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By their Actions People will Reveal their Inner Natures

It is in the field of action or karma that you most patently reveal your character and the type of human being you are. That is why so much importance has been given to performing all your actions without attachment to the fruits. Just as a mirror can show you the type of face you have, your actions will reveal the type of inner feelings you have. When you have some dealings with others, you can easily find out the type of people they are by examining their actions.

People may appear to be very fair, to be serene and mild, and have a very peaceful disposition; in other words, they appear to have a satvic nature. They may also appear to be individuals ready to undergo great personal sacrifice. You may believe that they are blessed with a sacred heart. But their actions may prove them to be otherwise. Their actions may be totally devoid of love and compassion and true caring and consciousness of others. Their actions may reveal an animal nature or even a demonic nature. Through their actions their hidden nature is revealed.

Other people, by the outer impressions they first make, may seem to be cruel. You may feel that they are curt and abrupt and lacking in civility or gracious manners. They may appear, in every way, to be very rajasic or even tamasic, the lower animal-like qualities previously-discussed. But, if in their actions people exhibit compassion and other great human qualities, then you must conclude that they are truly satvic in nature. So, if you want to ascertain whether a particular person is predominantly satvik, rajasic, or tamasic in nature, whether his inner being is serene and selfless, or desire-ridden and quick to react negatively, or slothful, vicious and mean, then you need only to observe his actions. People's actions will unmistakably reveal their inner nature.

The Gita has pointed out the type of actions that should be performed in daily life. The Gita has not commanded you to renounce everything, take up sanyasa, by which is meant that you detach yourself from all worldly possessions and interests, and go to the forest. Rather, the Gita has shown that an important duty and responsibility of every human being is to undertake useful activities in the world. Furthermore, the Gita proclaims that the secret of human life is to recognize and follow the path of dharma, which means engaging yourself in selfless and sacred actions that promote the welfare of your fellow human beings.

The Gita declares that human life lies in action; you would not even be able to sustain the body if you abstained from all actions. Therefore, every ordinary human being, as well as every spiritual aspirant, should enter into the field of activities and work. But the actions which you perform must be sacred actions; they must conform to the principle of dharma.

You have to convert your activities into karmas which are useful to others. You have to perform actions which are ideal, and you have to practice such ideal actions without any selfish motive. They must originate not from the compulsive drive of desire, but from the peaceful quality in your heart, devoid of self-interest and attachment to the fruits. Only then can your actions be considered satvic in nature. Ordinary people will not be able to perform actions completely without desire. You will have to orient your actions and your desires towards the purpose of seeking and experiencing God. When that sacred orientation becomes the basis of all your activities, then your karma becomes yoga. That will lead you straight on the path to your goal of becoming one with the divinity.