There are many other questions also arising as regard to this. Remember I am now going into the depths of the problems regarding Karma yoga. The three steps are very clearly stated, now it is in the stage of ‘what kind of Karma’? When you are offering, what kind of offering you have to do: we are trying to analyse this, and there are many subtleties in this, that is why we need to be much more clear about it.
There are further complications: ātmanā ātmānaṁ uddhared (VI, 5), this is another great sentence of the Bhagavad Gita, “you should raise yourself by your Self”: ātmanā ātmānaṁ uddhared. In raising yourself by your Self, by what will you raise yourself? Normally we are in many activities at the level of Tamas; therefore it may be prescribed that when you are in the Tamasic condition and you want to raise yourself, then apply Rajas so that you are raised up. When you are Rajasic so apply Sattwa so that you are raised up further. How do you decide at what stage, what kind of action you have to do? Will you do Tamasic action, or Rajasic action, or Sattwic action? This is also a further complication.
This raises the question: what is the right action? What is the good action? The answer to this whole complexity is that fundamentally, whatever action you happen to be doing, you offer it to the Supreme Lord, basically, this is the basic answer of the Bhagavad Gita. All other propositions that have been made are important, and then has to be taken into account, but if there is any problem in the mind, one thing is that the moment you do an action as an offering to the Lord, and when you have given up the desire for the fruits of action, that even if it is a duṣkṛta, or a sukṛta, whatever it may be, the moment you do this, you will be free from action. This is one general simple proposition.
We go farther, and discuss all the other details. Take for example: we always tell to the children, ‘read’, because we think reading is a good thing. We do not ask the question whether ‘really’ reading is a good thing, and whether reading ‘all the time’ is a good thing, and reading ‘anything and everything’ is a good thing: these are the detailed questions which we do not raise at all. We simply want to see the child keeping himself busy with a book and we find that the child is doing well: it is a very superficial kind of a perception in which we are involved.
If a child is talking to a friend, we do not like it, it is a waste of time; if the child is playing games it is not a good thing because wasting time; it will not give good marks to the child ultimately: this is how we consider. What then is the measure by which we shall decide what is to be done by the child?
In the theory of dharmajaṁ karma, it is much easier: what is given written down; what is niyataṁ karma: what is prescribed. It is easier to find out. But Sri Krishna’s meaning of niyataṁ karma, is much more subtle.