Hello and welcome to episode 149 of The Ask Sri Vishwanath Show. Today I want to talk about how to work with greater motives. How do great men and women do that?

Today’s question comes from Charles and he says “I have read the Bhagavad Gita and Krishna always tells us to give up the fruits of work. I don’t really understand this. How can someone work without motivation?”

Thanks for the question Charles. We have answered this before but I just wanted to give you another perspective on it. I want to you to get a notepad and pen.


When most people work there is a motive but the truth is that people actually work better when there is no motive. If you destroy your current motives you will find that something really strange will happen. You will actually find that your productivity will increase as will your quality of work and your speed of execution.

So what are the motives that most people have? People work for money, passion, fame and power. These are the four main driving forces behind the reasons we work. Krishna describes this as rajasic gunas. It is the gunas that makes us react on those four motivations. It is the gunas that makes me want to give you this information and it is the gunas that makes you want to listen to it.  It is all done through us.

So think about what would happen if all of these motivators were taken away. What the great ones do is this. They transcend the motives outward to the inside. The shift their focus from goals to creating beautiful products. If they are in services they want to create a great service. Great men and women destroy their lower motives and focus only on the higher ones. When you focus on the lower motives and then don’t succeed you will experience sadness, anger and regret. When you focus on the inside you will always be successful.

Transcend motives

The great ones transcend these lower motives. Instead of money they focus on offering good value. Instead of worrying about profits they want to provide something. They moves from passion, which fluctuates to purpose which is constant. Purpose is a totally different ball game. Passion is restricted whereas purpose is not. Instead of seeking fame they want others to feel good. By writing and filming these episodes I feel good but only because I am helping others to feel good by answering their questions. That is my driver.


You could be reading crap but you are here reading this because you also want to feel good which means your motive is high. Who cares about fame when you are not happy? Who cares about money if you are not happy? Do you get where I am going? All of these lower motives are of no use if you are not happy and they will not make you happy. The only way you can be happy in work is to focus on the higher motives. When you destroy the lower motives this will happen automatically.

People say they want the higher motives and that they are working for the good of the world but for 95% of people this is not true. If it was true then the world would not be the terrible place it is today. People are lying to themselves day in and day out. We need to make the change within us before we even think about what is happening on the outside.

This is what I want for you. I want you to have the higher motive. I want you to destroy the lower motives of money, passion, fame and power. I want you to transcend them. I want you to change your way of thinking. Offer value and have the need to make people happy. When you do this the fruits will come automatically. Remember Krishna says first happiness and then success.

Bring value

There is a shoe company called Zappos. They have recently been bought by Amazon but they are a billion dollar company. They make sure that their sales reps are given 6 months training before they ever attempt to make a sale. I can’t think of any other company that does this. Usually when someone is hired they are thrown into the deep end and asked to learn on the job which is ridiculous. It leads to mistakes being made and this leads to customers being unhappy and it effects the business negatively over all.

The reps for this company are so good that they will solve any problem you have over the phone. They don’t care if it takes ten minutes or one hour they will do all they can to help you. They say they want to bring tremendous value to the customer and they have succeeded. Today companies are lining up so they can learn from them.

Most people think passion is the highest motive because that is what the world says. Krishna says this is rajasic. We should be aiming for serenity because serenity is free from passion. Krishna says “he who in the midst of intense activity is highly serene and in the midst of serenity is highly active is a great yogin.


So this means that the great ones are serene no matter what is going on around them and when they are serene they are still able to operate at a higher level. They get the best of both because they withdraw their gunas. Passion can only go so far because time and space will knock you off but when you fall back on your consciousness and withdraw your gunas nothing can stop you. Krishna says “with the senses controlled, the mind controlled he who commences the yoga of action with the organs of action wins serenity.
We spoke before about how people focus on the event and then treat the reaction as a post-mortem. The wise ones control their reaction before the event by withdrawing their gunas and dissolving it. This will destroy your lower motives and it will ensure that you are operating on a higher level. This will give you the best chance of having both happiness and success.


I want to leave you with this visualisation from Vivekananda. There are three horses and Krishna is the charioteer. He is pulling the reigns and the horses are gasping. Krishna, whip in hand turns to Arjuna with a childlike face of serenity in the face of war delivers the masterpiece that is the Bhagavad Gita. This is what great men do.

I hope I answered your questions. Remember you keep asking questions and I’ll keep answering them.

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