I have seen lot of trainers teaching leadership only in pursuit of commerce, their whole curriculum & teaching revolves around the materialistic life. The Bhagvad Gita, One of the greatest scriptures of the world or rather the greatest, if one may say has its eternal message given from various angles. Among them the concept of Karma Yoga is its original contribution. For the first time in the history of world literature, This idea of karma yoga occurs in the Gita, even though it finds a mention in the Upnishads in a rudimentary form. For example we may quote here the second verse of the “Ishavasya Upnishad

“By doing Karma, indeed, one should wish to live here for hundred years. For a man
such as you there is no other way than this, whereby karma may not cling to you”


It is also interesting to note that this message of Bhagvad Gita was delivered in a battlefield where two large armies had been arrayed against each other in the battleground of Kurukshetra. Indeed the battlefield is the place to test one’s ability to do one’s duty, in spite of being provoked to do otherwise.

Though the Gita is a “samanvaya grantha” a book harmonizing all the four yogas such as Jnana, Karma, Bhakti & Rajyoga, Its special contribution is the concept of Karma Yoga. During the medieval period in India there was a general belief that Karma (Action of all kinds) is an obstacle to spiritual progress. The Mimamsakas [ Votaries of the ritualistic practice], however taking their stand on ritualistic section (Karma Kanda) of the Vedas, believed, that non performance of the vedic rituals will result in one not reaching the goal of life- “the heaven”.

 This was illustrated through such statements or directives as “yavad jivam agnihotram juhuyat” means perform –agnihotra [ The customary fire ritual performed by a house holder] as long as you are alive. But the question was raised ‘Can the work be done without the bondage it brings?’ This was answered by Sri Krishna who emphatically said in Gita that it is possible to do so. He said ‘The art of right activity (Yoga) lies in doing one’s duty skilfully’ [yogah karmasu kaushalam]. In other words one should learn how to work being shackled by the bonds of Karma. 

Activity Without Attachment :

Though Popular the word yajna brings to mind a fire- ritual, sri krishna gave a deeper meaning to it when he said:

“Work done for purpose other than yajna results in bondage.
Therefore, o Kaunteya, work, freeing yourself from all attachment

Here yajna means making a sacrifice in order to maintain the universal order of give and take which forms the basis of all life. It is the participation in the cyclic nature of life which brings true happiness in life. This means that we will have to convert all our actions into yajna-that is, transform all our activities into sacrifice, by eschewing all selfishness or tendency to hoard and possesses, In order to renounce selfishness, one should make one’s life God-oriented.  Only when our mind is directed towards higher ideals that it becomes possible for us to get rid of selfishness.

We often ask: ‘Why are people selfish?’  To it the simple answer is: Because of desires and a wrong understanding that if desires are fulfilled one can be happy forever!

The fact, however is otherwise: It is not fulfilling our selfish desires but non-attachment to result of actions which really brings true joy in life. We suffer because we become attached to result and run after money, pleasures, fame and other fleeting objects of life. Suffering comes from following the path of Sakama-Karma [work with a selfish motive].

One should remain active all the time- but without attachment. Sri Krishna himself sets an example of constant activity and shows us how to remain free from attachment. He tells Arjuna,

“O Partha, I have no duty to be performed in all the three worlds,  I have nothing to be attained; still I go on working. The action or work do not bind me, nor have I any desire for the results of actions. If one understands this in this manner, actions will not bind him.”

Lest people misconstrue this statement to mean that one can then be inactive or lazy, Sri Krishna warns:

If I were not working without sleep, ordinary people will also follow suit. That would set in motion degeneration of higher values of life……This introduction to Leadership goes on……..

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