(Last Updated on : 18/10/2014)
To work unremittingly without the least expectation of anything is the central idea of Karma Yoga
, which different Yogis
and great souls in order to make life beautiful have addressed a number of times. Quite ideally therefore Karma Yoga is identified as the "performance of actions dwelling in union with the Divine", while offing connection and remaining balanced even in the course of failure and success. Karma Yoga is therefore the selfless service to humanity. The Yoga
of action, Karma Yoga thus purifies the heart and prepares the 'Antahkarana' for the greater purpose of receiving that divine light.
Practice of Karma Yoga
The practice of Karma Yoga in everyday life never demands that the person practicing such penance needs to possess enough wealth. What it demands is a healthy mind as serving the humanity with mind and body. In the everyday course of action, Karma Yoga can effectively come to various uses. With humanity suffering from too much of troubles and tribulations, as the world is developing gradually into a mechanical one, Karma Yoga can lead one to absolute perfection. Life has become too much complicated put in by twists and turns, making one stray away from the path of yogic pleasure. A free mind can always concentrate on ones own work, following Karma Yoga in everyday life.
Importance of Meditation in Karma Yoga
Karma Yoga implies performing all the karmas yet linking the soul with the Omnipotent to enjoy the eternal bliss. This aspect can only be achieved by meditation
in everyday life. Meditation means a continuous dehypnotising from identification with body, mind, name and form. Karma yogic meditation is generally advised to be done in fresh and free mind, preferably in the wee, morning hours of the day. If someone cannot be detached from the day-to-day activities, it will be difficult to enter into meditation. If there is continuous identification with the actions, then those same activities will go on even when the body is sitting still. People in the present day tend to lean towards worldly craving for wealth, power, family and popularity. The fast pace provided by the random availability of sophisticated technologies perhaps has strayed away each individual from one's path of right action, Karma Yoga. Meditation in everyday life makes one gradually develop a yogic view of life, shunning materialistic hankerings. While in meditation, the eyes needs to be closed, hands clasped and feet crossed; the mind however must not be controlled under any circumstances. There remains the identification with the mental play. Activity or inactivity makes no difference. The mind plays its part in all conditions. With a view to sit for meditation, the mind must be detached and withdrawn from day to day concerns. Karma Yoga in everyday life is the fundamental step on which meditation is built. As a matter of fact, no meditation is possible without it. Especially if one speaks about present days, tarnished with sins and sinning, hugely dissimilar from the erstwhile unblemished and unsophisticated days, Karma yoga is much needed. The path of righteous action can make the world into a better place. Through service to others without thoughts of personal gain, positive thinking should also be practiced in daily life.
In practice of strict meditation and keeping oneself from every kind of pleasures, an individual subtly turns oneself into a Karma Yogi, achieving the sublime Supreme. A true Karma Yogi is continuously meditating. When he helps others his attitude is "Lord, I am working, worshipping and serving you through this particular person. Thank you for giving me this opportunity." He also detaches himself from the effect of the action, whether good or bad. Whether working in the kitchen, performing in office causes, worshipping in the temple
, or mowing the lawn, the Karma Yogi knows that he is different from the work, and that the work is only a way of achieving the Supreme. Karma Yoga in everyday life can be induced from detachment, learned through service. Until it is acquired and one is able to renounce emotional ties to one's labour, no meditation is possible. As the detachment increases, it becomes easier and easier to disassociate from activities. Then, when the eyes are closed, the mind will remain composed and calm. It has been trained to focus inwardly at all times. Others may see a Karma Yogi and think he is just another person working, but they will not know the secret of his inner peace.
Traits of a Karma Yogi
A true man meditating is always discreet. Outwardly he appears to be an ordinary person, serving his nation, but inside he is a fathomless ocean. He has touched infinite peace and at this point of time nothing can change him. Karma Yoga leads to that peace which, once tasted, can never be described. Time and patience are necessary to reach it. However, when speaking of being uninvolved from everyday work, it does not necessarily mean that an ordinary individual will stay away from his duties. Such a person is termed as an 'escapist'. Detachment from action does not mean slacking responsibilities. A haphazard life is not yogic, for it engenders no steadiness of mind. When a yogi takes on a job, he finishes it. His mind should never waver. That is the secret of his success if he assumes the basics of meditation. With all responsibilities his mind is focused steadily on it until completion. The yogic mind is powerful. The average person does a little here and there, keeping several projects going and finishing nothing. When a person works in this way it can be understood that there is no meditative state of mind. And this precisely the exact case in present times. It is after all an ordinary man who needs to comprehend the real meaning of Karma Yoga and make it his daily duty. Although most people suffer hugely from lack of concentration and dedication towards one sole task, Karma Yoga in everyday life can at times be extremely difficult to focus on, making one unsuccessful in attempt.
A true karma yogi however, triumphantly makes himself aloof from other trivialities, making himself wholly absorbed into one single work, that of meditating towards perfect work. The karma yogi who meditates can turn out more work in less time. He has peace within his mind. His actions are all on a pure level and those who come in contact with him are uplifted. They are inspired to perform actions that they could not otherwise have experimented previously. Lethargy vanishes in the presence of a true yogi. Karma Yoga in everyday life in the present day can be explained as the path of selfless service. Through this yoga, anyone can apprehend detachment in everyday life. This is the first essential step of meditation. There is no short cut to succeed in the process of meditation. It is a long and disciplined path. The goal, however, can be reached if someone makes a determined effort.