This is the illustration of how desire normally acts. Since our action normally depends upon desire, Sri Krishna takes up this particular element in us and says how you deal with it. The first statement that Sri Krishna makes is that this desire, when you analyse it, you find that its basic orientation is towards result. Therefore, if you can control your orientation towards result then that will be the beginning of dealing with it. That is why the first step is: you take this orientation towards fruits of action, and say to yourself: ‘I will act but I will be equal-minded with regard to the results’, so that the element of desire, which is constantly oriented towards results, is controlled.
The second thread of this desire is always connected with “I”, “I am the doer”. This is the second element in desire. All desire and ego, they normally go together; so, this is the second thread. Therefore, Sri Krishna says that, “I am the doer; I am the doer, that is ignorance! The whole work is done by Prakriti as a whole; the whole cosmic universe is at work and you are only a small little cog in the machine, therefore your idea of “I am the doer” is wrong! Eliminate this desire for fruits of action, eliminate this ego, and then realise that above this whole movement of Prakriti, there is a supreme Lord from whom all action proceeds, although through a veil. Trace upwards to the origin, and when you go to the origin then you find that the supreme Lord is acting, but there is no desire in supreme Lord’s action”. In our actions, this element of desire and ego are present. But in the case of the supreme Lord, when He acts, there is neither ego nor desire. Therefore, if you then merely become the channel of that, action will proceed through you, but action will not touch you: na karma lipyate nare, as the Isha Upanishad says (Isha.Upn. 2). If you really do the action in this way, then there will be no bondage to action. This is the method.
The method is first, again, to concentrate upon the fruits of action, and to cut the orientation, which is towards the fruits of action, towards the enjoyment of the fruits of action, with that knowledge that fruits of action are never in your hands. You are not doing something that is unnatural; you are only applying the true knowledge to the situation. It is by wrong idea that you think that results depend on you. If you have true knowledge, objective knowledge, you will find that results are never in your hands, therefore apply this knowledge and therefore cut out your orientation towards enjoyment of the fruits of action.
Secondly, apply the knowledge that all action comes from the universal Prakriti, therefore the idea of “I am the doer”, is also eliminated.
Thirdly, apply the knowledge that all actions proceeds from the supreme Lord, although through the veil. Go to the root where the supreme Lord is acting, and discover there that all actions from the Divine emerge not out of desire, not out of any egoism, but as pure action, and let that action proceeds through you without desire and without ego. And when that happens, you will arrive at what is called divyam karma, the divine action.
This is the method, three steps of the method, and by ascending gradually, you arrive at the supreme conclusion that human action in which we are now involved disappears, and then comes in his place divyam karma, the divine action begins to flow.
We say that Divine has neither desire nor egoism, and yet there is action: what is ‘that’ nature of action? What is desire? Desire is a movement to grasp what you do not possess. All desire is nothing but a movement to grasp what you are lacking. In regard to the things that you have, you see your reaction, the things that you already possess and see how you act in regard to them: there is no movement of grasping because you already possess them…