What is Nishkaamya Karma (Selfless Work) ?
Mr. Rangachari, a Telugu Pandit in Voorhees’ College at Vellore, asked about nishkaama karma. There was no reply. After a time Sri Bhagavan went up the hill and a few followed him, including the pandit. There was a thorny stick lying on the way which Sri Bhagavan picked up; he sat down and began leisurely to work at it. The thorns were cut off, the knots were made smooth, the whole stick was polished with a rough leaf. The whole operation took about six hours. Everyone was wondering at the fine appearance of the stick made of a spiky material. A shepherd boy put in his appearance on the way as the group moved off. He had lost his stick and was at a loss. Sri Bhagavan immediately gave the new one in his hand to the boy and passed on.
The pandit said that this was the matter-of-fact answer to his question.
Talks with Ramana Maharshi
25th December, 1935