Our intent is usually good for any action we take. However, many times the intent does not translate into action. Why?

Here is what I think. Intent or intention comes from our desire. Desire is based on what we wish. Wish can be based on flimsy dreams with no facts. That is where the problem lies I guess.

Intent needs to have a different dotted line. Intent needs to come from desire but desire needs to come from our understanding of our duty and purpose. Understanding of duty and purpose comes from understanding ourselves, our position in life and life as a whole. Now that does seem like a lot of work before we can have an intent, right? True, it is and it should be, if we truly want our intent to translate into action and for that action to be meaningful, purposeful and useful.

This duty that I am referring to, is what is mentioned in Bhagavad Gita as DHARMA. Yes, dharma is not religion or religious duty as most of us understand but it is our duty as a human being. Now this dharma or duty is different for different people. We are different people and we need to therefore first understand what type are we?

This type is referred to as VARNA in Bhagavad Gita. There are 4 Varna’s and they are:

1. Brahmana;
2. Kshatriya;
3. Vaishya; and
4. Shudra

Very simply put, Brahmana’s are the intelligent class of people who understand Brahman (source of life) and can communicate with Brahman (through Vedic rituals) and become the channel to receive peace, prosperity and harmony for the entire life (jeeva) on this planet and this is what their purpose and duty is. Nothing else. It is the duty of the rest of the society to provide for the basic needs and comfort of these Brahmana’s and their family.

Hmmm….anyone out there who feels they belong to this category? I doubt right, so let’s look at the next one 🙂

Kshatriya’s are the warrior class who are the passionate aggressive kind who feel intensely to defend the right against the wrong and save the world from all kind of negative impact. They are willing to give their own lives to protect and safeguard others. Now, these are the people who may be best suited for defence, army etc. Most importantly they are the people who should be governing us, be in politics, the administrative class. They are the one’s who have the duty to protect the right from wrong and provide a safe environment for the entire community so that the community can live in harmony and flourish. Towards this the advice is for the Kshatriya’s or the rulers including Kings and Presidents and Prime Ministers to ideally have a Brahmana as an advisor!! Since only a Brahmana can be neutral and have the right vision to make sure that the Kshatriya is not making any wrong moves due to his passionate nature. There are 3 modes of material nature that governs us and everything there is around us. These are:

1. Sattvik (mode of goodness)
2. Rajasik (mode of passion)
3. Tamasik (mode of ignorance)

This is a topic by itself and we will dwell into it another time but for now it is good to know that Brahmana’s are in the Sattvik Guna (nature) or beyond, Kshatriya’s are in the Rajasik Guna and the ones described later in this article are in the Tamasik Guna.

So, this is the Dharma of a Kshatriya. We get absolute clarity even on the career we need to be in, right? Yes, it is as simple as that. Their own needs and their family needs are the responsibility of the rest of the society.

Few of us can relate to that? But do we really have it in us to make sure we fight for the right reasons and not for position, authority, money, name, fame, power or simply because we are following the instructions of some senior who does not seem to necessarily be doing it for the right reasons? Check and if you fit here, very good. Now you know – who are you, what is your dharma and based on that you can create your desires, intent and action which is your karma. When you do your karma based on your dharma and not for any other reason, you are a Karma Yogi!

Now, for those of us who are not sure yet if we are this category also, let’s move on to the next one 🙂

Vaishya’s are the class of people who do agriculture, rear cows and do everything necessary to create the material needed for all to live and grow. Their duty is to produce and trade these products. It is their duty that they not only take care of themselves, their families and the families of the people who work for them, but also provide for the Brahmana and Kshatriya families too. They take care of all forms of life including the animals, not just human.They are the ones responsible to provide for the community for its sustenance. Now, to some extent, protecting the environment from being exploited for unnecessary and self-destructive reasons is something this category can do well. This is their duty and Dharma. Nothing else. They receive spiritual blessings from Brahmana and protection from Kshatriya in return. Thus there is natural harmony.

Wow, many of us must be wondering we are traders, agriculturists, entrepreneurs and what not but we mainly do that for name and fame..now, let us be honest about it. But do we really belong in this category and if so can we follow our Dharma and correct our desires and intent so that our Karma is according to that? Some job to do right? Yep, let’s get started. At least we know now!

Hmmm…but before we get started, let us check what is the next one too, so that we can be sure we are rightly categorising ourselves right? So, let’s move to the next one 🙂

Shudra’s are those who follow instructions. Period. They do what is asked of them and they do a good job of it. They serve their masters. That is their Dharma. That is it. To do what is said in the best possible manner according to their capability and make a living out of that for themselves and their family is their karma.

Ha, are we all having some realisations here!! I hope so. Yep, like it or not, most of us do belong to this category. Okay, no worries, at least we know. This is where we are. Let’s do a good job here and be karma yogis to begin with.

Once we understand all these four categories and based on that our Dharma and Karma, we will realise the best is to ultimately work towards transcending it all and if there is a better world where we can find our true happiness, let us move on to that plane. Now that is yet again a whole different topic and hence I will not get into that here, but let me assure you friends, there is that plane and that is where our true happiness lies!

Now, coming back to the point I was making –  now do you see why most of the times our intent, desire and action don’t go along? We think as parents we have the right intent for our child, as a teacher we have the right intent for our pupil, as a spouse we have the right intent for our partner, as a friend we have the right intent for our friends, as a employer we have the right intent for our employees and so on…but intent is not enough without connecting the dots right?

So, if you are a parent who wants to know where to get started and how to make the beginning to set things right, please join me for the Workshop on Conscious Parenting that I am conducting on 5th of August 2018 from 2pm-5pm at Jayanagar, Bangalore. You can find more details here and also you can register yourself – http://go.eventshigh.com/fj3oq

If you are not in Bangalore or cannot make it on that day but would wish to attend a program on the topic, you can do one of the following:

1. Arrange a event at your office, school, college, house, club house or a near by venue and call me
2. Get a bunch of friends and family members who would want to be part of this kind of program sitting at their homes, let me know and we can do a webinar
3. Think of any other creative way on how to do it and I will be more than happy to participate.

You can reach out to me for this or for any other related thoughts you may have or if you wish to volunteer with my venture called Conscious Living Center (CLC) and do your bit in helping people live a conscious life – write to me at “archana@consciouslivingcenter.in”. I will surely revert to you within 48 hours of receiving your mail. That is my promise.

Have a conscious day filled with the right intent, desire and action!

With loads of love and regards,
Archana Krishnamurthy
Founder, CLC and Mindful Living (OPC) Pvt Ltd
Author, Trainer, Coach and Mentor