Epistemological Concepts of Lokasamgraha and Nishkama-Karma and Western Concept

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  • Lokasamgraha means universal welfare, universal well-being.
  • Loka means People.
  • Samgraha means Welfare.
  • Mentioned in the sacred text, Bhagavad Gita.
  • Lord Krishna taught Arjuna concept of Lokasamgraha.
Epistemological Concepts

Some famous Excerpts from Bhagavad Gita on the concept of Lokasamgraha are.

  • Yogah Karmasu Kausalam.
  • Vanijyam Vaisya Karma Svabhavajam
  • Lokasamgraha evapi, sampanyan kartum arhasi
  • Cikirsur Lokasamgraha

Similarity with Western Concept

Disinterested or Self-Less Concern
  • Nishkamkarma means self-less or desire-less action.
  • It is the central tenant of Karma Yoga as mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita.
  • It is the path of liberation.
  • Actions that deal with self-less-ness or desire-less-ness are also called Pure Actions.
  • Nishkamkarma means an action that is performed without any desire, benefit or want for the fruit or the end result.
  • Mindfulness or even-ness of mind is the central idea of Nishkamkarma.
Central Tenant of Karma Yoga

Some famous Excerpts from Bhagavad Gita on the concept of Nishkama-karma are.

  • Verse 47, To action alone has thou a right and never at all to its fruits; let not the fruits of action by thy motive; neither let there be in thee any attachment to inaction.
  • Verse 2.48, Fixed in Yoga, do thy work, O winner of wealth (Arjuna) , abandoning the attachment, with an even mind in success and failure, for evenness of mind is called Yoga.
  • Verse 5.11, With the body, with the mind, with the intellect, even merely with the senses, the Yogis perform action towards self-purification. Having abandoned the attachment. He who is disciplined in Yoga, having abandoned the fruit of action, attains calmness.
Concept of Nishkama-Karma

Types of Karmas

Nishkam Karma

  • action that is performed without any desire for the fruit or the end result.
  • Such action uproots bestiality in man and confers divinity upon him and bring calmness and peace.
  • Contains Sattva Guna

Sakam Karma

  • action that is performed because of a desire for the fruit or the end result.
  • Such action foster desires, selfishness, agony, misery, aggression, etc.
  • Contains Rajas Guna

Similarity with Western Concept

Western Concept

Famous Thinkers

Gandhi

  • Advocated for the concept of Karma Yoga.
  • Advocated for the concept of Nishkama-karma
  • Advocated for the concept of Lokasamgraha

Tilak

  • First commentator on the Gita (Gita Bhashya) .
  • He writes, Lord Krishna՚s teachings were not just for Arjuna, but it is for us all (Indians) .
  • Indians should work together for social and political upliftment of the Nation & its people!
  • Suchan act of serving is nothing but Nishkamkarma which would lead to Lokasamgraha or universal welfare.

Nishkama-Karma & Lokasamgraha

Nishkama-Karma & Lokasamgraha
  • Two sides of the same coin
  • Individual dimension - Nishkama-karma
  • Social Dimension- Lokasamgraha

MCQs

1. The concept of Lokasamgraha has been taken from

  1. Rig Veda
  2. Upanishads
  3. Both A and B
  4. Bhagavad Gita

Answer: D

Explanation: Lokasamgraha is in the sacred text, Bhagavad Gita. It means universal welfare, universal well-being.

2. Gita bhashya is the commentary on Gita by

A. Tilak

B. Gandhi

C. Seers/Rishis

D. Vivekananda

Answer: A

Explanation: Gita bhashya is the commentary on Gita by Tilak.

3. Match the following

Set I

1. Social Dimension

2. Individual Dimension

3. Altruism

4. Duty for Duty՚s sake

Set II

a. Lokasamgraha

b. Nishkama-karma

Code: 1234

A. abab

B. baba

C. aabb

D. baab

Answer: A

Explanation:

1. Social Dimension -Lokasamgraha

2. Individual Dimension - Nishkama-karma

3. Altruism- Lokasamgraha

4. Duty for Duty՚s sake - Nishkama-karma

4. Sakam Karma contains

A. Sattva guna

B. Rajas guna

C. Tamas guna

D. Both B and C

Answer: B

Explanation: Sakam Karma contains ONLY rajas guna.

5. Gandhi advocated for

A. Altruism

B. Karma Yoga

C. Nishkama-karma

D. All of the above

Answer: D

Explanation: Gandhi advocated for the concept of Karma Yoga, Nishkama-karma and Lokasamgraha .

Lokasamgraha is equivalent of the western epistemological concept Altruism

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