Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Principles and practice of karma yoga

Karmayoga or Yoga of action is based upon the following principles:

  • Man cannot escape from performing actions, howsoever he may live. Therefore man should not renounce actions.
  • True renunciation means renunciation of the desire for the fruit of ones action, not the action itself.
  • The deluded man thinks egoistically that "I am the doer," not realizing that it is Nature which engage men in actions through the triple gunas of sattva (purity), rajas (passion) and tamas (crudeness).
  • Actions that are performed out of desire for the fruit of action and with a sense of doership bind men to the mortal world.
  • In performing actions one should follow the example of God who engages Himself in actions though there is nothing for Him to do or achieve in all the worlds.
To become perfect in karmayoga a devotee should approach men of knowledge, prostrate before them and know from them what is action and what is inaction. He should also cultivate the following qualities or virtues:

  • Detachment
  • Equanimity of Mind
  • Elimination or Control of Desires; especially desire for the fruit of his actions
  • Surrender to God
  • Egolessness
  • Singleminded Devotion to God