"Karmayoga does not mean ceaseless pursuit of karma. It truly consists in the Yoga orientation and discipline given to the buddhi and the mind. Constant preservation and application of Yogabuddhi while doing any work, alone makes one a Karmayogin."

The Guiding force of Narayanashrama Tapovanam & Center for Inner Resources Development

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha


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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

Last night, towards the end of the satsang, our M. asked an important question. I don’t know whether the question is important, but M. is important. His question was: the self-realization is the one goal of life, agreed, but it is not to be achieved in a matter of days, weeks, months or even year and decades, so that cannot be a goal or the aim for ordinary people like us. So is there any short-term goal which can be pursued, maybe along with the self-realizational goal?

The question seems to be very, very good and also relevant. But this subject has been discussed on more than one occasion, during the third chapter discussion and I would like all of you to go through your notes and find out where the subject has been discussed.

When Sri Krishna completed the exposition of Sankhya yoga and he was taking up Karma yoga, there is an introductory remark which he makes. What does he say? The karma yoga path is a yoga pursuit in and through your daily activities! Have you found the connection now? All the activities and interactions you are performing should be brought under the yogic enrichment and orientation. This is something you must have started already and it has to continue. That yogic orientation, what it is, I have said from various angles on several occasions.

How did he introduce karma yoga?

नेहाभिक्रमनाशोस्ति प्रत्यवायो न विद्यते ।

स्वल्पमप्यस्य धर्मस्य त्रायते महतो भयात् ।।

nehābhikrama-nāśo'sti pratyavāyo na vidyate |

svalpam-apyasya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt ||

(Bhagavad Gita 2.40)

Normally in all worldly and secular activities, there are two defects. Loss of effort - the effort you have taken up becomes a loss. Just like a plant withers or it is attacked by pest or suddenly there are floods or drought, the whole crop is gone. There is a miscarriage in the home. A long expected child miscarried. That is also loss of effort. And viparīta-phalas, pratyavāyahin particularly treatment. Now karma yoga is a formula by virtue of which both these are avoided.

So M, can you not adopt this yogic orientation straight away, if you have not started it? And then perform every activity with a yogic orientation, so that two benefits are there. Loss of effort will not affect you and opposite result also will not constrict you. So this is something that you can practice. One.

Secondly, are you supposed to practice it and make it full and complete? No! The result is instantaneous.

svalpam-apyasya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt |

Even a small measure of this practice called karma yoga relieves you from the mighty and great fear. If the mind is relieved from fear, don’t you think it is a very great gain?

You cannot say, “All the fear in my mind has gone. I have no fear.” No! Some other situations, some other causes may be fearful or frightening. So this formula has to be adopted throughout and you cannot get away from it. It is just like “I have taken breath once; that should be sufficient for the whole day,” you cannot say. Breathing in and breathing out, breathing in and breathing out, heart beating, resting, beating, resting, circulation on and on, on and on. Like that the karma yoga orientation should continue with every bit and piece of your activity. So is it not an immediate scope, compulsion and occupation?

I also told you many other things while discussing the third chapter.

यस्त्विन्द्रियाणि मनसा नियम्यारभतेर्जुन ।

कर्मेन्द्रियैः कर्मयोगमसक्तः स विशिष्यते ।।

yastv-indriyāi manasā niyamy-ārabhate'rjuna |

karmendriyai karmayogam-asakta sa viśiyate ||

(Bhagavad Gita 3.7)

What more do you want?

Asakta sa viśiyate - That man really excels and he becomes adorable, provided he is able to do all his work with asakti, avoiding the delusional clinging to the objective results, evenizing and harmonizing the subjective results, namely, favorable, unfavorable and a combination of both.

This particular verse, what does it say?

Yastvindriyāi manasā niyamyārabhate'rjuna karmendriyai karmayogam - You should engage your senses in sensory interactions and activities. But how?

Karmendriyai karmayogam - All activities should become a karma yoga, a yoga sādhanā.

Yastvindriyāi manasā niyamyārabhate'rjuna - The senses are outside. They always crave to interact with the objects. That interactional urge and temptation in the level of the senses will have to be moderated, sublimated, checked, there should be a balance. Because the senses are interacting, practically every moment you are waking up. The necessity for bridling them, sublimating them is also concurrent.

So it calls for a lot of attention and it is a consistent pursuit. Externally you are active and interactive but internally you are gaining yogic sublimation, yogic enrichment. And this is had in the level of the mind. So let your attention be constantly on the mind and see that every action proceeds from a sublime mind and every action sublimates the mind further. It becomes an enrichment. It can never become an enervation, it should be an enrichment.

Now to make sure that this is so is the constant, immediate, recurring and unbroken practice. No self-realization comes here. It may come later. But here it’s very, very clear!

दुःखेष्वनुद्विग्नमनाः सुखेषु विगतस्पृहः ।

वीतरागभयक्रोधः स्थितधीर्मुनिरुच्यते ।।

dukhev-anudvigna-manā sukheu vigata-spha |

vīta-rāga-bhaya-krodha sthitadhīr-munir-ucyate ||

(Bhagavad Gita 2.56)

Daily interactions will lead you to sukha-duhkhas. Without sukha-duhkhas there is no interaction at all! In that, the formula will be - dukheu anudvignamanā. In any instance of duhkha, you should not have a udvega, an agitation, a tension or a confusion.

Sukheu vigata-sphaḥ - you should not have a craving or a lingering taste for sukha. Generally sukha produces a lingeringness in you. And duhkha brings a repulsion. Mind will constantly be generating an alluring and a repelling note. These notes have to be watched for and sublimated. As much as you sublimate, so much you will be happy, mind will be lighter, more peaceful, more joyous. In other words, what is the whole process? The mind has to be made purer and purer.

Everyday look for the mind - is the mind pure or not? If it is contaminated, you will be peaceless, you will be joyless, you will be agitated, you will not be able to do your work with poise. So every action, every day, every hour, every moment, gives you an opportunity to practice this yogic sādhanā. As a yogic sādhanā, its rating is very high. If all of you will be yogic sadhakas, right from this moment onwards; I don’t know, the pedestal that you will be in, is very, very great! It’s very adorable and rare! So we don’t have to wait for self-realization, attainment of it. And this sublimational process, living, moving and working and interacting in a very nice manner, you know this itself will be amtatvāya kalpate, it will take you to liberation, immortality.

So the ultimate goal may be immortality, but the immediate goal is “Purify your mind, make light your mind, make even your mind, be an embodiment of harmony.”

“I was harmonious till yesterday,” that does not mean today also you will be harmonious. No! Every morn is a fresh beginning. New interactions will come. New responses will come from your mind. So, “Till yesterday, I was harmonious,” that is not a certificate, an ATM card to withdraw harmony today also. To become harmonious today, you will have to make a renewed effort, so every time effortfulness, every time attention, every time persevering, persevering! Along with the external object involvements, object interactions, you also have a subjective sādhanā constantly on.

So, to put it in short, what is it? Be conscious of your mind. Let it not become dense. Let it not become soiled. Let it not become impure. Let it not become heavy. Never allow any cloud to come to the mind. Let it be always pure white. You may not be able to achieve full purity all of a sudden, but at least percentage-wise. The other day when I asked, some of you said, 25, 40, 45. One person said 5%. So you already have 25%, M. Increase it to 30%. Increase it to 35, 40, 45, 50, like that. If it has already become 25, the process has started. So you should be very happy!

So never look for a goal. It is not a goal. It is a process, a practice, a pursuit in which the mind is constantly involved. And it imbibes more and more degrees of purity, refinement, lightness, sublimity, all of which will make you joyous, lighter and happier. You will feel the capacity increases, the potential you know, and the interactions become far better.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

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