Karma Yoga - An Introduction
Karma Yoga, or the "discipline of action" is based on the teachings of the Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita, the holiest of Hindu scriptures. As one of the four pillars of yoga, Karma yoga requires the adherence to one’s duty (swadarma) while remaining detached from the reward. Simply, It is the yoga of performance of “right action”.
What is right action?
You might glance over the Sermon the Mount, as Jesus was very specific on what He considered ‘right action’. He mentions not to kill, or even speak badly about another. He mentions about sexual fidelity, and even not to think about it (as having the same result as committing it).
He says what is correct for marriage, for the saying of oaths, for not seeking revenge, for what do to do please God, and how to pray correctly. He says how to fast, how to think, not to worry (about the material life), not to judge others, and how to remain steadfast. All of these are principles of Karma Yoga.
So how can I practice Karma Yoga in my daily life?
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Nothing could be easier. You do your swadarma (your rightful duty) daily, without regard to the rewards it will bring; just to do your best each day. You keep your mind, as much as you can, on God, and you will be practicing Karma Yoga. You can apply the simple but eternal truths as found in the Sermon.
And If You Do?
Without having the fruit of your action in mind, you can be sure that the poor in spirit will inherit the kingdom of heaven. That those who mourn will be comforted. That those who are meek will certainly inherit the earth.
You can be confident that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled.
That the merciful will obtain themselves mercy.
That the pure of heart will see God,
The peacemakers will be called the sons of God.
Finally for all who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake will obtain the Kingdom of Heaven.
This is Karma Yoga expressed in a Western way, but any Yoga recognizes them, and He who said them. Practiced daily, you are yourself then a Karma Yogi.
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