Overview of human activity | Deccan Herald

Human life can be described as a continuous flow of activities, from birth to death. By activity, we mean movement or physical movement. Its opposite, where there is no movement, is considered to be inactivity. While this may be true, it would be interesting to understand where Indian philosophy stands on this seemingly everyday topic.

Here too, the basic premise is that by activity we mean movement or actions. Man is said to be alive when all or at least some of his senses are functional. When the senses close, man is a lifeless corpse.

Thus, activity is a sign of life. In order to grow and progress, man must engage in a ceaseless flow of activity throughout his life. The Gnana Yoga chapter of the Bhagavad Geeta elaborates on this subject by saying that there are basically two types of human activity. The human mind is the repository of innumerable passions and desires which manifest outwardly in the form of actions or karmathat man performs to satisfy his desires.

This action or karma can be positive or creative that aids in the growth and development of the individual or positively contributes to society as a whole. Or it can be Vikrama-– negative or destructive or prohibited activity, which is not only harmful and deleterious to the individual, but a threat to society.

The Geeta advises humanity to refrain from such harmful or negative activity and instead engage in positive and helpful activities. Now the argument progresses to a deeper plane. How do you tell the difference between good and bad activities? The Geeta says that it is indeed a difficult task which confounds even scholarly scholars. By external knowledge alone, it is not possible to tell whether an activity is good or bad.

“Look at the intention behind the activity. If the intention is noble and sincere, then it is a good activity. is bad activity,” said the Geeta.

“Like a fruit that looks attractive on the outside, but is rotten on the inside,” Swami Chinmayananda eloquently explains. Is all this really practical in our daily life? “Yes, when you do your duty with good intentions, with all sincerity, like your humble service to the divine, without aiming only for the results, this capacity develops in you gradually”, says the Geeta.


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