Good of the World

The Economic Times - - Breaking Ideas Weak Fdi Flows -

The Bha­gavad Gita lays ut­most em­pha­sis on the good of the world, or lokasam­graha. Work done for lokasam­graha not only pre­vents de­struc­tion of the world, it also con­trib­utes to­wards so­cial ef­fi­ciency. While teach­ing karma yoga to Ar­juna, Krishna gives the ex­am­ple of King Janaka who at­tained per­fec­tion by per­form­ing self­less work for the well be­ing of all. Krishna tells Ar­juna that in all the three worlds, there is noth­ing He (Krishna) has to gain for Him­self nor is there any­thing that He can­not gain, but still, He is en­gaged in work­ing for the good of the world (3-22). And if He did not work self­lessly, the worlds would per­ish be­cause peo­ple would fol­low His ex­am­ple and ab­stain from self­less ac­tiv­ity (3-23).

Krishna fur­ther states that the dif­fer­ence between the ig­no­rant and the wise is that while the ig­no­rant man works in his own in­ter­est, the en­light­ened man per­forms un­at­tached work for the good of oth­ers (3-25). Self­less work is God’s work. For an av­er­age man, work­ing for his own good remains his top pri­or­ity. At best, he may work for the good of his own peo­ple or com­mu­nity. But the urge to do some­thing for the good of the world remains a dis­tant idea.

Lokasam­graha as taught in the Gita aims at work­ing for the good of all with­out an in­cli­na­tion to work ex­clu­sively for your own sake or for your own peo­ple. The mes­sage of the Gita for the so­cial worker is to per­form so­cial ser­vice with self­less­ness and equa­nim­ity. But while do­ing ser­vice for oth­ers, one should not ig­nore his obli­ga­tions to­wards his own fam­ily.

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