Jun 16, 2013

Karm Yog in a Nutshell - II

In the discussion earlier, we skimmed over the topic of Karm Yog. Let us study the explanation revealed in the 'Bhagavad Gita' in detail.

The Bhagavad Gita says,

यत्करोषि यद्शनसि यज्जुहोसि ददासि यत् I 
यत्तपस्यसि कौन्तेय तदक्रुरुष्व मदर्पणम् II 

“Arjun!  Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever austerities you perform, and whatever you give away, do it as an offering to Me.” 

Alongside, you should also practice the discussed in the first part, Karm Sanyas.  For some time during the day, cease all other activity and simply sit and think of God and Guru.  This will help you eliminate worldly consciousness from your mind and strengthen your devotional sentiment.  As mentioned earlier, today's world hardly gives us the time to think and contemplate on matters others than work, family and problems. Yet, we must and we surely can find that time if the mind resolves to do so. 

It must be noted that the Karm Sanyas referred above is temporary, since we come back to the material world and its travails as soon as we break the 'sanyas' after a few hours. True Karm Sanyas will come at a later stage of spiritual development.

Once we take the first few steps, God and Guru will certainly grace us such that we are able to practice this everyday. One must be sincere, determined and willing to bend the mind.

It is also very beneficial for an aspirant to spend time with his / her Gurudev and take active part in his Satsang whenever possible. Such opportunities to associate with the Guru can be very precious and few and far in between. 

You may think that if you did not have to work at all, then you could spend all your time in devotion.  This needs more introspection. There are two kinds of vairagya, or detachment.  The first kind is when you find the world as painful and burdensome, and want to run away from it.  Shree Krishna calls this rajasic detachment (detachment in the mode of passion).

The Bhagavad Gita cautions,

“Giving up one’s work, thinking it to burdensome and painful, is to be considered rajasic detachment, and it does not lead to Divine fruits.”

The second kind of detachment is where you continue working, while giving up attachment to the results.  In other words, you practice equanimity in pain and pleasure, success and failure, hardship and luxury, favourable and unfavourable situations.  Shree Krishna calls this sattvic detachment (detachment in the mode of goodness).

The Bhagavad Gita again says,

“Performing one’s work, simply because it is to be performed, while giving up attachment to the fruits, is sattvic detachment.” 

Hence, the ideal path for spiritual progress is to practice devotion along with our prescribed work, even though it may be painful and burdensome.  When our detachment develops to such an extent that we no longer find our work burdensome, no matter how difficult it may be, only then should we consider giving up work, and performing devotion full time.  

However, this step of Karm Sanyas is to be taken only under the guidance of the Guru, when we are qualified for it.  For the vast majority of the people, Karm Yog is more suitable, where they continue doing their work, but make their consciousness Divine.

While practicing Karm Yog, you can remember God and Guru in various ways.  Practice to feel their presence with you.  Think that they are watching you; make them your witness in every activity that you perform.  This will help keep your mind in the Divine realm, while you do your worldly duties with the body.

When you feel the presence of God and Guru, your tendency to do the wrong things decrease and eventually come to a stop. Before acting, you will think, "Shree Krishna and my Guru are  watching me, how can i commit this wrongful act?". This is how we learn to feel their presence every where and at all times. The mind will be completely blissful when we do all the work for their pleasure and take all situations in our stride as we go through life.