(Discourse 8, extracted and adopted from the book “108 discourses of Guru Dev” by courtesy of Paul Mason)
Each person can cross the ocean of being by resorting to desireless karma yoga.
Nishkama karma does not mean to do action without any desiring whatsoever, because without desire no impulse is possible.
There are two causes to an impulse – one is the knowledge of ishta sadhana, which means that one knows that carrying out a particular action will fulfill the desire, and the other is the knowledge of krita sadhyata, which means that one knows that this action is possible for us to accomplish. Only by knowing both these things will a person have an impulse to act. If one of these two is in doubt, the impulse to act will not occur. Therefore desire must precede the impulse.
Consequently the resulting meaning of nishkama karma is that it is an action which is dedicated to Bhagvan. Action done for the sake of Bhagvan is verily called desireless action. Action surrendered to Bhagvan is not a cause to bondage. You have the right only to perform actions, do not desire the fruit.
Because the jiva (individual soul) has been experiencing such hardship over the span of millions of births, it simply has no discrimination as to what it should request. Consequently, when it does demand, it demands relative to its own level. Thus if the individual soul desires to get a specific result, it will desire something that affords a very simple result. However, if one leaves the fruit up to Bhagvan, who is omniscient and omnipotent, Bhagvan will raise the level of the result to his height, and thus bestow a far greater outcome.
The man who acts mindfully, ever devoted to Bhagvan, attains the abode of the Supreme, and in accordance with law, he attains heaven, proximity to the divine and liberation, permanent release from being bound to birth and death. The means to acquire moksha is by performing karma itself, yet freed from the bondage of karma.