Types of Yoga| karma yoga
Karma Yoga

karma yogaThe practice of Karma yoga is based on the simple ideology of doing good actions under all circumstances and believing them to be directed towards the divine consciousness at every step of execution. It embodies the factor of selflessness in all actions. This means that all actions are performed with no hidden desires or feeling of receiving anything in return. This is the path of Karma yoga, which emphasizes that all human actions are bringing the person closer to God every time.


Actions are necessary to be taken. Actions have a purifying quality to them. This can be experienced in our everyday lives. When a person performs a certain duty in the right fashion he feels light and his conscious is cleared. He feels a sort of burden lifted from him. This is exactly what the practice of Karma yoga is. In the ancient texts this philosophy has been propounded and discussed in great details. This feeling of ridding the conscious with the burden is defined as something that is akin to experiencing Godliness. If the person continues to indulge in good deeds he will come closer and closer to experiencing this divine consciousness.


Karma yoga is considered to be the basic step before any other form of yoga can be practiced. This is the form of yoga that makes the mind fertile for impregnation with the seeds of further advancement on the path of attaining divine wisdom. Any yogi who wants to proceed further in his quest of supreme experience has to follow the path of Karma yoga. His practice and all efforts in other directions will remain completely futile if he does not follow the principles of Karma yoga in all his daily actions.


This certainly proves the basic misconception of yoga being a practice of renouncing the world and indulging simply in the service of God wrong. If all yoga practices for their fructification have to be dependent first and foremost on performing one's all duties responsibly, then yogic methodology has to begin with correct actions only. This brings to light many so-called propagators of yogic philosophies and their fallacies as well. There is a huge discord between what is being put forward and what actually the reality is. The practice of Karma yoga is based on Nishkaam karma which means performing actions without any self interest, greed, jealousy and desire for a reward, and also considering that every action is one step taken closer to God. Many present propagators and teachers of yoga may probably fail to qualify as teachers on the basis of this initial discriminatory stage. karma yoga1


Selfless service is the only way to proceed further on the path to quest of the divine. Many people make the mistake of going straight to the path of Gyana yoga or even practice Hatha yoga but they cannot get the divine until and unless they purify their souls with the practice of Karma yoga. The aspirant to the wisdom of yogic knowledge will qualify as a true aspirant only when he concentrates on his actions and awakens the consciousness of his self. Then he truly becomes an Adhikari or real aspirant to further wisdom and can be called a Karma yogi.


This is a stage when he becomes free of all egos. Human ego is the first barrier to attainment of salvation. For further progress the ego has to be resigned and the self should be made completely devoid of it. This is indeed a very difficult thing to do. But all the ancient texts and practices of yoga consider this as the first step and the foundation. So for beginners it is essential to understand that if serious learning of yoga has to be done this necessarily has to be the first stage.


This again brings us to the fact of many different teachers and propagators available to us these days. The person who can really qualify to be a guru has to be free of all egotisms, greed, selfishness, warped thought processes, prejudices and other such derogatory feelings.


Another basic qualification for the practice of Karma yoga is that a person should have sufficient courage. It is a reality of this world that the right action cannot be taken by many because of lack of courage. This is a necessary step towards practice of Karma yoga because the practice of right actions is an intense act of bravery. But at the same time the karma yogi has to keep away from other vices like arrogance and prejudice. So he has to maintain a difficult balance of socially acceptable behaviour and at the same time be assertive in all his actions. This is certainly not an easy task and requires lot of innovative thinking as well. In the modern times many people fit this definition of true karma yogis. In India the person who perhaps comes closest to this is Mahatma Gandhi.


Karma yoga is a dynamic practice and not a static one. It is a devotion that should run for a lifetime for ultimate fulfillment.