World of Karma – Beginning
Without a doubt, at least once in life we have heard the word Karma. However, not all of us have a clear understanding of the meaning of it.
First, Karma means movement of change and this change is brought about by action or deed. Moreover, Karma is something we can not avoid. In fact, when we are born we have to act. We get food, earn living, interact with the outside world. Second, it is not possible to exist without Karma. Third, absence of Karma means absence of life.
In the modern world, the explanation of Karma will be “what goes around comes around.”
If you give out good energy and positive vibes, it will come back to you in a full circle. The same can be said for negative energy and thoughts.
Spirit of Karma in Yoga practice
Many people live their lives on autopilot mode. They are not aware that their thoughts influence their realities. Much of the unrest we see in the world today is a direct result of people’s thoughts. All of the conflicts, wars, complaining, and general unhappiness begins with a thought carried out with action.
Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means union. The roots of yoga are founded in a philosophy of union. Union of the mind, body and soul. Union of the self with the divine. It is the concept of oneness — of each individual being a part of a universal consciousness.
Karma yoga – Yoga of action
If we integrate Karma and Yoga together, the meaning of Karma Yoga will be action that joins or unite. It is the action that joins us to everything around. And what is around? It is the creation of God, which includes living beings, nature, animals, other human beings. Any action that unite us to everything around us is Karma Yoga.
Karma yoga is the yoga of action. It is about purifying your heart by learning to act selflessly in service of others. Through Karma yoga we learn kindness and compassion without an expectation of gain. The idea being that learning these lessons helps us to step away from our ego. I fact, it is freeing us to move one step further on the path to enlightenment.
Karma yoga – Three attributes of action
According to Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu sacred text, there are three attributes of actions. Therefore, if the action has these three dimensions, then it will be Karma yoga.
First, the action should be without selfish desire. Apparently, desires create strong attachments. So, as a result of desires, we have attachments to the fruit of our action. These attachments are the cause of our stress and unhappiness.
For example, if you are studying for the exam and you can achieve a higher grade then you may get highly paid job. And then you will get attachment with higher grade and this attachment brings lot of stress. It means that in Karma yoga the action should be performed without any desires. After that, while you perform any action without any attachment then you have no stress, anxiety and depression even if you fail.
Karma yoga – The second dimension
The second dimension of Karma Yoga is selfless action. In other words, action without false ego and action not for me. When you are doing something, you say: “I am doing it for myself.” That “I” is false ego.
For example, I decide to travel to Paris for the Christmas holidays, but if I cannot travel that leads to a big disappointment and sad feelings.
In Karma yoga there is no sad feelings, no quilt and just peace and contentment.
The third dimension is that it should be in line with your duty, responsibility. The right action in that moment and situation and space.
For instance, if I am a mother then I have certain duties towards my children. Moreover, if I live in a society then I have to follow the law and respect others. The society has given me a lot, so I have to give back. After all, I receive so much from mother nature. That means I have to give back to mother nature.
Karma yoga – Daily practice of every human being
How can we practice Karma yoga in our daily life?
First, when it comes to practicing Karma yoga, it is important that the service comes from a selfless place. It is about giving to those in need, sharing love, and spreading light.
Second, start practicing Karma Yoga at home, with yourself. In other words, when you live your life with awareness, you carve a path to nourish the universe that eventually nourishes you. Besides, being kind to ourselves and taking care of ourselves is not selfish but rather critical. If you are not healthy and peaceful, you cannot help others.
Be honest with people, tell the truth. Put out your best effort and stay your true self in the world, and the universe will send you experiences and people to match your energy.
Help others and they will appreciate your help. Surprisingly, you will make an ever-lasting mark on their life. When you help others, you also help yourself. Everyone needs a purpose in life, and helping people should always be a part of that purpose.
Karma yoga – Way of right living
Contribution is a big part of Karma yoga practice. It might be a donation, volunteering or simply listening to someone (friend or doorman) who is having a bad day. Nevertheless, this is also a contribution. Helping an elderly person carry groceries is also a contribution – a huge one!
Be kind and respectful to nature and animals. People need to respect nature and living things. The environment is also good for our health and helps us to breathe too.
Hurting the environment hurts animals and pollutes the earth. Hence, Karma yoga takes a huge part in saving the environment of mother nature.
In conclusion, whatever you choose to do, making the above things a regular part of your life. This is the key of practicing Karma yoga. It can become more than just a practice. After all, it can become a way of your truthful and harmonious life.