--> Skip to main content

Good Work Is That Done With Contentment And Without Attachment And Desire – Bhagavad Gita

In the Bhagavad Gita, particularly in Chapter 3 and Chapter 5, Lord Krishna expounds on the nature of "good work" or "right action" (karma). According to Krishna, good work is characterized by being performed with contentment, without attachment, and devoid of desire for personal gain. Here are some key aspects of this teaching:

Contentment in Work (Santushti): Contentment implies a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment in performing one's duties. When one is content with their work, they are more likely to be focused and dedicated, performing their tasks with a clear mind and pure intention. This inner contentment helps one remain stable and serene regardless of the outcome.

Detachment (Anasakti): Detachment, or the absence of attachment (anasakti), is a central theme in the Gita. It means performing one's duties without being emotionally attached to the results. This detachment allows one to act without being swayed by success or failure, maintaining equanimity in all situations. Krishna advises Arjuna to perform his duty as a warrior without attachment to the fruits of his actions (Chapter 2, Verse 47):

"You have a right to perform your prescribed duties, but you are not entitled to the fruits of your actions. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, nor be attached to inaction."

Absence of Desire (Nishkama Karma): Acting without desire (nishkama karma) means performing one's duties without any expectation of reward or personal gain. This concept is central to the Gita's philosophy of selfless action. By relinquishing desires and focusing on the duty itself, one purifies the mind and aligns with the higher purpose. Krishna emphasizes this in Chapter 3, Verse 19:

"Therefore, always perform your duty efficiently and without attachment, in the spirit of offering it to Me. In this way, you will attain the supreme state of freedom from bondage and attain Me."

Equanimity (Samatva): Krishna also speaks about maintaining equanimity, or balance, in success and failure, gain and loss. This is illustrated in Chapter 2, Verse 48:

"Perform your duty equipoised, O Arjuna, abandoning all attachment to success or failure. Such equanimity is called yoga."

By integrating these principles, one can perform good work in a manner that is spiritually uplifting and free from the binds of material concerns. This approach not only enhances personal peace and contentment but also contributes positively to the welfare of society, aligning individual actions with the broader cosmic order (dharma).