WHAT IS THE MYSTERY OF KARMA YOGA ?HOW CAN WE PRACTISE KARMA YOGA?PART-02..THE FOUR PATHS OF YOGA-03
HOW TO LIVE IN PRESENT & WORK WITH RIGHT INTEN TION?- 12 FACTS;- 1-The Kundalini or life-giving energy, which lies coiled up at the bottom of the spine, has to be activated into moving up once or twice to the brain. One, who succeeds in doing this, conquers Time, and thus knows the past, present, and future. He triumphs over death and becomes one with eternity. Conquering Kala (Time), Shiva has become Mahakala (the Lord of Time). The Divine Mother dances upon His Cheast. And what does Mahakala do? As if swallowing the whole universe, He lies merged in Brahman. 2-People do not want to remove impurity ( mala ) by selfless service. They do not want to remove mental distraction (viksepa) by upasana (worshipful contemplation). They think that service and bhakti are nothing. They at once jump to open the kundalini (the inner spiritual power) and raise the Brahmakara Vrtti (the notion that only Brahman is real). They will only break their own legs. Rather serve and worship. Jnana and Yoga will come by themselves. Kundalini will be awakened by itself. 3-In the neophytes, in the path of Karma Yoga, the idea of being a separate worker, the idea of agency, may be strong. You feel that you are doing all the works. However, in course of time, when the heart becomes purer and purer, you will actually feel that some higher power, God, is working through you. You will feel that your body and mind are only instruments in his hands. 4-Begging without any selfish motive, is not begging at all. It is pure yoga. It is for spiritual upliftment only. Remember-you cannot deny pain, you cannot wipe away all the pain in the world-but you can rise above pain by recognising your self. 5-In order to attain success in yoga, sadhana (spiritual practice) is necessary. Not By contemplating in a closed room for years, you may not advance more than a few steps. The effects of past actions can only be washed away by the fresh, virtuous actions in the present-that is, by service & this is practical religion. There is no other way of purifying yourself. There is no other method of destroying impure impressions, and desires. 6-No one can achieve the ideals of Karma Yoga without destroying the ego. And the ego, the accumulated layers of egoism cannot be destroyed without the magic solvency of service. If one wishes to know, one must give and one must serve. To the self-centred, knowledge will ever be meaningless and empty. 7-God has no use for the so-called pandit who mechanically chants the scriptures, but who shuts his eyes to the sick man on the wayside. The self, the smaller self, of rajas (dynamism) and tamas (inertia), is always prompting one for one's own aggrandisement. It wishes to enjoy, it wishes to have pleasure( bhoga ). But the bhoga of the three worlds cannot give a tenth, a hundredth, of the bliss of divine knowledge. 8-Karma Yoga is very difficult in the beginning due to the ego-ridden impure mind. You have to be strict and firm with the mind. Do not listen to its selfish promptings. Draw inspiration and courage from communion with the Lord in the silent hours of prayer, and from studying the lives of saints and from the sacred scriptures. 9-Do not think too much about this method of Nishkamya Yoga (the yoga of selfless service). Just begin somewhere. Work with the right intention, the right spirit. The way will open before you. 10-Do charity. Serve the sick. Serve the poor. Serve the country. Serve your parents. Serve any social or spiritual institution. Spiritualise all of your actions. Then every action becomes an offering unto the Lord, when it is performed in the right spirit. 11-Karma Yoga is a great leveller. It removes all illusory distinctions and differences. It leads to unity and to a feeling of oneness. It removes idleness and inertia. It gives you good health. Karma Yoga elevates a man to divinity and unit. 12-Service of the poor and sick is worship of God. Destroy disgust and loathing (ghrna) when you serve the sick. Then you will get chitta suddhi (purity of the mind) quickly. Service of the poor and the sick is a powerful remedy to bring about the purification of the mind. HOW TO DEVELOP SPIRIT OF DETACHMENT & THE YOGA OF EQUANIMITY ?- 07 FACTS;- 1-Worldly people are generally elated by success and depressed by failure. Elation and depression are the attributes of the mind. If you want to become a real Karma Yogi in the right sense of the term, you will have to keep a balanced mind at all times, in all conditions and under all circumstances. This is no doubt very difficult. But you will have to do it anyhow. Then only will you have peace of mind and real lasting happiness. 2-He who keeps a balanced mind is a Jnani. Karma Yoga prepares the mind for the attainment of Jnana. That is the beauty of Karma Yoga. That is the secret and essence of Karma Yoga. 3-There must not be the least attachment to any kind of work. You must be ready to leave any work at any time. There may be a divine call upon you for certain work. You will have to take it up at once without grumbling, whatever the nature of the work may be, whether you are willing or not. You will have to stop it also, if conditions and circumstances demand you to do so. This is yoga. There is no attachment to the work here. 4-Keep the reason rooted in the self. Have a poised mind amidst the changes of the world. Work for the fulfilment of purposes divine. Do not expect any fruit. Do everything as Isvararpana (offering to God). Work in unison with the divine will for the welfare of the world. Allow the divine energy to work unhampered (unconfined , able to do what is required) through you. 5-The moment your egoism comes in, there will be immediate blocking of the free flow of the divine energy. Make your Indriya (senses) perfect instruments for his Lila (work, play). Keep the. body-flute hollow by emptying it of your egoism. Then the flute-bearer of Brindavan (Krishna) will play freely through this body-flute. 6-He will work through you. Then you will feel the lightness of the work. You will feel that God works through you. You will be washed of all the responsibilities. You will be as free as a bird. You will feel that you are quite a changed being. Your egoism will try to re-enter. Be careful. Be on the alert.
7-By gradual practice and purification of the mind you will become an expert in Karma Yoga. All your actions will be perfect and selfless. All actions will eventually culminate (reach a climax or point of highest development) in Jnana. This is the Yoga of Equanimity (calmness and composure). WHAT ARE THE ESSENTIALS FOR SELFLESS ACTION?- 07 FACTS;- 1-Three things are necessary when you practise Karma Yoga;- Be free from egoism; Don't expect any appreciation for the work that you do; Have a balanced state of mind in success and failure. 2-Lord Krishna expects us to cultivate dynamic peace. He does not want us to be idle for even a single second. He characterises his 'dear ones' as those who are engaged in working for the commonweal (the welfare of the public).Such activity is known as the practice of yajna, dana and tapas-sacrifice, charity and self-control. 3-Man should practise self-control. Man should practise charity-he should give, give, give. He should give whatever he has. And he should transform all his daily activities into one continuous sacrifice. He should feel that he, Brahman, is offering the various actions into the infinite Brahman. He should perform all actions in a perfectly unattached manner. 4-Do your duty but inwardly feel that you are only an instrument in the hands of the Lord. Feel that your true Self, the godhead within you, is the eternal witness That is why Lord Krishna described yoga as karma-kushlam (skill in action). Karma Yoga is an art in itself. The secret of Karma Yoga is to combine deep interest with perfect detachment. 5-If work is performed for work's sake, if such work is performed for the sake of the commonweal, in a spirit of sacrifice-then you will enjoy an ineffable peace, a bliss that surpasseth all understanding, all description. The gates of the kingdom of God will be thrown open to you. That is what the Lord assures us in the Bhagavad Gita. Selfless actions are not soulless actions. 6-Put your heart and soul into all that you do. Live in the Lord and realise that you are an instrument of his will. Whatever is done without this realisation is an act performed in ignorance, is an act that would bind you faster to the wheel of samsara (cycle of birth and death). 7-When you meet a real, sincere Karma Yogi, who is plodding in the line for six or seven years, you can at once feel his purity, his selflessness, his inner joy, his inner peace, his inner strength, his inner spiritual growth. You can feel his nearness to God. You can see occasional flashes or glimpses of divine light during satvic moments. He has a pleasant feeling of having justified the divine command in the grand plan or scheme of things. IS MAN A HELPLESS BEING ? 06 FACTS;- 1-Some ignorant people say: "Karma does everything. It is all destiny. If I am destined by my karma to be like this or like that, why then should I exert? It is my destiny only." This is fatalism. This will bring inertia. stagnation and misery, This is perfect misunderstanding of the laws of karma. This is a fallacious argument. 2-An intelligent man will certainly not put such a question. You have made your own destiny from within by your thoughts and actions. You have a free will to choose now. You have freedom in action. A rogue (unprincipled man)is not an eternal rogue. Put him in the company of a saint. He will change in no time. He will think and act now in a different way and will change his destiny. He will become saintly in character. 3-Dacoit Ratnagar was changed into Sage Valmiki by the current of Rishi Narada. Jagai and Madai, two rogues of the first order were changed by the current of Nityananda, disciple of Lord Gouranga. You will have to desire, to think, and act. You can change karma in any way you like. You can become a yogi or jnani by right desire, by right thinking and by right action. You can attain the position of Indra or Brahma by good karma. Man is not a helpless being. He has free will of his own. 4-Man has power to choose between the alternatives which fate brings before him. In choosing between them he may either follow his tendencies produced by his past actions or struggle against them. The will of man is ever free. The arguments which are advanced by determinists in saying that human will is determined are not sound and tenable; they fall to the ground. 5-Don't forget ; Man is the master of his destiny. There is a need to Wake up now from the deep slumber of ignorance. Never become a fatalist. Think rightly, Act rightly. Lead a virtuous life. Never hurt the feelings of others. Mould your character. Purify your mind. 6-The samskaras (habit-patterns) of virtuous actions are imbedded in the chitta. They are also indestructible. They are real, valuable assets for you. They will prevent you from doing wrong actions. They will push you on to the goal. Selfless works will prepare the ground of antahkarana (the psyche) for the reception of the seed of jnana. The path of Karma Yoga eventually leads to the attainment of infinite bliss of the self. HOW TO LEARN ANASAKTI (Non-attachment)YOGA?- 10 FACTS;- 1-Man gets attached to the objects of the world and is bound thereby. He takes birth after birth and is caught in the wheel of birth and death. Attachment (Asakti ) is death. Non-attachment is eternal life. 2-Anasakti is non-attachment. Attachment (Asakti ) is destroyed by vairagya (dispassion) and viveka (discrimination between the real and the unreal). Look at these-birth, death, old age, disease, impermanence, pain, sorrow, misery, worries, anxieties, fears, etc. Thus we can develop non-attachment, 3-If you abandon attachment to the fruits of your actions, if you are ever content, if you consecrate the fruits of your actions and the actions themselves to the Lord, you will attain emancipation. Actions will not bind you because you are not doing anything, although you go through the motions of doing something. This is anasakti yoga. 4-Do not hope for anything. Control the mind and the senses. Give up greed and desire. Free yourself from the pairs of opposites. Be balanced in success and failure. Destroy envy. Though you perform actions you are not bound. Destroy attachment. Be harmonious. 5-Fix the mind on the innermost atman-now you will not be bound. You will attain salvation. Practise this yoga. You will purify your heart and attain the goal of life. 6-Selfless work is yoga. Work is atma-puja (worship of the self). There is no loss in service. Work is transmuted into jnana (wisdom). According to Bhagavad Gita, '' all actions, in their entirety, O Partha, culminate in wisdom." 7-Service of the sick is service of the Lord. There is no yoga greater than relieving human suffering. If you serve a sick man for half an hour, it is tantamount to meditating for three hours, or doing japa of Om 21,600 times. Do not think that in service there is loss. 8-Karma Yoga is only a means to an end. It removes the impurities of the mind. As soon as purification is effected, you will have to take refuge in vedanta, the path of jnana (self-knowledge). 9-Merit and demerit (punya and papa) do not affect the Karma Yogi who has evenness or equanimity of mind, for he exults not over the good fruit of the one nor worries over the bad fruit of the other. He has equanimity of mind in success and failure. His mind is always resting in God all the while. Works which are of a binding nature lose that character when performed with a balanced mind. 10-The Karma Yogi has no attachment to sensual objects. He has purified his mind by constant selfless service. He has given up all idea of agency. He treats the body as an instrument of God, given to him for the fulfilment of his purpose. He attributes all activities to the divine actor within. He who is established in the yoga of equanimity becomes an expert in the science of Karma Yoga. DOES GOD DO EVERYTHING?- 10 FACTS;- 1-When the sadhaka (spiritual aspirant) has combined Bhakti Yoga and Karma Yoga, he feels that God does everything, that he is an instrument in the hands of God. Thus he slowly frees himself from the bonds of karma and attains freedom through action. 2-When the sadhaka combines jnana yoga with Karma Yoga he feels that prakrti (nature) does everything. He feels that he is the silent witness of the activities of the mind, the senses and the three states (waking, dream and deep sleep). 3-The Karma Yogi feels the indwelling presence everywhere. He develops adaptability, He shares all he has (physical, mental and spiritual) with others. He observes strict brahmacarya. He offers all his works unto the Lord. Before going to sleep he says: "O Lord, whatever I have done today, is done as worship of You. May You be pleased to accept it." Thus he burns the fruits of action, and he is no longer bound. 4-According to Bhagavad Gita ;- "Restraining and subduing the senses, regarding everything equally, rejoicing in the welfare of all, these alone come to Me."Such a man becomes a good Karma Yogi. He reaches the goal quickly. 5-All actions are done by the gunas (qualities of nature) only. He whose mind is deluded by egoism thinks: "I am the doer". This is the cause of bondage. The ignorant man identifies the self through the force of avidya (ignorance) with his body, mind and senses which are the products or effects of the three gunas - satva (purity), rajas (activity) and tamas (inertia). 6- It is troublesome , If he thinks: "I am the doer", he has to enjoy the good and bad fruits of his actions. He is brought again and again to this mortal plane. He who sees that prakrti (nature) performs all actions and that the self is actionless, really sees. 7-The wise man who knows the essence of the divisions of the qualities and functions, holding that "the qualities move amidst the qualities" is not attached. He separates himself from the body, mind and organs, He stands as their witness and as a witness of their functions by identifying himself with the pure inner self. 8-He says: "Seeing, hearing, touching, speaking, giving, grasping, opening and closing the eyes, are functions of the senses. I have nothing to do. They are the proper functions of the senses. I am distinct from the senses, The senses move among the senses. I am untainted (Nirlipta). I am unattached (Asanga). "This is the vision or determination of a jnani. He escapes from the bondage of karma. He is freed from the wheel of birth and death. 9-If you identify yourself with Brahman and stand as a witness of the activities of prakrti and its effects, mind, senses and body, you will realise "inaction in action". Brahman is actionless, non-doer,without limbs (Nishkriya, Akarta, Niravayava).
10-But he is the primum one. He gives a push and prakrti moves and acts . He gazes and prakrti moves and acts. Without his presence prakrti cannot do anything. Therefore it is Brahman only who really does all actions. This is "action in inaction" as taught in the Gita. WHAT IS THE METHOD TO WITNESS CONSCIOUSNESS? 12 FACTS;- The student of vedanta (the path of pure wisdom) develops saksi bhav (witness consciousness) through discrimination and self-analysis. The devotee develops nimitta bhava (the attitude "I am an instrument in the hands of God") and surrenders everything at the lotus-feet of the Lord. Thus they attain a mental attitude of non-attachment to actions and their fruits. The attitude of a Karma Yogi is ;- 1-"God alone is. God alone acts. Not even a piece of straw moves without his will." 2-"He is the doer. He alone is the enjoyer. I am but an instrument in his hands." 3-"He is the power that resides in the senses and the mind; the power of seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling-all these belong to him." 4-"He utilises my mind and senses and works out his
will . " 5-"My body, mind and senses belong to him alone." 6-"All actions are done by the qualities of nature only. It is nature (prakrti) that acts. It is prakrti that works." 7-"I am the pure atman, the eternal self. I am unattached, non-doer, non-experiencer (Asanga, Akarta, Abhokta ). I am the silent witness." 8-"I am distinct from the mind and the senses. I am the eternally pure, perfect, immortal atman." 9-While serving others, the vedantin (the student of vedanta) should visualise his self in others and the bhakta should see the Lord in other faces. 10-Understand these bhavas (attitudes) fully. Meditate on them daily. Act accordingly, without attachment to or identification with the work, You will soon attain God-realisation. This is jnana - this is the fire of wisdom( jnana-agni ) which burns the fruits of all actions and liberates us from bondage. 11-In the practice of Karma Yoga, there is no loss of effort. There is no harm. There is no transgression also. Even a little practice can protect us from great fear of birth and death with its concomitant evils. We can doubtless reap the fruit of jnana (self-knowledge) in this path of Karma Yoga. There is no uncertainty here. 12-Matter is indestructible. Energy is indestructible. Even a little practice with the right mental attitude will purify the chitta (heart and mind). WHAT ARE THE OBSTACLES?- 05 FACTS;- There are five obstacles that a man has to face when he does Karma Yoga in the world, even after he has attained purity of heart. They are: 1-Dispassion wanes by contact with sense-objects - downfall comes. 2-Thoughts of the reality of the world creep in. 3-Remembrance of Brahman vanishes. 4-You cannot keep up the brahmakaravrtti (thought of Brahman) for a long time, owing to viksepa (tossing of the mind). 5-During work, the idea of duality and triputi (seer, sight, and seen) come in. WHAT ARE THE REMEDIES?- 05 FACTS;- 1-To become humbler than a blade of grass-this should be our ideal. Then you can develop patience, understanding, and you will have goodwill on all sides, from everyone. 2-You should introspect in silence and solitude. Analyse points of criticism. Solitude will calm your emotions. The conclusions you arrive at will be sound. Be wise. Discriminate. Analyse. Scrutinise your thoughts daily. 3-Boldly proclaim: "I would devote my entire life to the service of others-no matter whether I achieve salvation or not. Salvation is not my concern. My duty is to serve the Lord in all; to serve the sick and the poor, untiringly; to saturate my entire being in the service of others." This should be our bold proclamation at all times-to everyone with whom you come into contact. 4-Even while you work you should feel: "I am not hungry, it is the function of the prana to feel hungry. I do not see anything, it is the function of the eye to see. Exhilaration and depression belong to the mind, not to me. I am the witness (saksi of everything. Through such regular ratiocination (reasoning), you will soon attain samadhi (self-awareness). 5-A Karma Yogi must be a hero. He will come across many difficulties and obstacles-he must conquer them one by one. He must do this with an undaunted spirit, He must do it boldly. By following these instructions any action, sacred or secular, even if it is service of the family, may be converted into an act of worship leading to the most sublime goal of self-realisation. PRACTICAL INSTRUCTIONS TO KARMAYOGI;- 07 FACTS;- 1-Here are some instructions to a Karma Yogi. Do not make any difference between menial and respectable work. Fix the mind on the Lord and give the hands to work. Sing God's name while serving others. 2-Feed the Door. Clothe the naked, Comfort the distressed. Do actions as your duty. Do not expect any thanks or appreciation, applause, salute, for your work. Spend one tenth of your income on charity. Share what you have with others. Always scrutinise your inner motives. Annihilate all selfish motives. 3-Give up identification, pride (abhimana) of all sorts. Never feel, "I have helped that man". Always think, "The Lord has given me an opportunity to serve him". Always be on the look out for ways to serve and never miss one single opportunity. 4-Do not be attached to the work-you must be able to give it up at any moment. Discipline the body and the mind again and again for fiery service. Non-attachment to work does not mean indifference. 5-Develop a passion for self-realisation, for freedom from birth and death, for liberation from bondage. One strong holy desire annihilates all worldly desires. This will help your progress towards freedom. 6-Understand the theory of karma and cut the three knots;- 1-Ignorance, 2-Desire 3-Selfish Action Then you are beyond the law of karma. Then you are a liberated sage. This is your foremost duty. All other duties are self-imposed through attachment, ignorance and delusion. 7-Be equanimous(a state of psychological stability and composure) in all conditions, knowing that they are nothing but the fruits of your own past actions, Be indifferent to the pairs of opposites. Always be rooted, inwardly, in the self. Always be blissful. Radiate bliss and joy. Now none is foe, none is stranger. Feel and see the self in all beings. Be devoted to the well-being of all humanity. Love for love's sake. Work for work's sake. NOTE;- Selfless service must be based on sadhana (spiritual practice). You must be regular in your prayers, your meditation, in the repetition of the Lord's name, in enquiry and self-analysis. All these are the inner springs of the right spiritual bhava (attitude), which is essential to Karma Yoga.....SHIVOHAM...