Karma Yoga, the Approach of Doing Actions
The karma yoga is also the form of yoga depicted in the ancient Vedas. This means simply ‘the path of action’ and rooted from the Sanskrit word ‘kru’ which means ‘to do’. We are only focusing on the quotes of the Bhagavad-Gita as this text mention it deliberately.
The karma kanda in the Vedas describe this with slightly a distinctive aspect. This contains the instructions for obtaining the particular goals or passion or attaining the spiritual goals by performing certain actions and ritual practices.
The difference of this form in the sacred text Bhagavad-Gita, as stated by Lord Krishna, is that “one should not be interested in the fruits of the actions, but instead surrender them to the supreme almighty”. As every action has its reaction, we have only control over the actions and not over the reactions. So, it affirms not to be very much obsessed with the fruits of the action, just leave the expectancies, because it will come to the pursuer certainly at any instant of time.
Hence, performing the action without any keen expectations is the karma yoga.
This doesn’t seem possible for the ordinary people because the passion for the fruits of action and the achievements to conquer serves as the motivation for taking the necessary steps and actions. Hence without any goal, no proper actions. This seems very much contradictory to them.
Karma yoga and its effect on character
According to the karma yoga, anything that you do physical or mental is karma. More clearly we are doing karma all the time. If your body is not performing any karma consciously, then even mind continues to do it. The actions performed such as breathing, talking, walking, etc. are the karmas of the body. Similarly, thinking, processing, imagining, etc. are the karmas of the mind.
These karmas are the smaller works. The collective form of the various smaller one is the significant purposeful one which is there due to the will. As the man passes through the pleasures and pains of the actions that were done, which is rooted in the will, molds his character. This will is the attitude of righteous work (swadharma) that got evolved due to the prior persistent work through the ages and that determines what he really is in the present.
Possible steps to perform karma yoga
1) There should be purity in his words, deeds and actions. By sanctifying the actions (karma), as the works performed are only the deeds to the supernatural that is formless and eternal. It seems easy, but remaining firm in such attitude is obligatory that which makes the susceptible one deviate from the right path.
2) Whatever the actions (karma) performed in whatsoever will certainly yield results. The desire towards the fruits of actions leads one to the bondage of the life, birth, and death (here eternal ecstatic presence is considered as the ultimate goal where life is between two extremities mostly comprising of sorrows, pain, and pleasure). By renouncing the fruits of the action thus leaving it to nature’s principles is also the practice of karma yoga. As each and everyone has the aim and according to it the actions are performed. It seems little harder to practice this principle.
3) This principle seems little harder than the above two. Accordingly, depriving one’s central egoism, that he is doing the karma (works) indeed realizing that he is only a mediator through which all the works are performed. This makes one stronger and he won’t be influenced by any sorrows, agony etc. and possess an inert attitude towards it. If such a person does any works, he is really not doing anything and all the attachment of desires and fruits of actions do not bind him. This prevents such a personality from reincarnation. Such a person works only according to his fate or destiny assigned to him. A small story from Sri Ramakrishna can be noted in this case. Once an ordinary man asked Sri Ramakrishna how to be happy all the time, and the reply was “Realize that you are only a marionette in the hands of the almighty.”
The above-noted principles are the lines from the yoga Sastra Bhagavad-Gita on karma yoga. (see also Hatha Yoga and its Spiritual Aspects )
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