Bhagavat Gita advice selfless action to attain salvation via the karma (action) route. There are other ways to attain salvation but the purpose of this post is to take a closer look at selfless action and how mortals like us can benefit from it. Selfless action are those actions that are performed without focusing on result or outcome. But we are a result oriented society. Every action we perform is tied to an expected result or outcome. This is indeed good for achieving our goals in life and driving towards that. But the problem is, when we take it too far, everything we do, we expect something in return, whether it is love or helping others or praying to God.
As per Buddha, suffering exist and the cause of suffering is desires. When our expectations are not met, we feel upset, anger and frustration. Even things we do for good will, like helping someone or donating money for a good cause, can upset us if our action is not acknowledged. Consider this, you give $10 to a homeless person, he took the money and walked away without showing any gratitude. You feel upset and promise never to help this ungrateful person again. This was supposed to be a good deed and we were supposed to feel good after helping this unfortunate fellow. What went wrong here?
The important thing to understand here is that “we are for nature and nature is not for us”, meaning, if we never existed, nature or universe will be the same. If we dont exist tomorrow, nature will still be the same. But our ego makes us believe that we are the center of the universe and every action we perform is important. In reality what ever happens is for our own evolution and not for nature, meaning, we are given the opportunity to evolve by being part of the nature.
Consider the homeless person again. Even if you dont give $10, he will still survive. In fact he gave you an opportunity to express your kindness by accepting your charity. Once we understand that what ever happens is for our own evolution, we are not attached to the outcome. There is no reason to complain, feel upset or angry.
Apply this to every situation in your life. When you feel upset or frustrated, look for the opportunity the situation presents for your evolution. This will help you look at the situation in a whole different perspective, a positive one. Once you consider every experience as an opportunity to evolve, there are no bad experience in life.
Next time some one cut in-front of you while driving, thank him for giving the opportunity to stay calm and patient. Kids are like a University, they give us the opportunity to be kind, patient, express sacrifice and love. If someone accepts your charity, thank them for giving the opportunity to be kind. If they dont show any gratitude, thank them again for the opportunity for reminding and teaching us about selfless action.
DISCLAIMER : If you owe me anything, please dont take this as an opportunity for not returning it ;).