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Timeless wisdom of Karma Yog



The teachings of Karma Yog in the first six chapters of Bhagvad Gita  are profound and it guides us for living a fulfilling life while performing our duties in this materialistic world. Karma Yog focuses on doing your duties without attaching to the results.


This yog talks about what is karm & what a true karm yogi does while living in this materialistic world.


In this article we will discuss deeper into the core teachings of Karma Yog and how they can be applied in daily life:


The foundation of Karma Yog rests on understanding the true nature of our existence and the purpose behind our actions. Recognising that we are not merely our physical bodies or minds but souls (atman) is very important. ss is due to ignorance and the layers of illusion (Maya) that covers our true self.


Let us start with knowing our soul.


Nature of the Soul

The soul’s true nature is Sat-Chit-Anand that is to forever be in the state of bliss. 


But the fact is we are in any state but in the state of bliss because we are constantly fluctuating through various emotions like happiness stress, anger, pain; which are temporary and are directly related to the materialistic world.


Ignorance hides the true nature of our soul & makes us think we are just our bodies and minds. This causes us to get caught in the cycle of birth & death. 


Once the person realises he is not the body, nor the mind but he is the soul, his spiritual journey begins.


Enemies of the Soul

Lust, Greed, and Anger are considered the primary obstacles to spiritual progress. They arise from excessive attachment to material pleasures and can lead to further entanglement in the material world. This causes problems on our spiritual path. 


They distract us from growing spiritually by making us focus on temporary things. To move forward, we need to control these feelings and focus on what's truly important. 


Lust represents an overwhelming desire for physical pleasures, greed embodies an insatiable hunger for material accumulation, and anger arises from unmet expectations and frustrations tied to worldly attachments. Together, they form a trio of obstacles that cloud the mind & divert attention from spiritual goals. 


By fostering these attachments, individuals further entangle themselves in the material realm, hindering their progress towards achieving a state of higher consciousness and spiritual liberation. Overcoming these obstacles requires mindfulness, self-discipline, and a deep commitment to spiritual practice, guiding one towards inner peace and enlightenment.



Controlling the Senses

Mastery Over Senses: The Bhagvad Gita teaches that true strength lies in controlling one's senses rather than being controlled by them. This involves practicing restraint and developing the ability to withdraw from sense objects.


The real power is not about letting our senses - what we see, hear, taste, touch, and smell - control us. Instead, true strength comes from controlling these senses ourselves. It's like being the boss of how we react to the world around us, not letting every little thing pull us in different directions. This means learning to say no to things that might not be good for us, even if they seem tempting. It's about choosing not to get too caught up in wanting stuff, eating too much, or getting too angry or upset. By practicing self-control and focusing on what's really important, we can find a deeper happiness and peace inside ourselves, free from the constant ups and downs of wanting more and more.



Detachment

Attachment to people, possessions or events leads to suffering. The Gita advocates for a practice of detachment, where actions are performed without any expectation of reward.


Getting too attached to people, things or events can cause us a lot of pain. It says we should try to live a life where we don't hang onto these things too tightly. When we do something, it's better to do it because it's the right thing to do, not because we're hoping for a reward or scared of what we might lose. This way of living without clinging too hard to anything helps us feel less upset and disappointed. It's like playing a game for the fun of playing, not just to win. This approach helps us find peace inside ourselves, no matter what's happening around us. 


Equanimity / Equipoised

Staying balanced in success and failure, pleasure and pain, is a key principle of Karma Yog. This state of inner balance allows one to remain detached and focused on the action itself rather than its results.


It's about keeping your cool and being the same person whether things go your way or not, whether you're happy or sad. This doesn't mean not caring about what happens. Instead, it's about not getting too caught up in the highs and lows. By staying steady inside, you can pay more attention to what you're doing right now, not just what you might get out of it. This way, you can do your best without worrying too much about winning or losing, enjoying the process itself.


Focus on Action, Not Results

Nishkama Karma: The famous saying "Karm kar, phal ki chinta mat kar" translates to "Perform your duty without concern for the results." is the essence of Karma Yog. By focusing on the duty (dharma) itself and letting go of attachment to the outcome & remaining equipoised in any situation, one can achieve a state of freedom and peace.


Karma Yog teaches a path of selfless service, where actions are performed as an offering to the Divine, without materialistic desires. This path leads to self-purification, the realization of the true Self, and ultimately, liberation (moksha). By integrating these principles into daily life, one can live a life of purpose, joy, and spiritual growth, even while actively engaging in the world.

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