(Vinod Anand)

Action is the insignia of life. The law of life proclaims that none can remain without performing activity. Everyone is made to act according to one’s own inner temperament. If you choose to remain idle, you lead yourself to destruction. Look at Nature.

Observe the stagnant pool and the running brook. Where water stagnates it turns filthy and dirty, whereas running water is clear and pure. If you are to succeed in life, if you wish to be prosperous and peaceful, you must adopt the principle of running waters, Follow their line of action. The river keeps moving, overcoming all obstacles, ever-progressing.

It never stops until it reaches the ocean. So must you pursue the path of action until you reach the abode of Truth? Vedanta highlights the gospel of karma action. It emphasizes the Importance of fulfilling your obligatory functions in life. Scriptures caution us that even to maintain your body, you must be active, if any part of your TI body remains inactive for a period of time it loses its strength and vitality. Your body needs to be kept in constant repair. You must exercise daily.

But people detest the idea of physical exercise. Instead, they choose to indulge in sensual pleasure. But even enjoyment of sensual pleasures needs proper maintenance of the physical body. Neglect of physical exercise would prove detrimental to your material and spiritual well-being. Hence, the first spiritual lesson Swami Vivekananda gave to his followers was: ‘Go, play football!’

Vedanta insists on work, work and work. Equally so, it glorifies renunciation. There is an apparent contradiction. How can action and renunciation go together? The answer is: Real work is founded on renunciation of the ego —which is work performed without the egoistic feeling, ‘I-am-the-doer. I am the sole architect of all that I do.’

Real work is turned out when the body plunges into action while the mind is attuned to an ideal set for it. A true worker is one who pours out his efforts for a higher cause beyond his selfish interest; it has to be done without an egoistic arrogation of doer ship. That is the spirit of renunciation to be practiced. Such work commands success and prosperity concurrently with peace and bliss.

You can practice it in your home, in business, in society every where. There is no need to retire to the forests for living a life of renunciation. The idea of working in a spirit of renunciation has confused people.

People either become attached entangled in their work or turn cowardly and seek escape from it. Realize that action is inevitable. You cannot avoid your obligatory functions. In the epic Mahabharata, a great battle was fought between two royal forces, Arjuna was a warrior-prince leading one of the armies. He aimed at destroying unrighteousness and resurrecting righteousness in the country.

The stage was set for the battle to commence. At that crucial moment Arjuna wanted to withdraw from the scene. The warrior declined to fight. He shrank from his obligatory duty. It was then that Krishna gave Arjuna the sermon of the Bhagwad Gita. He advised him of the necessity and art of right action and how action embraces the principle of renunciation. He asked Arjuna to renounce his ego and fight the battle impersonally for the welfare of the people.

Empowered by this knowledge, Arjuna fulfilled his obligation as a warrior and won the battle.

Author's Bio: 


Born in 1939, and holding Master’s Degree both in Mathematics (1959) and Economics (1961), and Doctorate Degree in Economics (1970), Dr. Vinod K.Anand has about forty five years of teaching, research, and project work experience in Economic Theory (both micro and macro), Quantitative Economics, Public Economics, New Political Economy, and Development Economics with a special focus on economic and social provisions revolving around poverty, inequality, and unemployment issues, and also on informal sector studies. His last assignment was at the National University of Lesotho (Southern Africa) from 2006 to 2008. Prior to that he was placed as Professor and Head of the Department of Economics at the University of North-West in the Republic of South Africa, and University of Allahabad in India, Professor at the National University of Lesotho, Associate Professor at the University of Botswana, Gaborone in Botswana, and at Gezira University in Wad Medani, Sudan, Head, Department of Arts and Social Sciences, Yola in Nigeria, Principal Lecturer in Economics at Maiduguri University in Nigeria, and as Lecturer at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in Nigeria. Professor Anand has by now published more than 80 research papers in standard academic journals, authored 11 books, supervised a number of doctoral theses, was examiner for more than twenty Ph.D. theses, and has wide consultancy experience both in India and abroad, essentially in the African continent. This includes holding the position of Primary Researcher, Principal Consultant etc. in a number of Research Projects sponsored and funded by Universities, Governments, and International Bodies like, USAID, IDRC, and AERC. His publications include a variety of themes revolving around Economic Theory, New Political Economy, Quantitative Economics, Development Economics, and Informal Sector Studies. His consultancy assignments in India, Nigeria, Sudan, Botswana, and the Republic of South Africa include Non-Directory Enterprises in Allahabad, India, Small Scale Enterprises in the Northern States of Nigeria, The Absolute Poverty Line in Sudan, The Small Scale Enterprises in Wad Medani, Sudan, Micro and Small Scale Enterprises in Botswana, The Place of Non-Formal Micro-Enterprises in Botswana, Resettlement of a Squatter Community in the Vryburg District of North West Province in the Republic of South Africa, Trade and Investment Development Programme for Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises: Support for NTSIKA in the Republic of South Africa, and Development of the Manufacturing Sector in the Republic of South Africa’s North West Province: An Approach Based on Firm Level Surveys. Professor Anand has also extensively participated in a number of conferences, offered many seminars, participated in a number of workshops, and delivered a variety of Refresher Lectures at different venues both in India and abroad. Dr. Anand was placed at the prestigious Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), Shimla in the State Himachal Pradesh, India as a Fellow from 2001 to 2003, and had completed a theoretical and qualitative research project/monograph on the Employment Profile of Micro Enterprises in the State of Himachal Pradseh, India.