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Karma Yoga

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Karma Yoga

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  1. Karma Yoga Principles and Practices

  2. Different Kinds of People • Taamasic – Lazy, without motivation, complaining, escapist • Raajasic – Active • Aarthi – A suffering person who wants to free himself from the suffering – afraid of stick, works to avoid punishment and inconvenience • Arthaarthi – A person who is hankering after different things – wants carrots, works to achieve goals and ambitions • Saatvic – Thinking • Jijnaasu – A person who is beyond sticks and carrots, looking for a nobler reason to work • Guna-atita – Wise • Jnaani – A person who attained the knowledge of the Truth of this existence Karma Yoga is for these people.

  3. Karma to Karma Yoga • Results of work • Artha – removes wants, gives security • Kaama – gives comfort and luxuries • Dharma – gives social benefit, peace of mind • Moksha – gives inner growth and emotional freedom By products Focus here. Work for these.

  4. Overview Karma Yoga Right Action Right Attitude Avoid harmful Reduce selfish Increase selfless Iswara arpana Iswara prasaada General duties Particular duties (swadharma) Deva yagnaBhuta yagnaManushya yagnaPitru yagnaRishi yagna Yagna (give back) Daana (give more) Tapas (stretch yourself) Physical tapasVerbal tapasMental tapas

  5. What is Karma Yoga? • Right action • What should I do? • What should I avoid? • Right attitude • How should I work? • How should I face the results?

  6. Actions • Actions • Taamasic – harmful • Raajasic – selfish • Saatvic – selfless • Saamaanya dharma – general duties • Vishesha dharma (swadharma) – particular duties Avoid Reduce Increase

  7. What Should I Avoid? • Don’t do anything that you cannot proudly tell to your mother. • Don’t do anything that you will not want others to do to you. • Don’t do anything that will increase your identity with the body.

  8. What Should I Reduce? • Some selfish actions cannot be avoided • Brushing teeth, bathing, eating, etc • Information update like newspaper • Some selfish actions can be reduced • Some entertainment like cricket match • Some luxuries like ice cream • Dependence on servants

  9. What Should I Increase? • Saamaanya dharma (General duties) • Yagna – repaying our obligations • Daana – charity beyond obligations • Tapas – stretching our limits • Vishesha dharma (Particular duties) • Swadharma – duties based on our position in life

  10. So Far … Karma Yoga Right Action Right Attitude Avoid harmful Reduce selfish Increase selfless Iswara arpana Iswara prasaada General duties Particular duties (swadharma) Deva yagnaBhuta yagnaManushya yagnaPitru yagnaRishi yagna Yagna (give back) Daana (give more) Tapas (stretch yourself) Physical tapasVerbal tapasMental tapas

  11. Yagna – Paying Back • We have already taken a lot from environment, parents, society, etc. • We are under a huge debt already. • Nature will not let us go free. • Give willingly instead of being robbed forcibly.

  12. 1. Deva runa – Debt to inanimate nature. We are made of the gross and subtle elements. Earth gives food. Sun gives heat and light. We need air to breathe, water to drink, etc. Preserve nature and support people doing it Plant trees Avoid pollution Conserve water, electricity, paper, etc Five Kinds of Debts

  13. 2. Bhuta runa– Debt to other plants and animals. Plants give food, clothes, etc. Trees give so many products. Animals are used in agriculture, for milk, honey, silk, wool, etc. Dogs, cats serve as pets. Pay for services Treat animals kindly Give comfort to animals Plant trees Five Kinds of Debts

  14. 3. Pitru runa – Debt to parents and ancestors. We have got our body from our parents and ancestors. They have fed us and taken care of us. They have spend so much energy towards what we are today. Don’t hurt the feelings of parents Take care of old people and children Don’t scold them unnecessarily Donate towards old age homes, orphanages, etc Five Kinds of Debts

  15. 4. Manushya runa – Debt to the society. We avail the services of so many people in the society like farmers, masons, weavers, shop keepers, drivers, mechanics, police, soldiers, etc Pay for services Treat other people with due respect Help others Donate towards relief work Donate towards the development of underprivileged Five Kinds of Debts

  16. 5. Rishi runa – Debt to teachers. Man is different from an animal because of the scientific and cultural heritage, which is inherited through teachers, authors of good books, makers of good movies, etc. Study well Keep the scientific and cultural heritage a part of your life Learn music, art, etc Buy good books Teach others Donate to schools Five Kinds of Debts

  17. Five Kinds of Debts • Pancha runa • Deva runa • Bhuta runa • Pitru runa • Manushya runa • Rishi runa • Paying them back brings our account back to balance. • It is ok to overpay. It will be credited back.

  18. So Far … Karma Yoga Right Action Right Attitude Avoid harmful Reduce selfish Increase selfless Iswara arpana Iswara prasaada General duties Particular duties (swadharma) Deva yagnaBhuta yagnaManushya yagnaPitru yagnaRishi yagna Yagna (give back) Daana (give more) Tapas (stretch yourself) Physical tapasVerbal tapasMental tapas

  19. Daana - Charity • Contribute more than you consume • Bhagavad Gita – 17:20 • Give as duty and with humility, not as a favor and with arrogance • Give to people who cannot give back in any form to you • Give at a place where needed • Give in time when needed • Give to the deserving people

  20. Tapas – Austerity • Stretching ourselves exposes our limitations to our conscious view so that we can analyze them and try to improve ourselves. • The world is a gymnasium to develop ourselves.

  21. Physical Austerity • Bhagavad Gita – 17:14 • Bow down to God, cultured people, teachers and wise people • Maintain everything neat and tidy • There should be perfect alignment between your intention, knowledge, words and action • Maintain decent and appropriate attitude towards the other gender • Do not cause injury to others

  22. Verbal Austerity • Bhagavad Gita – 17:15 • Speak softly • Speak only that which passes the triple test • Truthful • Pleasant • Useful • Maintain a habit of studying good books • Discuss good thoughts with others

  23. Mental Austerity • Bhagavad Gita – 17:16 • Be free from stress in the form of anxiety about the future and brooding about the past • Be calm and cheerful • Have pleasant and gentle thoughts • Observe silence for sometime everyday • Do not perpetuate unhealthy thoughts • Have noble intentions. Wish good to everyone.

  24. Yagna, Daana, Tapas • Bhagavad Gita – 18:5 • These three: • yagna (fulfilling the five debts)daana (contributing more than consuming)and tapas (stretching the limits) should always be performed • These are needed to purify the mind and maintain purity in life

  25. Swadharma • It is God who has placed us in the position where we are • Doing full justice to the position by doing our duties is His worship • Whatever comes our way and whatever is expected of us in our current position is our natural duty • Bhagavad Gita – 18:46 • Him from whom the world has arisen,Him who pervades everything here,By worshipping Him by doing one’s duty,Man attains perfection.

  26. So Far … Karma Yoga Right Action Right Attitude Avoid harmful Reduce selfish Increase selfless Iswara arpana Iswara prasaada General duties Particular duties (swadharma) Deva yagnaBhuta yagnaManushya yagnaPitru yagnaRishi yagna Yagna (give back) Daana (give more) Tapas (stretch yourself) Physical tapasVerbal tapasMental tapas

  27. How Should I Work? • Remember the purpose • To pay back • To improve ourselves • No shortcuts • Working hard and being fair is more important than achieving the immediate target • Introspection and stretching our limits is the way to grow Iswara arpana – Do everything as an offering to God (9:27).

  28. How Should I Face the Results? • Face the logical and illogical consequences • Success or failure, learn the lesson and go ahead • Face success with humility and failure with dignity • Remember the purpose • To pay back • To improve ourselves Iswara prasaada – Accept everything as gift from God (9:28).

  29. Karma Yoga – Summary • Final Goal – Inner emotional perfection • Security, Happiness and Peace • Fulfillment • Purposefulness • Intermediate Goal • Moral perfection • Detachment • Means • Avoid harmful and reduce selfish actions • Perform Yagna, Daana, Tapas • Pay back the five debts • Give more than you take • Stretch limits to grow • Perform Swadharma • By product or side effect • Prosperity • Achievement • Pursuit of artha and kaama should be subservient to the pursuit of dharma and moksha

  30. What Should I Do? • Do my duty • Whatever comes my way and whatever is expected of me in my current position is my natural duty • Clear the five debts • Make sure I give more than I take • Stretch myself by austerities

  31. What Should I Avoid? • Lethargy • Shortcuts • Self pity • Blaming others or the environment • Over consumption • Anxiety towards the immediate target

  32. What Will I Get? • Peace of mind • Maturity to ask further questions like “What is the ultimate purpose of life?” • Calmness to involve in meditation and scriptural study.

  33. Questions and Answers gokulmuthu@gmail.com http://gokulmuthu.wordpress.com