Art of Doing Karma according to Bhagavad gita
Gita says it is possible. Swami Vivekananda too says in his book Karma-Yoga that it is possible. During those approximately 1000 years between the Gita and Swamiji, nobody has dealt with the subject so thoroughly. After giving a detailed view as presented in the Gita, Swami Vivekananda has explained this in his book on Karma-Yoga. He says that work is seldom sweet; often one considers it as drudgery. This feeling arises because of lack of love for our work. We have to make the work enjoyable. Going to office every morning and coming back in the evening, one may feel drudgery. Now women are also going to office or if at home, they have to cook, take care of the house, do all the housekeeping work—this also develops a feeling of drudgery in them.
In the olden days we had the joint family system where people lived together. Even after marriage the son lived with his parents and took care of them. And then came the period of Vanaprastha, during which the old people lived in the forest and spent the rest of their life in spirituality. Nowadays people's requirements have gone up. It is also not possible to go to a forest and yet one has to continue working. To convert work which is the cause of bondage into a means of spiritual progress, by detaching from the fruits of action is Karma-Yoga. That is what the Lord says in Gita (2.47):
The Lord alone has the power to sanction the fruits of action. It is same as your salary cheque, which has to be signed by your company chairman
Karmani eva adhikarah te
ma phaleshu kadachana;
Ma karma-phala-hetur bhu
ma te sango'stvakarmani.
'You have only the right to work but not to the fruits thereof.' One cannot be without some work. It is possible, of course, externally to sit quiet but internally the mind will be still restless. So also sitting idle is neither desirable nor possible. So one must learn to take up the path of Karma-Yoga, for one's own good.
Now, Phalahetu (in the above sloka) means do not let your mind get attached to the Karmaphala. This means you will have to do your duty without getting attached to its outcome. Swamiji says that duty is seldom sweet; it is like the burning midday sun over our head. But when work is greased with love it turns out to be sweet. To do that, one needs detachment. Detachment from desire does not mean that you have to work in the office without salary! Actually the Karmaphala is granted by the Lord himself.3
The Lord alone has the power to sanction the fruits of action. It is same as your salary cheque, which has to be signed by your company chairman, and if he is absent on a particular day, you don't get the salary on that day.
Krishna in the Gita says: 'I too have duties to perform.' (Gita, 3.22) In spite of the fact that the Lord has got everything, He is always at work. Why? He replies that if He does not work this way, then others too will follow His path. They will think that it is all right to be idle. If the Lord keeps idle then why should we work; everything will then go to pieces. As everything is ruled by Brahmashakti, we cannot avoid work.