It is often said that the moment you fall from inviting people to your house with generosity and enter into dialogue of business, immediately the consciousness changes. Even when somebody is invited by generosity in your house and you are very kind, very fine, but start talking about business and immediately the consciousness begins to ‘mine and thine’, and ‘profit making’, and ‘how to throttle the other one in competition’, ‘how to gain more profit’, etc. But even while doing this action, if your spirit is of a high nature, then even while doing those actions, you will not fall: this is the secret of Karma yoga. if you know that the spirit of action, while doing an action is always uplifted, then even while doing action, may be even highly egoistic action normally, even while doing an action in which your egoism becomes very powerful, even that action is washed out, if your spirit is correct. Now, it is on this basis that the whole secret of Karma yoga is constructed. Just as in the case of Jnana yoga, it is employment of Buddhi, which lifts you up from lower to the higher, similarly in the Karma yoga it is the “spirit” in which you do the action that lifts you up.
Now, how that spirit is to be tackled? Sri Krishna gives you three propositions, in the 2nd chapter:
1st is that “You should, while doing action not desire the fruits of action”: this is the first statement. You do the action, but the spirit will be changed the moment you do not try to cleave at the results of action. Your spirit will be quite different. This is the first way by which your spirit is uplifted.
The 2nd process is samatvaṁ yogam ucyate (II, 48). If “You remain equal minded”, then also you do any action, but in that action you remain samatva: have equality, whether you get success or failure, honour or dishonour, happiness or misery, whatever! Remain samatva, and do the action! This is the 2nd secret given by Sri Krishna, as to how to keep the right spirit while doing action.