Work and reward

Most of us are familiar with a verse from the Bhagvad Gita which urges people to do their duty without pinning their hopes and aspirations on the results.

Easily said than done! It certainly seems to be a tall order, especially in the present times where every thought, word and deed that is executed has an expectation attached to it.  People are forever hankering after fame, wealth and power which happen to be the motivation behind work of any sort.

Does the lofty advice handed out by Lord Krishna lack pragmatism? Should the yardstick used to identify successful people be altered? Do sense of duty and responsibility, passion towards one’s work and accountability have no value except when rewarded proportionately?

Is it alright if good work goes unacknowledged or unappreciated? These are but a few questions that weigh down a conscientious worker sometime or the other.

The answer to these questions lies in the actions of Sri Krishna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Krishna’s role as the charioteer, friend, philosopher and guide without actively participating in the war is the highlighted in the epic. These are well known facts to those who are even remotely familiar with the Mahabharata.

Yet there are several instances of total dedication and ultimate attention to details by the lord as Parthasarathi, which constitute to the big picture.

For instance, Gopala, the popular cowherd took care of his war horses ever so well. He fed, watered, bathed and medicated them without awaiting instructions. One day, Krishna noticed his famished and wounded steeds and asked Arjuna to invoke Varuna and spring a lake in the corner of the battle field and fence it with arrows so that he could refresh them to face the war energetically.

 On the day when Arjuna swore to kill the Samasapthakas to avenge the death of Abhimanyu, Krishna foresaw a hard day and arranged for a set of fresh horses and a new chariot to be used midway through the battle, well in advance.

When the war culminated, he consigned the used chariot to flames to protect the world from the negative energy that it was likely to emanate. These are but a few instances which show the involvement that Krishna had towards his assignment as a charioteer. He may not be celebrated or even remembered for every little thing that he did, but each act certainly contributed to the final victory. 

Sincere work seldom gives scope for ruminating on the outcome but never goes unrewarded!

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