in the west as the practice of Mahatma Gandhi, who himself chose the Bhagavad Gita as his central guide. In practical terms, let us do what we can do, do our best, and thank God for the results!