Thursday, August 21, 2008


I think yoga in general and karma yoga in particular is often a confused term in the mordern world. When I first started reading about Indian spiritual knowledge, my interest was more towards karma yoga because I thought this is something which would be suitable for a man with a family. As many of you know, yoga is union with good.

The best definition of karma yoga was found in Wikipedia others being a little bit heavy for a common man like me. Wikipedia says Karma yoga is path of union through action. It also said that karma yoga is described as a way of acting, thinking and willing by which one acts in accordance with one's duty (dharma) without consideration of personal selfish desires, likes or dislikes. Acting without being attached to the fruits of one's deeds.

The first sentence was easy for me, but I could not understand enough about "without personal selfish desires, likes, or dislikes." Describing karma, Wikipedia also states "it states that one can attain moksha (salvation) or love of God by performing their duties in an unselfish manner for the pleasure of the Supreme."

This is what made me more confused, and I stopped trying hard to understand. For me it was literally difficult to understand work without any selfish desires. As an ordinary man, I had to work 12 hours a day to earn my family's daily bread. Working without that selfish motive of feeding my family was something beyond my level of understanding. Of course, I known I can work voluntarily for some NGO, but I believed that working few hours without expecting anything was not enough to see God.

In India work is considered a form of worship and that confused me more. Around the same period of time when I was thinking hard about karma yoga, I came across literature by Swami Vivekananda. In one of his writing Swami Vivekananda said "by work alone men may get to where Buddha got largely by meditation or Christ by prayer."

Somthing struck to me here, Swami is comparing work to meditation and prayer. By that time, I trying to start meditating regularly. Now I starting thinking was meaningful...I felt like knowing something.......... work like you meditate or pray....and realize God?. Yes.

I think I know what Swami was speaking about, when I am totally concentrated in, enjoying and loving what I am doing, I forget myself, my ego disappears, I hardly know the passing of time.....exactly the same experience which I had while I meditate....I don't know whether this is union with God or is definitely union with my work.

Flow is achieved not because of thinking but experiencing and going beyond experiencing and becoming one with the work and that is called practical yoga. It is not just not being aware of the passing of time. It is flowing into supreme awareness.

1 comment:

free333 said...

The Ideal of Karma-Yoga.mp3

A pure heart sees beyond the intellect.
Sayings of Swami Vivekananda----Audio