Karma Yoga as the Ends of All Means

To me, karma is a pretty religious concept. I don’t want to admit to being religious, but I do believe in karma.

Paradox, I know.

I am not sure about past lives and the afterlife, but I do believe in positive energy, and the accumulation of it. I believe in spreading this positive energy, and have myself experienced receiving more as I give more. This, to me, is karma.

Karma in Sanskrit means “action” or “deed”. Karma yoga means doing something to benefit others with that as the end objective. There will be no thought of getting something back in return, and no process of withholding that thought. The giving is spontaneous, selfless, and quickly forgotten. But the impact can be strong, extensive and long-lasting.

Karma is not only an action; it is also the result of an action one needs to bear. Action and result are separable only by time – seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years, lives – but are inseparable as a pair. One reaps the fruits of his actions, be it punishment or pleasure; if not this day, then another.

Accepting Karma gives me a state of Calmness

The believe in Sanchita – accumulated karma of the past helps me to accept the Prarabdha with calmness, so that I can embrace the latter with open arms, knowing it can’t be avoided or changed, so that I can eventually let it go. I’ll embrace good fortune with gratitude, at the same time knowing it won’t last forever. I’ll too embrace bad fortune with composure, knowing the same. And as I exhaust these works, I continue to carry out Agami, something I can control as of now; an idea I like very much.

Agami returns to the idea of karma yoga; it is now being done for the future. But I wish to highlight here that karma yoga is not to be done for the future. As much as it produces such an effect, karma yoga should be focused on the now, and forgotten as soon as it is carried out. After which, Agami can take its natural course, and one bears the fruits of his doings, but not with expectations.

What is good? What is bad?

Being the hopeless thinker that I am, I then start to deliberate on what constitutes a “good” or “bad” deed, because of the grey world we live in. Is following rigid rules “good”? Is breaking up with someone I’ve fallen out of love with “bad”?

And what is “good” or “bad” fortune anyway? There are two sides to every situation. It depends on how you make the best of it. My friend’s house caught fire a few months back, and it gave her a good excuse to throw out all the old furniture and paint her room a pretty purple. My other friend married into a rich family, but have to eventually put up with all the obligatory social activities that are totally not her cup of tea.

Don’t Think. Just Do.

Then, something Paalu once said hit me: “Don’t think. Just do.”

There’s no point thinking about all this, because it’s not going to change anything. Rather, focus on what your heart believes, and follow it in your actions with sincerity and good will. After which, you let nature take its course, and embrace whatever comes to you. This will ensure you live life to its fullest.

This is what I call karma.