Tasmad Asaktah Satatam
Karyam Karma Samacara
Asakto Hy Acaran Karma
Param Apnoti Purusah
Chapter 3.19 Bhagavad Gita
The above verse was conveyed by Lord Krishna to a distraught Arjuna during the Kurukshetra War.
In the third Chapter of Bhagavad Gita, Krishna explains about Karma Yoga, from which the above text was taken.
It means, “Therefore, without being attached to fruits of activities, one should act as a matter of duty; for by working without attachment, one attains the Supreme.”
How does this relate to us in the Kali Yuga?
We are not in a middle of a war, so why would this verse be important to us?
This verse is important because it teaches one to do one’s duty; at the same time, render selfless service to others without any expectations.
It should be noted that interdependence is a way of life.
The labour of ‘other’ men or women, either on a physical, psychic, intellectual or spiritual plane, benefits us. No task is insignificant.
But what kind of treatment do we mete out to those who are less fortunate than us and whose services we take for granted?
Lord Dattatreya has preached the essence of Universal Brotherhood.
Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji (Swamiji) advocates this principle.
He emphasises that our motto should be ‘Practising Humanity.’
He has established ‘Avadhoota Datta Peetham’ in Mysore and all over India. This ashram runs programmes and activities for enrichment of human life.
Apart from spiritual programmes, the Ashram offer ‘Annadanam’ (free food) to all visitors and distributes food free of cost regularly to the needy.
Swamiji has also launched a programme called ‘Share Your Food.’
This programme encourages devotees around the world to share their food to the needy every Tuesday.
The Ashram conducts Medical Service Camp, known as ‘SGS Vaidya Seva.’
Dedicated professionals offer their services to the poor and needy regularly for free especially in the village and slum areas.
There have been many speciality camps; for example, cancer detection, diabetes, women and child care have been conducted simultaneously with the Medical Camps.
This is to promote health awareness and the benefits of prevention against the diseases. Over the years, charitable hospitals have also been established in Mysore, Cochin, Hyderabad, Chennai and other places.
The Peetham has built several homes such as the ‘Ammavodi,’ a rehabilitation centre for the destitute women; old age homes and orphanages.
Swamiji has also founded several schools for children and for the disabled.
A volunteer group, called ‘Sri Datta Humane Service,’ renders services during major socio-religious-community events. Such events include service at flood affected or calamity areas, donation of cots, stationery and nutritional food to the poor and the needy.
Swamiji also uses modern technology to spread spiritual awareness and moral values, especially in students.
This is done through a monthly magazine called ‘Bhaktimala’ (which now can be accessed online); SGS Video MMS and Puttugam, where short and educational messages can be shared online and Dattavani, a place where Swamiji’s speeches have been uploaded and can be read by everyone at any time.
Swamiji’s aim in doing these is to remind others of their social responsibility towards and encourage them to engage in social welfare activities.
Although it is not uncommon to see spiritual organisations doing charitable activities, it would be a great opportunity to witness this Divine Musical Saint who is full of compassion and love for one and all.
We invite you to the Dorothy Winston Centre, Auckland Girls Grammar School on Saturday, February 4, 2017 to experience a unique event at which Swamiji will take you on a musical journey.
Molly Palanieappan is a volunteer at Datta Yoga Centre New Zealand. A qualified IGQC Inspector, she works at Fisher & Paykel Healthcare.
Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji