The path

jñāna-yoga

Jñāna literally means “knowledge, wisdom, understanding, or cognition,” and refers to existential knowledge. The Greeks called this revealing power epiginosko (ἐπιγινώσκω). The word yoga means “union.” Thus, jñāna-yoga is a path that aims to realize the essential...

Raja-yoga

Rāja-yoga is the path that studies and analyzes the mind. The Yoga-sūtras of Patañjali begin by defining yoga in the following manner: yogaś citta-vṛtti-nirodhaḥ “Yoga is the cessation of mental activity.” (Yoga-sūtras 1.2) This yogic path teaches us to transcend the...

Bhakti-yoga

Bhakti yoga is the yoga of love. Devotees aspire to a love different from the love in romance novels: it is not sentimental love that begins with sweet promises and ends in bitter disappointments, nor is it emotional love that arises from physiological processes and...

Kundalini-yoga

Kundalini-yoga is a yogic path that stimulates the conscious awakening of kuṇḍalinī-śakti, or “coiled energy.” This energy is the transcendental consciousness; it is the creative power of God, and therefore, the creative potential in the human being. Kundalini yoga...

Tantra-yoga

Tantra-yoga is a yogic methodology that combines a variety of techniques, such as mūdras, mantras, prāṇāyama, and dīkṣā in order to realize the very essence of the universe through delving into our own body. The practice of most of these techniques is aimed at...

Vedanta

Vedanta is one of humanity’s oldest paths of liberation. It is a pluralistic and universal path, suitable for every human being without any discrimination. Vedanta cannot be categorized as a philosophy, school of thought, or belief system as it goes beyond our...

Religion

Prabhuji's Hinduism invites us to open our eyes and contemplate all human beings as members of one family. It calls us to clear our vision in order to recognize the same truth in the essence of all religion. It suggests us to free ourselves from superstitions in order...

Guru Dakshina

Guru-dakṣiṇā is a very ancient fundamental tradition of the Sanātana-dharma religion. It is the disciple’s attempt to retribute the guru in some way for the time and energy he or she invests in the teaching process. The dakṣiṇā expresses the disciple’s deep...

Hinduism

Hinduism, whose original name is Sanātana-dharma, “the eternal dharma” or “the eternal religion,” is the oldest living religion in the world. It constitutes a fusion and synthesis of various revelations both Vaidika and Tāntrika. It is not the result or product of the...

Guru-seva – service to the Guru

Service, or “seva,” to the guru is one of the core principles of Hinduism. Prabhuji Mission, being a traditional Hindu church, practices the millennia-old tradition of guru-seva, or “service to the master.” Throughout the Śrutis, Smṛtis, and Purāṇas, the disciple’s...

Karma Yoga

In karma-yoga–or the art of selfless action–we learn to act in harmony with dharma, or the role we have been assigned in life, without expecting any results. The fact that every human being, regardless of age, sex, race, or nation, is doomed to act, makes this path one of the most essential within yoga.

The word karma stems from the Sanskrit root kri, whose meaning is to do or act. Karma means action or activity, and also includes the result or effect of the action. Karma-yoga is “union through action”.

It involves the complete dedication of all our actions to the supreme will, renouncing any interest in selfish gain or desire for the fruits of our efforts and devoting them to humanity as the manifestation of God.

Karma-yoga or the path of action is based on love and attention to the work and not merely out of interest in its fruits. We learn to situate ourselves in the present and appreciate the process of the work, relinquishing the results which are to come in the future.

This path of liberation goes far beyond acting with intentions to do good, or philanthropy. Good works do not lead to liberation, but to continued reincarnations, albeit in more favorable conditions. Charitable works can lead us to a more pleasant cell, but not to release from prison. Instead, the direction of karma-yoga is to stop the accumulative process of reactions, both good as well as bad, liberating us from the repeated births and returning us to our divine origin.

Karma-yoga is that wisdom that allows us to act without becoming bound or fettered by the action. It teaches us the delicate art of turning action into a tool that liberates, rather than enslaves.

Karma-yoga is the art of transforming our automatic reactions into conscious actions, and thus, our karma into yoga.

The way of action does not see in activity and work an obstacle to a meditative life. Far from advising us to leave our jobs and dedicate our lives solely to prayer and meditation, this path suggests instead that we transform our labor into worship and meditation. It suggests that we adopt a new perspective that will transform our tasks and our work, however boring, difficult, or demanding, into instruments to grow and evolve, into tools to reach higher levels of consciousness.

Hinduism is no justification for escapists. The Sanātana-dharma religion does not allow itself to be utilized as a pretext to elude responsibilities towards family, society, and country. Rather, Hinduism advises that we consciously engage with the world, to know, confront and understand it, in order to ultimately transcend its limitations, which cannot be overcome without first being understood.

Thus, every spiritual aspirant should enter deeply into the art of action and make it a part of his sādhanā. Karma-yoga offers us a spiritual life without the need to isolate ourselves in a cave in the Himalayas. It allows us a spiritual development in the midst of the activity required by life in our modern society.

(An excerpt from Prabhuji’s writings).

 

 

We usually refer to karma yoga as “the yoga of action” or “the yoga of activity.” However, more than just teaching what action is and how to act, classic karma yoga is a wisdom that guides us to transcend reaction or the deed at its instinctive, mechanical, and automatic levels in order to wake up to the world of action. For this purpose, it is very important to understand the difference between reaction and action.

Reaction emerges from the mind; its origin is our internal, subjective world of dreams, nightmares, chaos, and disorder. Therefore, reaction always originates in the past, because the mind is past; it is yesterday. Reaction comes from the world of thought, which is past. Being past—coming from the memory— reaction has no relation at all to the moment, the other person, the situation. It is totally disconnected from the now because reaction is no more than an activation of specific behavioral patterns that were acquired in a past.

Action emerges from the moment, the present. Its roots are in the depths of existence, as it’s an expression or manifestation of it. Action has the vitality of what’s real; it doesn’t originate in the past. Like dancing with the present, it’s to be in harmony with this instant, to be in tune with the other; it’s a kind of conversation with the moment. Action occurs in the present, meaning everything you do, everything you touch, will have a profound meaning because it’s alive. The difference between an action and a reaction is something like the difference between a genuine, natural flower, and a plastic flower. A reaction may be pleasant, but it’s always trite.

(An excerpt from Prabhuji’s book “What Is As It Is“)