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As Bhagavad Gita says, one should do karma without thinking of its outcome. What would be encouragement for someone for doing that work if he does not think of the outcome? How can someone have passion for something if we are to detach from all material things?

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For a nice exposition look at Nishkam Karma.
The essential thing is not to hanker after the results of the work. Also for the source itself - Gita 2:47.

You certainly have the right to prescribed activities, but never at anytime their results. You should never be motivated by the results of the actions, nor should there be any attachment in not doing your prescribed activities.

Most societies in the world are results oriented, one must work in order to exist. More subtly, the very act of breathing generates karma, there is no escaping it. The key admonition from Sri Krishna is to surrender the results. He does not say to shirk your responsibilities or perform badly. One very good way of applying this (via my Guruji Pt. Bramdeo Maharaj) is to mentally give the result to God. Suppose you do particularly well and you are being praised, say: Lord this is all for you, not me. As a person grows spiritually the strict distinction between the four major paths become blurred but karma always lies at the base of activity.

  • Thanks a lot for the answer. But that did not answer the question. If we are to detach from material things, how can we have love and passion for doing something? If we don't have love and passion for it, how can we keep ourselves driven? – user5155835 Nov 27 '15 at 4:21
  • Detachment from the fruit of the action, not the action. We can never stop action, even the great sages had to act. Do your action with great gusto but leave the result to the Lord. – Athena Widget Nov 27 '15 at 15:36
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    I can see you are struggling with this, which is in and of itself, a very good sign. Think of this, suppose you want to bake a nice cake for your sweetheart. You will lovingly gather the ingredients and make it with great attention. But where is most of your mind focused? On the cake or on the beloved? – Athena Widget Nov 27 '15 at 22:12

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