Be in equanimity while performing Karma(action)

k Siva Prasad

Gita Acharan

(K Siva Prasad is an IAS officer and these writings can be accessed at /GitaAcharan and /@GitaAcharan).

In the verse 2.48, Krishna asks Arjun, “To be steadfast in yoga (yoga being equanimity) while performing karma (actions) by renouncing the sangam (union/identify) with polarities like success and failure.” In other words, whatever we do would be harmonious when we stop identifying with polarities.

Our daily life involves making a series of decisions and choices. The ever judging mind keeps choosing from the available options and Krishna categorises them into pleasure/pain, profit/loss, win/lose (2.38) and success/failure.

Equanimity is to treat polarities as equal which is ordinarily referred to as transcending them. When this realisation sinks in, the mind becomes powerless and achieves choiceless awareness. It’s the ability to be non-judgmental while we are still capable of judging but not being asleep, intoxicated or sedated. It’s being alive in the present moment by just being an observer.

The practical route to attain equanimity while performing karma is to drop kartapan (sense of doership) and become a sakshi (witness). It’s like performing a role in a play/drama with full intensity, commitment, dedication, efficiency and passion; basically giving our best in the given circumstances.

Similarly, we ought to perform the roles given to us on the grand stage of life with full dedication. It could be the role of a son/daughter, wife/husband, parent, friend, employee, employer, co-worker, supervisor and so on. In a day we wear many hats of many different roles and while performing each role, we should do our best, but knowing fully well that our role is just a part of the play.

We can start practising this for a couple of days in all roles given to us by life and see for ourselves the harmony this brings to our existence.ays that we h joy.

— The writer is a senior IAS officer in the Punjab Government.

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