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Credentials of a Karma Yogi
What is Karma?
The law of Karma
Selflessness & Attatchment
The Concept of Karma Yoga
Nishkamya Karma Yoga
A means to Knowledge
Credentials of a Karma Yogi
Secret of Karma Yoga
Karma and Reincarnation
Karma Indriyas
The Psudo Karma Yogi
Sinful Actions
Karma and Freedom
A Karma Yogi should be:
  • Free from lust, greed, anger and egoism. Even if there are traces of these bad habits (Doshas), he should try to remove them. He should not expect any kind of fruits for his actions herein and hereafter. He should not have any desire for name and fame, approbation, appreciation, thirst for applause, admiration and gratitude. He must have a spotless character. He should try to possess this gradually.

  • He should be humble and free from hatred, jealousy, harshness, etc. He should always speak sweet words.

  • He should be absolutely fearless. A timid man is absolutely unfit for Karma Yoga.

  • A Karma Yogi should have an amiable, loving, sociable nature. He should be able to move and mix with everybody without distinction of caste, creed or colour. He should have perfect adaptability, mercy and cosmic love.

  • He should be sympathetic and tolerant.

  • He should be able to adjust himself to the habits and ways of others.

  • He should have an all-embracing and all-inclusive heart. He should always have a cool and balanced mind.

  • He should be aware and attentive.

  • He should have equal vision.

  • He should rejoice in the welfare of others. A man who is easily irritated and who can be easily offended over trifling things is absolutely unfit for the path of Karma Yoga.

  • He should have all the organs under perfect control.

  • He should lead a very simple life.

  • He should burn his selfishness to the very root.

  • A Karma Yogi should have a sound, healthy and strong physical body. With a poor physique and health, one cannot serve others. He should take great care of the body without having the least Moha or attachment for it. He should never say: "This body is mine." He should be ever ready to sacrifice his body for a noble cause.

  • He should do regular Pranayama, physical exercise and Asanas to keep up a high standard of health.

  • He should take good, nourishing and substantial food.

  • He should bear insult, disrespect, dishonour, harsh words, censure, infamy, disgrace, heat and cold, and the pain of diseases. He should have the power of endurance.

  • He should have absolute faith in himself, in God, in the scriptures and in the words of his Guru. Such a man only can become a good Karma Yogi as only he can do real and useful service to the country and to the suffering humanity.

The summary of this has been very beautifully put into words in the Bhagvad Gita:

Samniyamyendriyagramam sarvatra samabuddhayah
Te prapnuvanti mameva sarvabhutahite rataah.

"Restraining and subduing the senses, regarding everything equally, in the welfare of all rejoicing, these also come to Me." Bhagvad Gita

Even if you possess a few of the above qualifications, the other qualifications will come to you by themselves, when you earnestly work in the field of Karma Yoga. You need not be discouraged. Plunge yourself in the service of God. Forget the body. Blow the bugle with the feeling: "I must become a true Karma Yogi now." All virtues will cling to you by themselves.

Apply yourself diligently right now from this very second. Become an ideal Karma Yogi like Janaka or Buddha. Start the work even with a little capital of love, mercy and sympathy. You will draw inspiration from the leaders in the field. After sometime, you will become a wonderful Karma Yogi.

Fearlessness, humility and all other virtues will shine in you by themselves now. Just keep reminding yourself that you do not lose anything in Karma Yoga. Even if you do a little service to the country or to the society or to poor sick people, it brings its own advantages and benefits. It purifies your heart and prepares the mind for the reception of knowledge of Atman. The Samskaras or impressions of these good actions are indelibly imbedded in your subconscious mind. The force of these Samskaras will again propel you to do some more good actions. Sympathy, love, the spirit of patriotism and service will be developed. Nothing is lost when the candle burns. The only thing that loses its identity is darkness. Karama yoga also helps you lose the darkness of ignorance and gain the light of knowledge.

In agriculture you may manure and plough the land. Your efforts will be rendered futile if you do not get rain in the year. This is not the case in Karma Yoga. There is no uncertainty here regarding the result of any effort. Further there is not the least chance of getting harmed by practicing Karma Yoga. Even if you do a little service, even if you practise a little Karma Yoga in any form, it will save you from great fear, from the fear of Samsara and of birth and death with its connected evils. That is the reason why Lord Krishna says to Arjuna:

Nehaabhikramanaasosti pratyavaayo na vidvate
Svalpamapyasya dharmasya trayate mahato bhayat.

"There is no loss of effort here, there is no harm. Even a little of this service delivers one from great fear."
The path of Karma Yoga, which eventually leads to the attainment of the infinite bliss of the Self, cannot be unsuccessful.

Ignorant people say that one cannot work without any motive because they do not know the essence and truth of Karma Yoga. Their minds are saturated with all sorts of desires and selfishness, and as a result, their minds are very impure and clouded. They cannot grasp the underlying truth of Karma Yoga. They judge others from their own standpoint. Selflessness is a thing unknown to them. Their minds and brains are rendered callous and so they cannot vibrate properly to understand what a motiveless action is.

When the thought of doing good becomes part and parcel of a man's very being he will not entertain any motive at all. He takes immense delight in serving others, in doing well to others. There is a peculiar joy (Ananda) in the practice of vigorous Karma Yoga. The Karma Yogi gets inner spiritual strength and power by performing motiveless and selfless actions.

He should understand the secret of Karma Yoga. He should thrust himself in selfless work. He must work persistently and serve the society in a variety of ways. Gradually he will understand the glory and splendor of unselfish work. He will become a changed being with divine efficiency and sweet Yogic fragrance. Many of his actions may be selfish in the beginning of his Yogic career, but it does not matter. He should not be discouraged on this score. But, slowly when he grows in purity, some of his actions will turn out to be unselfish. In the long run all his actions will be unselfish. He should patiently work with inexorable energy. He has to destroy his old mind of selfishness and build a new mind of selflessness. This is doubtless uphill work and demands struggle and constant effort with asinine patience and iron determination. Selfless work elevates and brings freedom. Selfish work retards spiritual progress and fastens one more chain to your feet. If you find it difficult to work without any motive, have one strong motive for freedom when you work. This will not bind you. This will destroy all other lower selfish motives and will eventually die by itself. The joy of a developed Karma Yogi is really unbounded. Words cannot adequately describe his glorious state and inward happiness.

Look at the stupendous and magnanimous work turned out by Lord Buddha and other Karma Yogis. Their names are still remembered. The whole world worships them with reverence. They lived for doing service to others. They were examples of absolute self-abnegation.

Expand. Purify your heart. Live in the true spirit of Karma Yoga. Live every second for the realisation of the ideal and goal of life. Then and then alone will you realise the true glory of Karma Yoga. Keep before you the examples of the great Karma Yogis who served mankind and thus radiated peace, bliss and wisdom unto all.


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