Swami Vivekananda 3


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WORK WITHOUT MOTIVE Presentation by Dr.SHOBHA RAMASWAMY Assistant Prof. of English KongunaduArts and Science College Coimbatore 641 029

WORK WITHOUT MOTIVE Swami Vivekananda:



SWAMI VIVEKANANDA Swami Vivekananda is one of the most influential spiritual leaders of India.The swami was the chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and founder of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission.


KARMA YOGA The Swami believed in Karma Yoga, the path of worship through work. He said that an individual can be free only if all human beings are free. Even desire for personal salvation was to be given up and only tireless work for the salvation of others was the true goal of an enlightened person.


THE CHICAGO LECTURES The Swami introduced Yoga and Vedanta to the West with his seminal lectures and private discourses on Vedanta philosophy He introduced Eastern thought to the West at the Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893. Here, his first lecture which started with the words, “Brothers and Sisters of America” made the audience clap for two minutes just before the address.

PowerPoint Presentation:

At the forty-second meeting of the Ramakrishna Mission held at the premises of No.57, Ramakanta Bose Street, Baghbazar, Calcutta, on the 20 th of March, 1898, Swami Vivekananda gave an address on “Work Without Motive.” In this lecture, he set forth the central message of the Bhagavad Gita, which was to work tirelessly, unselfishly and with non-attachment to the fruits of one’s action .

The Two Conflicting Sects:

The Two Conflicting Sects When the Gita was first preached, there was a great controversy going on between two sects. One party considered the Vedic Yagnas, animal sacrifices and such like Karmas to constitute the whole of religion.

The Other Sect:

The Other Sect The other group of people, mostly Sannyasins and followers of Jnana believed that the giving up of all work and the gaining of the knowledge of the Self was the only path to Moksha.

What the Bhagavad Gita said:

What the Bhagavad Gita said By the preaching of His great doctrine of work without motive, the Author of the Gita set at rest the disputes of these two antagonistic sects.

What is the meaning of working without motive?:

What is the meaning of working without motive? Nowadays many understand it in the sense that one is to work in such a way that neither pleasure nor pain touches his mind. If that be its real meaning, animals might be said to work without motive. Animals kill instinctively without thought or consideration. Is working without feeling not bestial? Can this be the message of the Gita?

Inanimate objects are without feeling:

Inanimate objects are without feeling The walls have no feelings of pleasure or pain; neither has a stone; and it cannot be said that they are working without motive.

Is working without motive=working without feeling?:

Is working without motive=working without feeling? If the meaning be such, then one who has a stony heart, the worst of criminals, might be considered to be working without motive.

Can the Gita’s Message be Dangerous?:

Can the Gita’s Message be Dangerous? In the above sense the doctrine is a potent instrument in the hands of the wicked. They would go on doing wicked deeds, and would pronounce themselves as working without motive. If such be the significance of working without a motive, then a fearful doctrine has been put forth by the preaching of the Gita.

PowerPoint Presentation:

If we look into the lives of those who were connected with the preaching of the Gita, we should find them living quite a different life. Arjuna killed Bishma and Drona in battle, but withal, he sacrificed all his self-interest and desires and his lower self millions of times.

The Gita teaches Karma Yoga, which means Concentration in Action :

The Gita teaches Karma Yoga , which means Concentration in Action

Be Egoless:

Be Egoless In such concentration in action (Karma Yoga), there is no consciousness of the lower ego present.

Is This Possible?:

Is This Possible? The Western people do not understand this concept. They say that if there be no consciousness of ego, if this ego is gone, how then can a man work?

Concentration leads to better work:

Concentration leads to better work In reality, when one works with concentration, losing all consciousness of oneself the work that is done will be infinitely better.

The Good Painter:

The Good Painter If the painter, losing the consciousness of his ego, becomes completely immersed in his painting, he will be able to produce masterpieces.

The Good Cook:

The Good Cook A good cook concentrates his whole self on the food material he handles: he loses all other consciousness for the time being. But the cook and the painter are only able to do perfectly a single work in this way, something to which they are habituated


ALL WORK SHOULD BE DONE WITH CONCENTRATION The Gita teaches that all work should be done thus. He who is one with the Lord through Yoga performs all his work by becoming immersed in concentration, and does not seek any personal benefit.

Egoless Action Brings Only Good Results:

Egoless Action Brings Only Good Results Such performance of work brings only good to the world, no evil can come of it. Those who work thus never do anything for themselves.

Ordinary work is a mixture of good and evil:

Ordinary work is a mixture of good and evil The result of every work is mixed with good and evil. There is no good work that has not a touch of evil in it. Like smoke round the fire, some evil always clings to work. We should engage in such works as bring the largest amount of good and the smallest measure of evil.


THE EGOLESS ARE UNAFFECTED BY EVIL Those who work without any consciousness of their lower ego are not affected with evil, for they work for the good of the world


THE TRUE MESSAGE OF THE GITA To work without motive, to work unattached, brings the highest bliss and freedom. This secret of Karma-Yoga is taught by Lord Krishna in the Gita.



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