02.48 – Put the world out of the equation
“Work without attachment to success or failure.” This message of the Bhagavad-gita (2.48) begs the question: what are we to work for if not for success?
Love, answers Gita wisdom.
It declares that love is our innermost need. We seek success as a means to love; we hope that if we become successful, the world – especially the people in it whose love we thirst for – will love us more.
Unfortunately, the world thwarts our hope in one of four ways:
1. We don’t succeed
2. Even if we succeed, it doesn’t attract the love that we had expected
3. Even if we are loved, people love us for our success and not for who we are. This makes us perpetually insecure because we become internally dependent on external success, attaining and preserving which is never entirely in our hands.
4. Even if we experience authentic love, it ends agonizingly at the time of death.
To save us from this frustration, Gita wisdom urges us to seek a love that is beyond the world – the love of Krishna. He is forever waiting in our heart to reciprocate love with us. We can start loving him by practicing bhakti-yoga which guides us to perform our worldly activities as offerings of love for him. This devotional motivation inspires us to do those activities the best that we possibly can, thereby ensuring that we frequently get success – but without the insecurity and frustration that had troubled us earlier.
This is the sweet paradox of the Gita’s message: by urging us to put the world out of the equation, it lays the best foundation for our attaining love and also success even in this world, what then to speak of the next.