Significance of Fruitless Actions

Struggles are as much a part of everyone’s life as the desire for happiness. People often get overwhelmed by adverse conditions and give up their goal under such conditions. True devotees on the other hand never give up their goal of attaining God as it is paramount for them. It is said that great things are achieved through great sacrifices. There are a number of famous rivers in the world, such as the Hwang Ho, the Thames and the Mississippi, but no river is worshipped and revered like the Ganges. There is a legend associated with this river that says that the Ganges was originally the River of Heaven and it was brought down to Earth by the great efforts of a King named Bhagirath.  People nowadays are either afraid of hard work or simply do not want to do it. We want easy wins. If we do work then we expect success as if it’s our right. We forget that our duty is simply to do what we have to do. Lord Krishna told Arjuna in Bhagwad Gita that you should do your duties, your Karma, without the desire for results. Once the desire for reward creeps in, our actions are no longer fruitless. If our mind is concerned only with success or failure, then we become involved and get trapped in these thoughts. A human being’s duty is not to worry about success or failure but simply to perform our work with a spirit of detachment and only then the result of such actions leads to our freedom. Fruitless action is the only way to liberation. If our devotion depends on whether we will get something out of it or not, then it is not fruitless and will not lead to lasting happiness.  Listening to Satsang or spiritual discourses leads to inner awakening. It teaches us that the rewards are not in our hands. If they were, then Lord Rama would have been crowned as the King of Ayodhya, rather than sent into exile for 14 years. The Spiritual Masters have always taught that a human being’s role is to simply perform the duties. We use a broom to sweep a room and keep it clean. In the same way, we listen to Satsang to understand and rectify our shortcomings. Satsang is our ‘inner broom’, which removes negativity and confusion from our mind and clears our path ahead, so that we can follow the correct way to reach our destination. There are two ways to live our lives in this world – the materialistic way or the spiritual way; the outward way or the inner way. If we allow ourselves to be swallowed by the worldly illusions, if we involve ourselves only in the material world, our inner self will remain unfulfilled, which is why we need to  cleanse ourselves from these outward desires. We have to purify ourselves. We have to get rid of our veil of impurity and negativity. This can be achieved through meditating upon the Name of God, so that our path to salvation may be illuminated. The Holy Name of God is the ultimate Truth. It contains and sustains our lives as well as the entire Cosmos. The aim of life for a devotee is to Meditate upon this Name for attaining everlasting bliss and happiness.