What is Karma Yoga?

Karma yoga meditation is one of the four main yoga paths which include karma yoga, bhakti yoga, raja yoga and jnana yoga. All four yoga forms help the yoga practitioner to become aware of, to acknowledge and to accept the true wisdom of the Divine (union with Brahman). Karma yoga encompasses both physical and mental actions carried out from birth till death by an individual. According to the concept behind karma yoga meditation, an individual consists of iccha (desire), jnana (knowing) and kriya (feeling), all three of which formulate his/her karma. The practice of karma yoga involves giving up ones ego and acting in a selfless manner. Karma yoga meditation teaches you to do good deeds without expecting any reward or gain in return. Essentially, it involves the acceptance of the power of the Divine, and the cultivation of the belief that real authority rests in the Hands of the Divine and is not within the reach of mere mortals.

The Main Principles of Karma Yoga

Karma yoga meditation teaches yoga practitioners to accept certain principles which will help them to live a peaceful and good life.

The Importance of Duty

According to this principle, all individuals have the option of choosing good thoughts and actions over evil ones. The challenge is to tune into the path of righteousness and good deeds, and play a positive role in this world.

The Importance of Motive

According to Swami Sivananda, ‘give your hands to work, and keep your mind fixed at the lotus feet of the Lord.’ Your outwardly actions hold no real value if they are not governed by pure and well-meaning motives or thoughts. A good deed that is carried out simply to get fame, importance or praise is not really a good deed in the true sense of the word. The arrogance behind that good deed overshadows and nullifies the intrinsic value of the seemingly positive action.

The Importance of Doing Your Best

Karma yoga teaches the yoga practitioner to perform every action and deed from the heart without any fear of what others might think or whether it will be perceived as being good enough. Your motivation behind any action should be to maximize good and to reduce evil, so keep that thought in mind as you give every action your best shot.

The Importance of Giving Up

This karma yoga principle teaches the yoga practitioner that we humans have no control over the way things pan out in this world. We might perform an action hoping for a particular result, but it is God who controls everything and in the end, things may turn out to be diametrically different from what we expected. Karma yoga teaches the yoga practitioner to give up those expectations. It emphasizes that an action should be carried for its intrinsic value, and that the consequence of that action should be left up to God.

The Importance of Serving

This final karma yoga meditation principle stresses the importance of cultivating and nurturing humility, patience, tolerance, unity, respect and love. Once the yoga practitioner fine tunes these good characteristics, he/she will see karma yoga come into practical use with every action he commits and every thought that he conceives.

Source: Fitness Republic

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