TYPES OF KARMA AND WAY OF PRACTICE
5 Apr 2021 HYN Himalayan Yoga Academy
TYPES OF KARMA AND WAY OF PRACTICE
Types of Karma in Bhagavad Gita-
A. Karma (correct / Vedic karma); B. Akarma (inactivity karma); C. Vikarma (forbidden karma)
There are two main types of karma –
A. विहित कर्म Prescribed Karma (Sukrita)
NItya- Daily; Naimittik– Samskara Karma; Kamyakarma – lust, gain;
Prashchit karma – Atonement
B. Nishiddakarma (dushkrit Karma) – Bad karmas
There are three types in Vedanta –
A. Accumulated karma – the fruit of pre-birth; B. Destiny karma – enjoy the fruits of accumulated karma C. Kriyamaan / Upcoming Action –
Karma Guna: The virtues of karma (good, bad, fame, notoriety (bad deeds bring disgrace). Unseen fruit sadhana (indirect sources of knowledge)
The virtue of kaam (sexual-beauty instinct; love-passion; sports-sense pleasure; desire-desire; eagerness – very soon)
Some misconception about Karma Yoga:
Cleansing work: Cleansing work in House or Ashram or Academy or School is not karma yoga. It can be one preparatory phase.
An exchange: often people think if they offer their time and service in exchange for another service like a course or stay, it is karma yoga. If the action is done with the intention of exchange, it is not Karma Yoga.
Farming: Helping in farming is also not karma Yoga.
Working for free: working for free in name of spirituality or humanity is not Karma Yoga, volunteering is not fully karma yoga; it can be good karma but not the yogi karma.
Cheap labor: working for cheap in name of Karma yoga is not Karma Yoga.
Social service: Not all social services are Karma Yoga.
Benefits of Karma Yoga
Karma yoga has many benefits. Some of these can be seen immediately but some can only be realized after some time of regular practice.
The main benefit is that helps to decrease ego. When you practice Karma Yoga you do your duty without ego. You do what is supposed to be done, not what you would like to do. When you stop involving ego in your daily activities, slowly your ago begins to diminish. Your priorities become clear. You start to understand your roles and duties. You complete them without attachment, and without personal desire.
Because you do your duties without ego and attachment, you balance your karma without making new karma.
How to practice Karma Yoga
Karma Yoga Sadhana
You have to pay attention to sadhana
Make a list of all duties / roles you have in your life. There might be some roles in it which you don’t like to fulfill but you must think and write all the roles you have. Prioritize them as per their importance. Understand the importance of your role in them.
Start to fulfill them on daily basis. There will be some duties or roles which you cannot fulfill because of reasons beyond your control. Do the duties as you must, not as you would like to do them.
Sankalpa (Resolution); Sajagataa (Alertness); Smarana (Remembrance);
1. Right Attitude
It is not what you do that counts, it is the attitude while doing it that determines whether it is a job or Karma Yoga. Work is worship. Swami Sivananda advised that you should, “Give your hands to work and keep your mind fixed at the Lotus Feet of the Lord.”
2. Right Motive
This is similar to right attitude; it is not what you do that counts but your real motive behind it. Your motive must be pure. Swami Sivananda says, “Man generally plans to get the fruits of his work before he starts any kind of work. The mind is so framed that it cannot think of any kind of work without remuneration or reward. A selfish man cannot do any service. He will weigh the work and the money in a balance. Selfless service is unknown to him. “
Consider the example of two girls who were drowning.
Two young men immediately jumped in to help them. One man jumped in so he could ask the girl to marry him. The other said only, “I have done my duty. God gave me an opportunity to serve and improve myself. ” The external action was the same, but the inner motive was different. More about this source text Source text required for additional translation information
3. Do Your Duty (Swadharma)
Often our specific duty in life is referred to as “Dharma”, which means righteousness. Performance of duty frees the soul, and non performance of duty keeps the soul in bondage. Perform your duty according to your caste and your stage in life, which are created by the Gunas or qualities born from a person’s nature. The highest duty is to God, the In-dweller, to learn and to progress.
4. Do your best
Whatever you do, do your best. You will incur demerit if you do not give your best. If you know of a better way to serve then you must make use of it. You cannot hold back from fear of the effort required or from fear of criticism.
Do not work in a sloppy manner because no one is watching or because the work is not for you. Give your best effort. Try to do actions that can bring maximum good and minimum evil. Try at all times to accumulate merits. Do Karma Yoga increasingly often as this will accelerate your paying off of karmic debts. There is no time to lose.
5. Give up results
God is the Doer. You are not the Doer; you are only the Instrument. You do not know God’s intentions or God’s plans. God is the actor (i.e. the Self never acts).
It is only the Gunas that are playing. The way to realize this Truth is to constantly work for work’s sake and to let go of the outcome, good or bad. It is the desire for action that binds the individual. (I am the doer is wrong knowledge.)
It is detachment from action (I am only the instrument is right knowledge) that will dissolve the Karmic seeds. Detachment from results also means detachment from the type of job itself. There are neither inferior nor superior jobs.
Don’t be attached to your job and be ready to give up your job when necessary. Note that Karma is always working. You will always be drawn to things that you need to learn.
6. Serving almighty or the Self in All
Do unto others what you would like to have done to yourself. Love thy neighbor as thyself. Adapt, adjust, accommodate. Bear insult, bear injury. Unity is in diversity. We are all parts of the same body. Practice humility in action. Beware of power, fame, name, praise, and censure.
7. Follow the Discipline of the Job
Every work experience has something to teach you. Try to do your best and the lessons of your work will be rich. Each job involves different requirements in terms of time, degree of concentration, skills or experience, emotional input, physical energy, and will.
8. Classification of karmas:
Regular karma; Bad deeds; Special deeds; we correct the regular karma, avoid the bad karmas, and promising to use the special karmas as a life lines. Every one of us can practice Karma yoga. To practice karma yoga in your daily life follows these simple steps;
9. Qualifications of a Karma Yogi
“A Karma Yogi should be free from lust, greed, anger, and egoism. He should try to remove these. He should be humble and free from hatred, jealousy, harshness, etc.
A Karma Yogi should have an amiable, loving, and sociable nature. He should be able to move and mix with everybody without distinction of caste, creed, or color. He should have perfect adaptability, mercy, and cosmic love.
He should be sympathetic and tolerant. He should be able to adjust himself to the habits and ways of others. He should always have a cool and balanced mind. He should have equal vision. He should rejoice in the welfare of others. He should lead a very simple life.
A Karma Yogi should have a sound, healthy, and strong physical body. He should do regular Pranayama, physical exercises, and Asanas in order to keep up a high standard of health. He should have the power of endurance. ”
Effects of Karma Yoga
– You become dutiful and responsible.
-You will develop and learn new skills.
– It will help personality growth, health, and fulfillment.
-You will get active and creative life.
– It will thin out the ego and remove selfishness.
– You will achieve Purification of the heart.
-You are able to understand the moral values.
– You will overcome the “likes and dislikes” of your mind.
– You will eliminate prejudices.
– You will feel oneness, unity and unbounded joy.
– You will become more loving, balanced, and sattvic.
– You will have a more flexible mind and a more tolerant attitude (less rigid).
– You will broaden your outlook on life.
-You can realize who you are.
– It allows you to spiritualize your activities.
– It will keep you focused on God throughout the day.
Remember, Karma Yoga is ‘doing YOUR duty without ego, and attachment is Karma Yoga’. If your intention is anything else than doing a duty (natural or taken) without ego, it is not Karma Yoga. If your karma is for award, name, fame, statues, advertisement, election, social activists, appreciation, highlight, bonus, culture, religions, nationality, casts, it is not really karma yoga. Karma yoga is not for virtuous or unvirtuous, award or punishment, sin or boon, loose or gain. It is totally isolated.
“Once done, results are never lost.”