From verse 41, I understood that I can practice karma yoga and sadhanas to help awaken and purify my consciousness, but the ultimate goal is to find God/Self. Karma yoga is thus a tool to help me find my inner freedom. In versus 47 and 48, I understood that while serving others is a way of serving God, I shouldn’t get caught up in it. Who am I really but God? So I need not be attached to myself as the doer of this action. I am just the instrument.
I’ve come to realize that even in my sincerest of actions, I am often attached to an outcome. Recently my husband and I began cooking a gourmet, organic, fresh meal for about 12 people who are homeless each month. It’s a way to flow my love through food. I became so upset when I realized I doubled the amount of liquid in the large batch of cilantro rice and it was complete mush. The rest of the meal was about ready, and we didn’t have time to go to the store that sells organic rice. The meal was ruined I thought—I set out to serve an organic meal and now I’d be feeding them regular rice. After going through this whole samsara, it finally occurred to me that my disappointment and irritation with myself that were now flowing into this meal was far worse than the non-organic rice. It is when I do actions without any thought, just because it feels right, that I am non-attached. When I don’t give my mind a chance to analyze whether it is safe to intervene in a situation, whether I might need those last bills I give to someone in my wallet. That’s when I know karma action. It is one soul giving to another soul. And that is all.
If I can just become the instrument—follow my duty with disinterest or detachment, and let the outcome rest in Ishwara’s hands, then I will become wise and free.