Doing any karma (activity) without even a single desire (Nishkāma karma) is not possible for the seeker at the very beginning. But, one must necessarily do it. Because, such karma performed in this birth will not go in vain. If we do such Nishkāma karma once, it will not create any obstacle in the future births. Say, some karma happens in the world.
The jeevi (being) always attaches doer ship to his/her self. Because of that, the jeevi experiences the fruits of that karma. He cannot escape the fruits of it. Attaching the fruits of karma to the jeevi is attaching the karma to the doer. When the fruits of karma are attached to a doer, it is said to be “sakama karma”. If it is not attached then it is known as “nishkāma karma”. This is what we must learn.
Lord Krishna told about Nishkāma karma thus:
If one tries for nishkāma karma, then such a person will not incur any loss even if the effort fails. Instead, the fruits of the spiritual practice will lead him to heaven. After experiencing the fruits of the merit accumulated, he will take re-birth on Earth. It is such a good topic from Bhagavad gita. We must practice it. We should read a chapter from it or at least a shloka every day. Such a person will get the energy without any efforts to continue the spiritual practice (sādhana) from where it stopped in the last birth. In this birth, he will be born in a family where he can continue the sādhana. We often see people with such fortune.
These were the words of Lord Krishna. There should not be any doubts regarding the words uttered by Krishna so clearly because he is Jagadguru. Nishkāma karma will not be finished in a birth. The efforts must continue. This is what we learn here. Many ask how it is possible to do karma without any desire. Because we do the karma with a desire, it is not fulfilled. Then, we will not have any interest on the karma. Hence, we must do any karma without any desire on it and without any expectation for the fruits thereafter. Many go to temple, Guru and follow yantras and mantras only if some good fortune comes to them. Holding onto yantra and mantra may be illusory but approaching a Guru is not so. If we feed the hungry, then we must do so as nishkāma karma. Instead, it is wrong to be egoistic for feeding the hungry. At the same, it is a big mistake to either insult the person or boast about oneself after offering the food. Nishkama karma is a very good penance for one’s life. It involves no expectation. You will emerge victorious for taking up any karma being duty-bounded.
Jai Guru Datta! Sri Guru Datta!