Our body and mind are always involved in something or the other and the output of that involvement is a Karma. Thus, Karma can be seen as a manifestation through our physical and mental abilities which are bestowed upon us by the Almighty. Thereby, it necessarily becomes an act of God.
However, due to ignorance, we claim ownership of the Karma and hence bind ourselves to the Karmaphala associated with it. Karma Yoga gives us a path by which we can remain free from the bindings of Karmaphala, while being in Karma.
Since to live is to be in Karma, the path of Karma Yoga encompasses the entire humanity in its ambit, irrespective of aptitudes and inclinations. Thus it becomes perhaps the most important path to God available to all humanity.
In the present post, we discuss how Karma Yoga helps the entire society by directing an individual towards proper action, how it becomes a constant meditation on God, and how it leads to dissolution of ego which is one of the foremost goals of spiritual life that leads to closer association with the Supreme Consciousness.
A Proper Sense of Duty
Following Karma Yoga, a person realizes that deliverance of a Karma through them is only due to their God-bestowed abilities. In this manner, they are merely playing their part in an act of God.
This puts into perspective a proper sense of duty in the person.
Duty means appropriate action in accordance to present position and abilities of a person. Duty of a young man in a playing field is to win the game using their skills. The same young man in a lecture hall must concentrate his attention in understanding the lecture and taking notes.
Through Karma Yoga, one is able to limit their identities to only the time and space of their duty, leaving aside any personal bias in execution of it.
We often discuss how the world would be a better place if everyone does their duty in an honest manner. The sense of honest duty automatically arises in a Karma Yogi.
Arjuna was able to take up weapons against his own brothers and kin in the battlefield of Kurukshetra, only when he realized his duty in the time and space of the battlefield is to win the battle for his side by employing his martial skills.
Thus Karma Yoga directs us to live a life in accordance to our present duty, while recognizing ourselves only as mediums in the act of God.
This removes any sense of personal bias, as well as shame or guilt associated with any work, and a person is able to live their life in accordance to social demands while being in divine grace.
A Constant Relationship with God
A true Karma Yogi is in constant recognition of the fact that Karma is a work of God and they are a medium through which God delivers the work.
The Karma is also seen as service by the Yogi, in realization that the services are to none but varied manifestations of the same Supreme Consciousness.
A close relationship is thus established between God and the Karma Yogi. A relationship which begins with God and ends in God.
The self-realization of the ultimate Truth, that everything has emerged from the Supreme Consciousness, thus becomes complete in the Karma Yogi.
The Karma Yogi is then able to feel the presence of God to their very core and remains suffused in the Divine light. Thus the Yogi is in constant meditation in God while carrying out their usual lives.
The Dissolution of Ego
Reaching such a state, one becomes less and less able to exercise their own desires into action, or think about personal gains in any activity.
The pacification of desires leads to the state of equanimity, from where one derives an inner peace and calm. The outside world of transiency and distractions are no more able to take away this calm stability in the person.
This is a strength from which one finds a new sense of living, free from desires of the ego identity, which in spirituality is regarded as the root of all suffering.
With the dissolution of desires, there remains no recognition of the self as separate identity. Thus one attains Nirvana or final emancipation into the Supreme Consciousness.
Thus the journey which begins in the simple teachings of Karma Yoga, which is to view Karma as an act of God and keep oneself forever in service to others, ends in the final spiritual goal of being in Sacred Union with the Divine.
Associated posts in the Karma Yoga series –
Part I – Here Karma is analyzed into its components, using which the idea of Karma Yoga is laid down.
Part II – The fundamental principle of Karma Yoga to be followed by a Karma Yogi is discussed in detail.
– SACRED UNION –
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