Can we perform karma in a yogic way?

By Hasmukh Adhia

Karma, activity, is as essential as food for most human beings. Mind is always active even if one appears to be sitting idle. If we do not remain occupied with some useful activity, chances of us getting busy with undesirable actions are very high. Also, without some activity we can’t take care of our body’s sustenance. Even a person who has a lot of money needs to remain engaged in some activity.

Karma is also an expression of gratitude to Creation. God gave us this beautiful world in which we can enjoy life. In turn, we need to contribute something to maintain it and make it a better place. By carrying out one’s chosen duty one can reduce this debt towards Creation. Those who refuse to play their role incur sin, as Krishn tells Arjun in the Bhagwad Gita. They are ungrateful, to say the least, or are thieves to the extent they enjoy others’ creation without giving anything in return.

A person can do his best if his chosen role in life is as per his disposition and liking. One must choose a role keeping in mind one’s intellectual abilities and inclinations. This becomes one’s swadharm, the chosen role. When carried out with karma yog attitude, swadharm becomes an opportunity to earn punya karma, which gives us real happiness in life. In this case, karma is not merely a means of earning a livelihood.

Karma yog principles are simple. We should put in our best efforts in all our chosen roles without selfishness and ego. We should perform our role with top-class efficiency and proactive attitude. And we should not be obsessed with personal gains out of every action. Good actions always bring good fruits. Too much anxiety for results spoils the quality of actions.

Also ‘ego’ should not rule our actions. Individual ego has no place in the overall scheme of the universe, wherein everything is interconnected. A good result is always due to the efforts of many stakeholders. What we are today is because God gave us a healthy body and a superior mind. We were given a good education by our parents. Someone became a motivator for us. Acknowledging all these, one must keep giving credit to others. That will sublimate our ego.

After putting in one’s best in our chosen role, we have to accept the results with humility as prasad of God. Of course, we can always introspect whether there was any qualitative lacuna in our efforts and improve upon it.

Do we have to continue to work till death? Not really. Beyond a point, around retirement time, one can choose to delink from one’s business or profession but continue to contribute selflessly for the larger good. Only the type of contribution changes and the attitude of selflessness comes in.

However, there is one class of people who have no obligation to engage in worldly karma. These are the jivan mukta sages who are always revelling in their own self and are fully content and happy by themselves without any demand from the world. They enlighten us with their knowledge and conduct. They have fully internalised the truth of the Self being Brahmn, consciousness that is reflected in every being.



Views expressed above are the author’s own.



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