Nishkama Karma and Voluntary Spirit

Newton’s third law of motion states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Conversely, there is the law of “nishkama karma” it says that for every action in which there is no embedded expectation, there is a reaction that is far greater than the action. This comes from a source other than that which is being acted upon. Newton’s third law can be experimentally proved while the law of “nishkama karma” can be proven experientially. Check out things through experience. It is a very powerful mechanism for validating the truth. Do put in ten percent of your time and money on something from which you don’t expect anything and watch the beautiful result.

When we engage ourselves in voluntary work without expecting any tangible benefi t, we benefi t in an intangible manner. This is something we have forgotten today. Taking is in, giving is out. When we take, it affects those from whom we are taking, making them also wanting to take. On the other hard, when we give, others too are affected by the giving ‘bug’. Both giving and taking can be infectious. The difference lies in the fact that when we take, a certain tension builds up in the subconscious that does not allow us to fully enjoy what we have taken. Conversely, the giving person elevates himself immediately by sharing the joy experienced by the receiver. In addition, he gets back much more over a period of time from other sources. The principle followed is similar to Newton’s Third Law of Motion, with a slight modifi cation. Any giving action has a reaction that is more than the original action, but comes delayed from the source other than that which is acted upon. True voluntary work is a fine example of this law of karma. People involved with such work have to face many diffi culties but, over a period of time, they start emitting a glow that no money can buy. The Mahatma believed that what¬ever he possessed, including his body, mind and spirit, was held in trust for the benefi t of society. He considered himself the trustee and never felt as the owner. If we can incorporate even a small part of this concept in our lives by contributing in a true voluntary spirit to any positive effort, we will experience a joy that words cannot adequately describe.

–Dr. Kiran Seth

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