XXXII - Page 320 Home | Index | Previous | Next

The Joy of Doing is greater than the Joy of the Rewards

You get joy while performing an action, but you do not experience joy to the same extent after the action is completed. You are simply deluded by the feeling that there is some joy in the fruit of the action. But, truly speaking, there is no joy whatsoever in the fruit. The joy which you believe you get from the fruit is only a reflection; it is a shadow of the real joy. It is just a phantom joy. It is not the permanent joy that you are seeking. When the actions themselves are temporary and transient, how can the fruits derived from them be anything more than fleeting shadows?

Perhaps you feel that by performing acts of charity or by doing good, involving yourself in good causes, participating in auspicious events or by engaging in various acts of personal sacrifice, you will earn heavenly rewards. However, Krishna declared that heaven is only temporary. He said, "Arjuna, there is something which is far greater than heaven. Of course, you should always do good. I am not saying that you should stop performing good deeds, sacrifices, austerities, religious rituals and the like. It is not only your right but your duty to continue with such good actions; but, do everything you do with only the welfare of the whole world in mind. Do not act with any selfish motive. Perform every action selflessly, disinterestedly, concerned only with the peace, welfare and prosperity of all living beings, everywhere.

"Do not be concerned with reaching heaven. Set your sight on a much higher goal, beyond heaven. Heaven will last only as long as the merits of your actions last. Once these merits are exhausted, you will have to come back to earth. Therefore, give up your longing for heaven, which is temporary and impermanent. Cultivate nearness and dearness to the Lord. Become merged in him; that is what is truly important. The principle of divinity is greater than heaven. When you understand the secret of action and perform all your actions from the proper perspective, you will be able to acquire the divinity itself."