The Lord in Bhagavad Gita prescribed selfless action or actions where do not expect any rewards. In the modern world every business is financially and goal driven. Even if you do good work it goes unnoticed without self promotion.

How can one achieve materialistic goals through selfless action? how can a selfless person get something without asking for it - be it a raise, starting salary, opportunity? What is the way prescribed by the Lord for such goals?

  • Gita is talking about Karma Yoga and not just Karma. Gita's selfless action is only for those who are trying to attain moksha through the practice of Karma Yoga. Your question is only about Karma and the answer is that selfless action will not get you higher salaries or opportunities or promotions. Apr 10, 2017 at 3:12
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    Thanks @PradipGangopadhyay - Could not create new tags from mobile :) . Chose from the options available. Apr 10, 2017 at 3:25
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    Karma Yoga means doing your work without expecting any results because that is not in your hands so thinking about salary, promotion etc.. is worthless.
    – Pinakin
    Apr 10, 2017 at 4:50
  • @ChinmaySarupria - Thanks for clarifying what Karma Yoga is. But how can the theory be practically applied in the work place and still strive for growth. Most (unless a yogi) strive for some materialistic end in some sense. Working towards mastery of a skill could be Karma Yoga, but is it practical in this modern world?. Can "Working for the sake of work" still yield growth in the corporate world? Apr 10, 2017 at 5:28
  • Lord doesn't say don't ask salary, raise etc., He says don't get attached to the material needs. Of course they are important. It is your duty to do your job. Also it is your right to get the result of what you do. If the self less action is what you think, then why did he encourage Arjuna to do war, why did he encourage Yudhishtira to take up the kingdom? So you should not completely leave your job or salary. You should ask for them. If you do the work properly, then you will get the result correctly. If you feel there is injustice, then ask for justice. He doesn't say accept the injustice. Apr 12, 2017 at 5:25

1 Answer 1


Karma Yoga means doing your best work without getting attached to the outcome. One technique that is effective is to have the attitude that whatever you do is for God, and whatever result you get as what God gives you. Since you are doing everything for God, you will do your best in anything you do. The important thing is to take any outcome as God's gift to you (aka Prasada Buddhi).

How is this going to help you achieve materialistic goals?

It will, because you will be very good at your job. Everyone will be able to see the excellence of your work, and rewards will follow. Even if you don't ask for a raise or promotion, it will come to you, if not this year, the next year. We typically get disappointed if we don't get the reward right away. But in the long run, it doesn't matter that you got promoted a year later.

Reference: Bhagavad Gita Chapter 3

3.9 do your duty efficiently as a service or Seva to Me, free from attachment to the fruits of work
3.19 always perform your duty efficiently and without attachment to the results because by doing work without attachment one attains the Supreme
3.30 Dedicating all works to Me in a spiritual frame of mind, free from desire, attachment, and mental grief, do your duty.

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    There is no long run or similar to that in BG. Lord doesn't say that we should completely ignore salary or something. He says do not get attached to the salary etc., He says to question the injustice. We should get the salary for what we do. He only says do your work without attachment. here not having attachment is important. Also improve the formatting. Apr 12, 2017 at 5:30

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