Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Ordinary karma has a binding quality.It creates and leaves behind subtle impressions,  which at a future time and under favourable conditions become the causes of new actions.  The new actions likewise create another set of impressions which in their turn become the causes of yet other actions. So man works impelled by necessity;  he has no freedom.  Now the question arises as to how one can avoid the bondage of the causal law and work as a free agent.The solution lies in karma- yoga. Karma-yoga is the secret of action.It gives the worker evenness of mind in gain and loss, success and failure

How is one to acquire evenness of mind?  There are two elements in all voluntary actions.  First,  there is the immediate feeling of pleasure or pain arising from the contact of the senses with their objects;  and second,  the longing for the result which generally provides the incentive for action. The sensations  of pleasure and pain, though inevitable,are impermanent; therefore calm souls endure them without becoming distracted Even when sensations are pleasant one should not be attached to them,  because after they disappear one misses them, and if they persist too long one feels bored.  As regards the result, it should not be the incentive for action.The illumined person does not work for a result. To the work alone.'  the Bhagavad Gita says, "you have the right,  never to its fruit.  Do not let the fruit of action be your motive;  and do not be attached to non-  action.'  This is the meaning of the statement that your left hand must not know what your right hand does. Every action,  following the causal law,will surely produce its fruit why long for it 'Wretched are they who work for results. if an action is done without attachment to its fruit,  evenness of mind is sure to follow.  Action should be natural and spontaneous,  prompted by the exigencies of a situation.  When you see a needy person,  you should spontaneously help him if you are capable,  without taking into consideration what you may gain in return.  A karma-yogi may even participate in a war to protect law and order,  provided he is unselfish and free from greed or passion.

It is not renunciation of action itself,  but renunciation of the longing for the fruit,  that is the secret of karma-yoga.  As long as a man remains conscious of his social obligations or sees wrong being done to others,  he cannot remain inactive. It is true that at an advanced stage of  spiritual  progress one gives up all actions and remains absorbed in contemplation,  thereby enjoying real peace.  But mere abstention from action is not spiritual non-action,which is experienced when one forgets oneself in the contemplation of God.He who restrains the organs of action but continues to dwell mentally on the objects of the senses deludes himself and is called a hypocrite There an active mind it is positively harmful to renounce obligatory action on the false pretext of cultivating the attitude of non-action.  Furthermore,  the relinquishment of duty for fear of inflicting physical suffering upon oneself or others does not bring about the desired fruit of spiritual non-action.  One must not shun a duty because it is disagreeable,  nor become attached to it because it is agreeable.  But if an active person cheerfully performs a duty because it is to be done,  and renounces all attachment to its result,  he obtains the fruit of renunciation,  namely,  inner peace.

Bhagavad gita ( what is the karma yoga )

Hinduism recommends total renunciation of the world for the attainment of the highest good.  But true monastic life,  however desirable,  is not easy;  genuine monks are few and far between,  and false monks are a real nuisance to society. Therefore Hinduism asks average men to perform their duties as householders and at the same time preserve the spirit of renunciation.  What is needed is not renunciation of action.  but renunciation in action.  The ordinary duties of life should not be abhorred,  but selfishness must be suppressed.

eighteenth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita explains various factors of karma-yoga,such as knowledge,  the doer,  understanding,  firmness,  and happiness.  The doer's knowledge,  without which he cannot   perform any voluntary action,  should be characterised by an all-embracing sense of unity in the midst of diversity.  Likewise,  the doer himself should be free from attachment and egotism,  endowed with fortitude and zeal,  and unruffled by success or failure.  Right understanding is that by which he      can discriminate between good and evil,  bondage and liberation,  work and rest.Right firmness is accompanied by unswerving concentration and control of the mind and senses Right happiness may be like poison'  

at first but is like nectar'  in the end;  it is born of direct self-knowledge and acquired by steady practice.  And lastly,  action itself,  in order to have a spiritual meaning,  should have a bearing upon the social welfare and be performed without attachment and aversion.