The Meaning of Nishkam Karma
In the Sanskrit language, the word Kriya means that which happens. Karma means which is done.
Whatever needs to be done for that you need to have your desire and intention. In Sanskrit it is called Sankalp. So without Sankalp, you cannot do any karma.
Karmafala means the outcome of that karma. Karmafala has nothing to do with whether you like it or not, whether it is good for you or bad. For example, you do a karma of eating a brick of ice cream at 6 am in the morning then this karma has karmafala. How ice cream will respond to your body at a particular time depends upon many factors and not just the karma of eating.
When Karmafala has unfolded before you then it is up to you, whether you like it or not. That is another karma and thus the cycle keeps going. Whether you like it or not depends upon you. And how you respond after that like or dislike is 100% your choice.
So karma cannot be done without Sankalp. If this is the case then what is the meaning of selfless karma? Saklap has a deep connection with self. This self can be your body, your child, your parents, your village, your company, your nation, your religion, your community, your race etc.
It looks like selfless karma means karma that is done for a larger self, which has a larger and far radius of impact. This ‘far’ can be in terms of time or in terms of space.
Nishkam Karma means a Karma, which is done without self desire. But the desire still exists. The desire for a larger self around.
Karma whether for yourself or for the larger self around you. You need a Sankalpa for Karma. Selfless means there is no individual. Where is the question of Karma in that state of mind?
O Pratibimba! What is your experience of selfless Karma and Nishkam Karma?
Hari Om Tat Sat
Yours Truly Hari