The word ‘activity’ has somehow or other conveyed to us a wrong meaning due to the association of ideas. We think activity means moving from place to place, or moving our physical limbs. Action is an outpouring of our being in the direction of the fulfilment of an objective or purpose that, to us, appears to be purely personal or localised, as if there is my purpose or objective as separate or different from yours.
This impersonal participation in the purpose of God’s creation is what the Bhagwad Gita calls Karma Yog. You will not have to gain anything from what you do, nor have you to lose anything. The legs do not gain or lose anything by walking. They are walking for somebody else’s sake. The legs walk to the bank, but the money that we draw from the bank does not go to the legs even though they have walked so much. We know very well how beautifully the mechanism of a huge engine or a robot operates for an output that is transcendent to the machine itself.
Thus, it is that we have to understand the meaning of karma or action as a participation in the larger purpose of God’s creation, and not grab something for our purpose, because we have no purpose here.