7 Reasons Why Desire-Ridden Actions Are Not Good

Krishna and Arjuna

by Jayaram V

Notes: I have translated the Bhagavadgita twice. The first one was a loose translation. The second one was a word to word translation with a detailed commentary. The commentary is however different from what you will find here. In this section I will share with you my thoughts about the knowledge, philosophy and wisdom of the Bhagavadgita as I understand it from my perspective. Jayaram V


The Bhagavadgita says that you should perform your actions selflessly, without expectations and desires. Here are a few reasons why it is important to live according to your intelligence rather than according to your desires.

1. Desire ridden-actions produce karma and bind the doers to the consequences.

2. All actions arise from God. You cannot claim credit for them.

3. Expectations produce anxiety and reduce  peace and happiness.

4. Under the influence of desires, you will become selective in your approach and avoid doing difficult tasks, even though they are important and vital to you and society. You may not like to do them because they involve responsibility and they may produce pain and suffering. For example lot of youngsters now want to have sex-partners but do not want to marry because they do not want the responsibility that comes with marriage. The result is families are on decline and the number of babies going to orphanages and childcare are on the increase

5. Peace and happiness come not only from fulfilling your desires but also from practicing certain values and morals in your life. For example, restraint, discipline and moderation in your habits are necessary to achieve any goal in life. Since the benefits are not immediately known, you may avoid doing them. In the process, there will be a steep decline in the moral and social values.

6. If you solely go by your desires, you may abandon the tasks if they do not produce expected results, if they result in failure and disappointment, or if they cause pain and anxiety. Many people give up trying in their lives and resort to drugs, alcohol, and pain killers to deal with their depression and anxiety because they cannot face the challenges of their lives and take responsibility for them.

7. When you are free from desires, you see things clearly and make better decisions. Your perceptions, thinking, memory, understanding, and decision making improve and you will act rationally, according to the situation, rather than according to your beliefs, emotions, prejudices, expectations and preconceived notions. You will just keep doing it as part of your duty or obligation, whether they are pleasant or unpleasant, easy or difficult, and likely to succeed or not.

Thus, even from a worldly perspective it is better to focus upon performing your tasks without desires and expectations, and doing your best, rather than focusing upon the result and suffering from worry and anxiety.

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