7. Karma Yoga is acting in the field of your most powerful vasanas with the mind on the higher. Fix a higher ideal or goal that includes the welfare of others too.
There are two ways of eliminating desire –
1. Through knowledge of the higher. A child’s desires for toys drop when she grows into a teenager.
2. Fulfilling your strongest desires with the mind on the higher. Dedicate your actions to a higher goal. Work in a spirit ofyajna, sacrifice. Existing desires will get exhausted without acquiring new ones.
If the mind and body indulge you acquire more desires. If the mind indulges but body withdraws you are a hypocrite, as said in verse 6. If the mind withdraws whether the body participates or not you excel, as per this verse.
8. Action is therapeutic. It is a must. Even after surgery patients in hospital are made to walk as soon as possible. Remain inactive and you degenerate.
There are three types of action – niyatam obligatory action, kamya desire-driven action, and nisiddha prohibited action. We all know what our obligations are – to family, society, country, environment, and to ourselves. What comes in the way of obligation is desire. When desire mounts to unsustainable levels you cross the line and perform actions that violate the conscience.
Niyatam obligatory action falls in two categories – nitya karma, regular, routine duties and naimittika karma special, occasional duties that arise in extraordinary circumstances.
The Indian culture is based on following duties and never claiming rights. Thus in the golden era of India there were no divorces, no old age homes and no trade unions. No citizen was left uncared for. Everyone got his or her due share of resources. When you think of yourself the mind gets agitated. With an agitated mind you cannot think clearly and action gets flawed. Thus selfishness comes in the way of success. And selfish actions increase desires so you devolve spiritually as well.
The way out is selfless, dedicated work towards a higher ideal. Then you get success, happiness and spiritual growth.