Karma to Karma Yoga – The Yoga of Action (Chapter 3 – Gita): #

3 x OMs

“So Ham” Meditation to Calm the Mind | In the Voice of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Why and how should every one of us serve? Bhagawan endearingly and lovingly reminds us today.

Render your hearts cool with delight; share the delight with others; adore God in this delectable form. When you go into the qualifications needed for seva, you will know that a pure heart – uncontaminated by conceit, greed, envy, hatred or competition is essential; also what is required is faith in God, as the spring of vitality, virtue, and justice. Seva is the worship you offer to the God in the heart of everyone. Do not ask another which country or state you belong to, or which caste or creed you profess. See your favorite form of God in that other person; as a matter of fact, that person is not ‘other’ at all. It is His image, as much as you are. You are not helping some ‘one individual’; you are adoring Me, in that person. I am before you in that form; so, what room is there for the ego in you to raise its hood? Duty is God; Work is worship. Even the tiniest work is a flower placed at the Feet of God.

– Divine Discourse, Mar 04, 1970.

Sri Krishna advised Arjuna repeatedly that he had the right to perform Karma only and not to aspire for the fruit thereof. Krishna’s idea was that the Karma performed by Arjuna must transform itself into Yoga. He wanted that the Karma should not remain simply as Karma, but it should be transformed into Karma Yoga. When a Karma is performed with the consciousness that you are the body, it remains merely a Karma. All those Karmas which are performed with a sense of dedication to God become Yoga.  

Bhagavad Gita – Part II – Chapter 18

Divine Discourses of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

In this study circle, let us explore and learn Karma and Karma Yoga (the Yoga of action).

Discussion #

  1. What is Karma (Action) ?
  2. How to transform Karma -> Karma Yoga
  3. What are the Effects of Karma ?
  4. Why Karma and Karma Yoga?

What is Karma (Action) ? #

  • Performed by Living or Sentient being
  • Consciously done – sense of ownership of action
  • Consequences attached – enjoy or suffer
  • Moral Dimension – good or bad
  • Freedom of choice to perform – not coerced into action

When desire to attain the fruit of action is renounced with full awareness, then it becomes what Krishna calls the “yoga of intelligence”. The intellect has to be purified and trained; otherwise, it is impossible to give up attachment to the fruits of action and to continue doing things as either duty or dedication. Such a purified intellect is named yoga-buddhi. Cultivate it and then, through it, liberate yourself from the bondage of action (karma).

Gita Vahini (https://sssbpt.info/vahinis/Gita/Gita04.pdf)

How to transform Karma -> Karma Yoga #

1. Performing one’s ORDAINED action or duty (Swadharma) as desireless actions (Nishkama Karma)

If you have an eye on the fruits of your actions, you are liable to be affected by worry, anxiety, and restlessness. The question may arise: if the fruits have to be given up, how can one manage to live? But why this weakness of heart, this nervousness? He who has assured you, saying,
I will care for your well-being (Yoga-kshemam vahamyaham),”
will certainly look after that. He will give the means and the wherewithal. All you have to consider is: which is more important, a happy life or liberation from the circle of life and death? Happy living is of only short duration; the joy of liberation is eternal, unshakeable.
The Lord has said in the Gita, “refuse the fruit (maa phaleshu)” – that is to say, the deed yields results, but the doer should not desire the result or do it with the result in view. If Krishna’s intention was to say that the doer has no right to the fruit, He would have said, “It is fruitless (na phaleshu – na meaning no)”. So, if you desist from action (karma), you will be transgressing the Lord’s command. That would be a serious mistake. When one has a right to engage in action (karma), one has a right also to the fruit; nobody can deny this or refuse this right. But doers can, out of their own free will and determination, refuse to be affected by the result, whether favorable or unfavorable. The Gita shows the way: “Do – but don’t be attached to the consequence.”
The desire for the result of your action is a sign of passion (rajoguna). The giving up of action because you cannot benefit by the fruit is a sign of dullness (thamoguna). To engage in action, to know that the result will follow, and yet not to be attached to it or concerned with it —that is the sign of the quality of purity and serenity (sathwaguna).


2. Renounce fruit of action of one’s own volition (Karmaphala Tyaga)

  • Do and deny the consequences i.e. do NOT be attached to results that stem from action)
  • Attachment à Bondage vs Detachment à Liberation – Performing one’s action to please GOD

3. No choice but DO the work as adoration (or offering) of GOD

4. GOD (or NATURE) is the DOER – We are just a witness in DIVINE hands – Work is Worship.

  • No doership or ownership – just a WITNESS to DIVINE play
  • No question of being attached to results of actions – GOD is the motivator, HE is the DOER and HE is the enjoyer of fruits thereof

Understanding the Effects of Karma #

  • External or Gross à Giving food to hungry – hunger of recipient satiated
  • Internal or Subtle à Mental impression created – sanskar – based on motive of action –
    • Sharing/Caring that generates JOY
    • Obedience if maybe you went with parents to serve
    • Ulterior motive – maybe someday someone will help if I did now!
  • Cosmic Effect – Will comeback later to you – in a “Cosmic” timeframe commensurate with action “itself” and intent

Why Karma and Karma Yoga?

  • Responsibility/Obligation of individual to society since it has given so much in terms of resources in contributing to where we are “today” – Duty to repay the Debt we as individual owe society – more than 1 billion living in impoverished/indigent condition
  • Responsibility as a devotee as part of SAI organization to serve – Have this wonderful forum to transform Karma à Karma Yoga
  • CSR à Corporate Social Responsibility as an example

Jai Sai Ram!