We had said last time that Karmayoga has three aspects: the ‘object’, the ‘instrument’ and the ‘method’. The object is to be able to do action without bondage, without incurring bondage. To do action and yet to be free from action, that is the object. The instrument is: will. And third is the method. The method consists of three steps. The will is normally weakened in us because of desire. Wherever there is desire, there is a fluctuation in our consciousness. We are not able to fix ourselves on one specific point; a will, which is afflicted by desire, is to be so cleaned, so purified that it becomes fixed: sthita.
The question is: what is the method by which this process can be done? If will can become concentrated, then the object that we have put forward can be realised: “to do an action without incurring bondage”. Since the desire is the affliction, Sri Krishna first of all points out that, “that point where desire is strongest has to be tackled first”. The desire is strongest at the point of the seeking of fruits of action, the enjoyment of the fruits of action: therefore the first step is to do action, but without the desire for the fruits of actions.
The second is to understand the process of action in Reality. In Reality we find all action is a part of a cosmic movement, vast movement. This vast movement is a result of yajña, of a sacrifice. This yajña proceeds from the Supreme, although in our experience we find action to be proceeding from our small little ego. As a result we say, ‘I am a doing’, or ‘I am not doing’, but later on, we find that this ego itself is a cog in the machine of a cosmic nature. Therefore, we say that the action proceeds from Prakriti, because this whole machine is called Prakriti and then we discover that this Prakriti itself is moved by a greater will, and that greater will is the Supreme Lord Himself. It is the will thrown by the Supreme Lord, which is returned in a reverse movement, and this movement continues on, and on, and on, and that is what we call: the process of exchange.
This process of exchange is what is called yajña. There is an offering on the part of the Supreme, there is on the other hand a return of offering from the Supreme Shakti, and between the two there is a constant exchange. In that process, we as individuals are a centre without circumference. In that centre this process is repeated. If we allow that process to continue on, and on, and on, then we see that action proceeds, but we are free from egoistic attribution to the action to ourselves. We see the vastness in which the action goes on, proceeding by itself. We do not interfere with it by our desire. If we can do this, that action will proceed, and yet we shall not be affected by it.
But normally, since we are egoistic, we have the tendency to interfere; we constantly interfere in this vast movement. Therefore, the procedure to be followed is that instead of clutching at the action’s movements, we, ourselves, repeat the process of offering. Action is offered from our side, the action, which seems to be proceeding from ourselves, that action we simply offer: this process of offering is yajña. Therefore the second step consists in ‘offering our actions’.