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KARMA YOGA

Updated on April 3, 2011

Union with/through Work

Wanting to have a spiritual life and reading a lot I found a phrase "karma yoga". The best definition of karma yoga was found in Wikipedia others being a little bit heavy for a common man like me. Wikipedia says Karma yoga literally translates to the path of union through action. It is described as a way of acting, thinking and willing by which one acts in accordance with one's duty (dharma) without consideration of personal selfish desires, likes or dislikes. Acting without being attached to the fruits of one's deeds.

I could follow the first sentence, but my brain blocked processing when I went through the second part of second sentence "without personal selfish desires, likes, or dislikes." Describing karma, Wikipedia also states "it states that one can attain moksha (salvation) or love of God by performing their duties in an unselfish manner for the pleasure of the Supreme."

This made me more confused, and I asked my brain to stop trying to understand and start giving me some examples of work which I can do without personal selfish desires. I can do some small things for my friends and loved ones without any selfishness.......wait a minute....was there selfishness subconsciously like wanting to be considered as a good human....may be...I don't know...you see... that is subconscious. But I think sometimes helping others itself makes us happy, but that is occasional.

Unfortunately, every little thing I do like brushing my teeth to have healthy teeth and every bigger thing like working for my company seemed selfish. I then looked around me and for me every one looked selfish. The whole day I was thinking about karma yoga. Every type of work seemed selfish to me, some are more selfish like doing a business and some are less selfish like working as a teacher for a small salary.

I thought that the only people who could attain union with God through the path of action are monks who lives in Himalayas and elsewhere, and thought this is not a right path for me as I was not ready to leave the warmth of my home and go to Himalayas and more importantly my neighbor's daughter was very interesting.

Continuing my interest in things spiritual, I came across literature by Swami Vivekananda many a times he was understandable. He said "by work alone men may get to where Buddha got largely by meditation or Christ by prayer." He is comparing work to meditation and prayer. I had a little experience in meditation and prayer. Now I starting thinking hard...it was meaningful...I felt like knowing something.......... work like you meditate or pray....and realize God?. Yes.

When I am totally concentrated in,enjoying and loving what I am doing, I forget myself, my ego disappears, I hardly know the passing of time.....exactly the same experience which I had while I meditate....I don't know whether this is union with God or not...it is definitely union with my work.

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