|How Vikarma helps Karma
1. In the last Chapter we discussed yoga of the desireless action. If we
give up our svadharma (one's own dharma) and take over another's dharma, it is quite impossible to
attain the goal of desirelessness. It is the merchant's svadharma to sell
wholesome and necessary goods. But when he gives up his svadharma and
starts selling luxuries got from across the seven seas, the motive is mercenary.
How then can that action be free from desire? Cherishing one's
svadharma is therefore indispensable, if one is to free one's action from desire.
But even the pursuit of svadharma can be full of desire. Let us take even the
matter of non-violence (ahimsa). To the devotee of non-violence, violence is of course, unthinkable.
But it is possible to be non-violent in externals, and yet in fact be filled
with violence; for violence is a quality of the mind. It is not as if by
abstaining from violent action outwardly, the mind becomes full of non-violence.
Drawing the sword proclaims the attitude
of violence; but it is not true that by dropping the sword a man becomes non-violent. The practice
of svadharma is exactly like this. To be free of desire, it is essential to
keep clear of other's dharma. But this is only the first step towards
freedom from desire. With this alone, we have not reached the goal.