The notion of doership is not an illusion – the notion of sole doership is
An oft-quoted Bhagavad-gita verse (03.27) asserts that those who think of themselves as doers are deluded. But we all intuitively perceive of ourselves as doers – we do so many things in the course of our life. The Gita (18.63) confirms our intuition when it concludingly places the onus of doership on Arjuna: Deliberate and do as you desire. And Arjuna too takes up the mantle of doership when he responds (18.73): I will do your will. Moreover, the Gita is essentially a guidebook, which presumes that its hearer is a doer who can act as guided. So our intuition that we are doers is not an illusion.
What is an illusion, the Gita (18.16) clarifies, is the notion that we are the sole doers. Everyday experience confirms that doing things is not entirely in our power. Even a consummate doer such as a virtuoso singer can’t sing when afflicted with a sore throat. Gita wisdom explains that we are spiritual beings. We can’t do anything in this material world without the cooperation of nature. Thus, nature is a co-doer in all actions. And nature works under Krishna’s supervision. So, we can’t do anything unless he sanctions it. Since he is the ultimate decider in all actions, we are definitely not the sole doers. By imagining that we alone are the doers of our actions, we aggravate our ignorance and arrogance.
Countering such illusion, Gita wisdom reveals the best use of our doership: loving Krishna. Love requires both lovers to be doers, capable of choosing to love. Bhakti-yoga helps us use our doership for striving to engage ourselves and our material resources in Krishna’s service – not for struggling to dominate material nature for gaining worldly pleasure. By thus spiritualizing our doership, we can relish everlasting spiritual happiness.
To know more about this verse, please click on the image