Chapter 2 Verse 21 – Samkhya Yoga

Sloka

Karmanyevaadhikaaraste maa phaleshu kadaachana;
Maa karmaphalahetur bhoor maa te sango’stwakarmani.

Translation

Thy right is to work only, but never with its fruits;
let not the fruits of actions be thy motive, nor let thy attachment be to inaction.

Interpretation

This is one of the most popular verses of Gita which are quoted often. In this verse Lord Krishna talks about the importance of doing work and doing work in the right way. Lord Krishna says that the job of Arjuna is to do work and not worry about the result that the work gives. He says to Arjuna not to approach any work with a motive and not to stop doing any work for the same reason.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

What is your motive for doing any work? The answer is simple. It is success. You write exams to score good marks, you do a work to get a promotion or an appreciation in the form of pay hike. So every work should have a motive. That motive is the motivation that drivers the work. Any work which doesn’t have a motive is not taken seriously. Simple example. Will you play a cricket match to lose? Answer is No. Winning is the aim of playing and that motive alone makes the team give its 100% and win the match. But here comes the surprise! Lord Krishna says that the approach itself is wrong. Nobody should approach the work that way! Shocking, isn’t it? Then how should one approach the work?

Lord Krishna says approach work as a duty and responsibility that has been given to you. Your job is to just give your 100% and do the work. Your job is not to think about the results. If you think about result, it creates pressure, brings nervousness and you will not be able to give your best. That presents the danger of you losing the task. So, approach any task with a responsibility and as a duty and give your best. Never think of the results. Another point Lord Krishna says is like the way you do things expecting success, you should not stop doing thing out of the fear of failure.

This is also a very important aspect. Many of us postpone works and even escape from doing them just because we think that we would not be able to complete the work successfully. If you have not done it at all, how do you know whether you will succeed or fail? So, it is important for the person to overcome the fear of failure and approach the task with a neutral mind. A mind that feels the joy of success or fear of failure is not the right mind. A right mind is neither happy nor fearful while doing a task, it does it as a responsibility is the right mind and people who approach the task that way only will be successful all the time is what Lord Krishna says!!