Karma Yoga

Posted By Nilmani Priyadarshi

In Satyananda Yoga, karma yoga is considered as a higher yoga, the result of a balance between head, heart and hand, intellect, emotion and action. To be creative and to transform our life into a spiritual life we need to use hand by hand these three qualities of human personality.

A Definition for the Path of Karma Yoga

Karma yoga means action and yoga union. Therefore, karma yoga is neither an ordinary act nor an altruistic activity. It is meditation in action. In karma yoga, one is supposed to keep self awareness or the witness position while performing the actions, in order to bring unity between individual consciousness and cosmic consciousness. According to the Upanishads, it is an essential way to progress in spiritual life and a complementary step to hatha yoga, raja yoga and kundalini yoga. The Bhagavad Gita has dealt with this subject and this universal text is almost the only one explaining the principles of karma yoga.

The Aims of Karma Yoga

The fundamental idea beyond karma yoga is that human being cannot escape from action. Activities are necessary, even for the first vital need as feeding. On the other hand, to stay inactive is a real poison, because it opens the way to unrestrained mental forces. If we become inactive by disgust, personal deception or a desire to be in seclusion and follow ascetic practices, we will surely suffer from strong mental reactions : nervous breakdown can easily happen or we will be overruned by a flow of mental activities, recurrent wishes, thoughts or untimely dreams.

The classical texts talk about inactivity but they don’t refer to an inactive state, they advocate maintaining the attitude of inaction or detachement while performing actions.

Usually, we consider work as a separate area of our life which has no relation with yoga. Unlike this opinion, the path of karma yoga allows us to develop our awareness and to deepen our feelings and experiences whereas we are involved in our normal activities. In that way, it is a very important aspect of yoga. The aim is to use the whole life as an opportunity to evolve, to transform daily actions into a complete and constant sadhana. It means to dive in life rather than to escape it or swap it for a different one.

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