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Mediocre Type Of Work – Rajasic Guna In Hinduism

The mediocre work is prompted by desire and performed with self-conceit and much effort. A rajasic worker acts passionately, desirous of the fruits of actions and is easily subject to elation or depression by success or failure in work. He has scant regard for purity, physical and mental, and could have malignant motives behind his work.

His attachment to the results of action can have two implications:

The end becomes more important to him, the means often getting relegated to the background;

Work-induced tension and stress, with predictable adverse effect on health.

His actions and the results need newspaper blazoning since he acts out of self-conceit. More important, he is not conscious of the divine element that impels him to action. The

Gita lists five factors responsible for any work: the body, the doer (kartitva, the sense of agentship in work), the different senses, the different functions of manifold kind, and the presiding deity (the divinity behind the sense organs, or God, the inner Controller, antaryamin. (18.14). The mediocre worker is hardly aware of the most important fifth factor, God, since he is convinced that he is the doer.

There are again other factors deciding the outcome of an activity, such as others involved in it, coordinating agencies, sanctioning authorities, and so on. Besides doing one’s part by proper study and presentation of the case, one can do little in influencing the outcome of work. Excessive brooding over results makes the rajasic worker oblivious of such important factors. Or, since the end is more important to him than the means, he takes to unfair means to influence the outcome in his favour. Since rajasic work is desire-prompted, such a worker is subject to desire’s inevitable and inseparable companion: anger.

What is the mental make-up of a rajasic worker? His intellect has a distorted apprehension of what is dharma and what is adharma — this explains his end justifying the means — and which activities are to be undertaken and which to be avoided. His fortitude makes him regulate his life according to (his own understanding of) dharma (righteousness), artha (wealth) and kama (desire) — three of the four basic human values. He does not trouble himself about the all-important fourth value, moksha (freedom or liberation from samsara (transmigratory existence), the goal of human life.

Source - Prabuddha Bharata Editorial January 2003 issue page 5 - 6.