By- Devakinanda Pasupuleti
Widely used, the word kārya has several meanings. Associated with the word kāraṇa' (cause)-it means effect. For instance, if clay is the kāraṇa, pot is its kārya or effect. Some of the other senses in which it is used are: work, conduct, utility, profession and duty. The word is also used in a more technical sense in astrology and legal works. To fulfill the prescribed duties in life, one must have the sense of responsibility. As the Vedas proclaim śarīram khalu idam dharma sādhanam-meaning- 'your body is the vehicle to practice dharma'. Of all births, the human form is the most precious because it is the only means to attain mokṣha through the path of jnānam. Even the ḋevatās enjoy their life in heaven only till the results of their meritorious acts are exhausted. No other life form is suitable for achieving mokṣha.
That's why ancient sages and householders practiced the strictest dhārmic duties, austerities and daily rituals in order to reach that goal. They promulgated that every human being has to have a goal in life and work hard towards achieving it. They insisted that every human must have lakṣhyam (goal) and kāryadakṣhata (ability to perform the duty) and no matter how many hurdles, and obstacles one faces, one must focus on achieving the goal.
We wish we could see the same attitude among people in present times. Our sages lived in forests, wearing deerskin as loin cloth, eating fruits, roots and vegetables, performed their daily rituals without fail, engaging in meditation and japa most of their lives maintaining perfect chastity, with tremendous self-control and deeply devoted to truth and helping humanity to achieve their goal of mokṣha.
In our purāṇās, epics, and iṫihāsās, there are many heroes like E'kalavya, Karṇa, Ḋhruva, Pāndavās, Hanumān and many more who stood as an example of kāryadakṣhata. Our ṟishis were satpuruṣhās, parahitās, and akrūrās had daya and dākṣhiṇyam as virtues; practiced non-violence, performed puṇya karmas, and dharmavettās lived their lives as per dharmaśhastrās in order to achieve the ultimate goal of life, mokṣham. Some of those sages, ṟishis, and seers were householders who also carried their duties and obligations as husbands and wives. This illustrates their kāryadakṣhata (ability to perform duty).
Then the question comes, 'Those were the good old days. Who can practice those rigid rules in modern times?' That's why we have our satgurus, swamis and religious discourses to teach us and constantly remind us to follow that path.
Our land teaches the ultimate goal and pursuit of human life as a duty and is 'Kāryadakṣhata Bhūmi'.