Karma Yoga – The Yoga of action
Karma Yoga is the Yoga of Action. It is the path chosen primarily by those of an outgoing nature. It purifies the heart by teaching you to act selflessly, without thought of gain or reward. By detaching yourself from the fruits of your actions and offering them up to the Universe, you learn to sublimate the ego. To achieve this, it is helpful to keep your mind focused by repeating a mantra while engaged in any activity.
It’s not what you do that counts, it’s the attitude while doing it that determines if work is karma yoga.
DO YOUR DUTY
Often “duty” is referred to as “righteousness”. You will incur demerit if you shun your duty.
DO YOUR BEST
Whatever you have to do, do your best and be positive.
GIVE UP RESULTS
You are not the doer. You are only the instrument. The way to realise this truth is to constantly work for work’s sake and let go of the results, good or bad. It is the desire for action that binds the individual. It is the detachment from action that will dissolve the karmic seeds. There is no job that is inferior or superior to a different job. Don’t be attached to your job and be ready to give up your job if necessary.
Bhagavad Gita says:
123: Simply by withdrawing from outer activity one cannot reach the state of actionlessness; so also, the state of perfection cannot be attained by mere renunciation of outer action. 3.4
124: No one can ever remain inactive even for a moment, because all are helplessly driven to action by their innate qualities born of nature. 3.5
126: Controlling the senses through the mind and remaining unattached, if one can perform action as a means to yoga through the instruments only, he can attain perfection. 3.7
128: Action becomes a cause of bondage in the world only when it is not performed as a sacrifice; therefore, perform action efficiently as a sacrifice only, without being attached. 3.9”
138: Therefore, you should always perform your ordained duties remaining detached. Thus, doing work without attachment, one can attain the Supreme. 3.19
149: With your mind fixed on Me, the Supreme Self, Arjuna, dedicate all your actions to Me and be free from attachment and desire; thus, freeing yourself from grief, fight the battle. 3.30
154: Your own path, even if devoid of apparent merits, is better than others that appear to you to be easy. It is better to face death while pursuing your own path than to follow another’s path; it may be fraught with danger.