KARMA YOGA – THE YOGA OF ACTION
Karma Yoga is the process of achieving perfection in action. It is said to be the most effective way to progress in spiritual life. This path purifies the heart by teaching us to act selflessly, without thought of gain or reward, serving humanity without any attachment or egoism. It is often understood as a yoga of selfless service.
Key components that qualify any action as being Karma Yoga:
– Right Attitude: It’s not what we do that counts, it’s the attitude while doing it that determines if a job is a karma yoga job. Give our best in whatever we do. If we know of a better way to serve, we must use it. Do not hold back because of fear of effort or because of fear of criticism. Do not work in a sloppy manner just because no one is watching or because we feel the work is not for us.
– Work unselfishly: Do not perform actions with a selfish motive, or expecting rewards. Do to others what we would like to be done to ourselves. Practice humility in action. Beware of power, fame, name, praise, censure
– Give up Results: non-attachment to the fruits of actions, constantly work for work’s sake and let go of the results, good or bad. This brings freedom from sorrow and free, makes a man absolutely bold and fearless.
Translate to daily activities, we should work on achieving to be quailed as a Karma Yogi:
A Karma Yogi should be free from lust, greed, anger and egoism – he should work towards removing them. He should not expect any kind of fruits for his actions; He should not have any desire for name and fame, thirst for applause, admiration and gratitude; He should be humble and free from hatred, jealousy, harshness; He should have large heart, free from meanness, miserliness and selfishness – he should try to possess all these gradually.
A Karma Yogi should have an amiable, loving social nature; He should be able to move and mix with everybody without distinction of social status, religions or racial communities; He should have perfect adaptability, tolerance, sympathy and mercy, able to adjust with the habits and ways of others.
In summary, Karma yoga is a way of acting, thinking and willing by doing his duty without personal self-centred desires, likes or dislikes. Act devotedly and whole-heartedly, not to be emotional to the results.