Showing posts from July, 2015

Karma-Yoga : Ch-6. Part-20.




Thus the man that has practiced control over himself cannot be acted upon by anything outside; there is no more slavery for him.

His mind has become free. Such a man alone is fit to live well in the world.

We generally find men holding two opinions regarding the world. Some are pessimists and say, “How horrible this world is, how wicked!"

Some others are optimists and say, "How beautiful this world is, how wonderful!"

To those who have not controlled their own minds, the world is either full of evil or at best a mixture of good and evil.

This very world will become to us an optimistic world when we become masters of our own minds.

Nothing will then work upon us as good or evil; we shall find everything to be in its proper place, to be harmonious.

Some men, who begin by saying that the world is a hell, often end by saying that it is a heaven when they succeed in the practice of self-control.

If we are genuin…

Karma-Yoga : Ch-6. Part-19.




After that, suddenly, the ministers of the king and all the big officials came there and received him with the greatest honours.

They conducted him in and showed him into splendid rooms, gave him the most fragrant baths and wonderful dresses, and for eight days they kept him there in all kinds of luxury.

That solemnly serene face of Shuka did not change even to the smallest extent by the change in the treatment accorded to him; he was the same in the midst of this luxury as when waiting at the door.

Then he was brought before the king.

The king was on his throne, music was playing, and dancing and other amusements were going on.

The king then gave him a cup of milk, full to the brim, and asked him to go seven times round the hall without spilling even a drop.

The boy took the cup and proceeded in the midst of the music and the attraction of the beautiful faces.

As desired by the king, seven times did he go round, and not …

Karma-Yoga : Ch-6. Part-18.




There was a great sage in India called Vyasa.

This Vyasa is known as the author of the Vedanta aphorisms, and was a holy man.

His father had tried to become a very perfect man and had failed.

His grandfather had also tried and failed.

His great-grandfather had similarly tried and failed.

He himself did not succeed perfectly, but his son, Shuka, was born perfect.

Vyasa taught his son wisdom; and after teaching him the knowledge of truth himself, he sent him to the court of King Janaka.

He was a great king and was called Janaka Videha.

Videha means "without a body".

Although a king, he had entirely forgotten that he was a body; he felt that he was a spirit all the time.

This boy Shuka was sent to be taught by him.

The king knew that Vyasa's son was coming to him to learn wisdom: so he made certain arrangements beforehand.

And when the boy presented himself at the gates of the palace, the guards took no notice …

Karma-Yoga : Ch-6. Part-17.




It is sheer nonsense on the part of any man to think that he is born to help the world; it is simply pride, it is selfishness insinuating itself in the form of virtue.

When you have trained your mind and your nerves to realise this idea of the world's non-dependence on you or on anybody, there will then be no reaction in the form of pain resulting from work.

When you give something to a man and expect nothing — do not even expect the man to be grateful — his ingratitude will not tell upon you, because you never expected anything, never thought you had any right to anything in the way of a return.

You gave him what he deserved; his own Karma got it for him; your Karma made you the carrier thereof.

Why should you be proud of having given away something?

You are the porter that carried the money or other kind of gift, and the world deserved it by its own Karma.

Where is then the reason for pride in you?

There is nothing …

Karma-Yoga : Ch-6. Part-16.




All are helped on by nature, and will be so helped even though millions of us were not here.

The course of nature will not stop for such as you and me; it is, as already pointed out, only a blessed privilege to you and to me that we are allowed, in the way of helping others, to educate ourselves.

This is a great lesson to learn in life, and when we have learned it fully, we shall never be unhappy; we can go and mix without harm in society anywhere and everywhere.

You may have wives and husbands, and regiments of servants, and kingdoms to govern; if only you act on the principle that the world is not for you and does not inevitably need you, they can do you no harm.

This very year some of your friends may have died.

Is the world waiting without going on, for them to come again?

Is its current stopped?

No, it goes on.

So drive out of your mind the idea that you have to do something for the world; the world does not require …

Karma-Yoga : Ch-6. Part-15.




To work properly, therefore, you have first to give up the idea of attachment.

Secondly, do not mix in the fray, hold yourself as a witness and go on working.

My master used to say, "Look upon your children as a nurse does."

The nurse will take your baby and fondle it and play with it and behave towards it as gently as if it were her own child; but as soon as you give her notice to quit, she is ready to start off bag and baggage from the house.

Everything in the shape of attachment is forgotten; it will not give the ordinary nurse the least pang to leave your children and take up other children.

Even so are you to be with all that you consider your own.

You are the nurse, and if you believe in God, believe that all these things which you consider yours are really His.

The greatest weakness often insinuates itself as the greatest good and strength.

It is a weakness to think that any one is dependent on me, and th…

Karma-Yoga : Ch-6. Part-14.




There is to be found a very expressive sentence in our scriptures embodying this idea :

"Even if he kill the whole universe (or be himself killed), he is neither the killer nor the killed, when he knows that he is not acting for himself at all."

Therefore Karma-Yoga teaches, "Do not give up the world; live in the world, imbibe its influences as much as you can; but if it be for your own enjoyment's sake, work not at all."

Enjoyment should not be the goal.

First kill your self and then take the whole world as yourself; as the old Christians used to say, "The old man must die."

This old man is the selfish idea that the whole world is made for our enjoyment.

Foolish parents teach their children to pray, "O Lord, Thou hast created this sun for me and this moon for me," as if the Lord has had nothing else to do than to create everything for these babies.

Do not teach your children su…

Karma-Yoga : Ch-6. Part-13.




To come back to one of our main points, we say that we cannot do good without at the same time doing some evil, or do evil without doing some good.

Knowing this, how can we work?

There have, therefore, been sects in this world who have in an astoundingly preposterous way preached slow suicide as the only means to get out of the world, because if a man lives, he has to kill poor little animals and plants or do injury to something or some one. So according to them the only way out of the world is to die.

The Jains have preached this doctrine as their highest ideal.

This teaching seems to be very logical.

But the true solution is found in the Gita.

It is the theory of non-attachment, to be attached to nothing while doing our work of life.

Know that you are separated entirely from the world, though you are in the world, and that whatever you may be doing in it, you are not doing that for your own sake. Any action that you do …

Karma-Yoga : Ch-6. Part-12.



Part : 12.

 Have you not seen even a most bigoted Christian, when he reads Edwin Arnold's Light of Asia, stand in reverence of Buddha, who Preached no God, preached nothing but self-sacrifice?

The only thing is that the bigot does not know that his own end and aim in life is exactly the same as that of those from whom he differs.

The worshipper, by keeping constantly before him the idea of God and a surrounding of good, comes to the same point at last and says, "Thy will be done," and keeps nothing to himself.

That is self-abnegation.

The philosopher, with his knowledge, sees that the seeming self is a delusion and easily gives it up.

It is self-abnegation.

So Karma, Bhakti, and Jnana all meet here; and this is what was meant by all the great preachers of ancient times, when they taught that God is not the world.

There is one thing which is the world and another which is God; and this distinction is very …

Karma-Yoga : Ch-6. Part-11.



 Part : 11.

When a man has reached that state, he has attained to the perfection of Karma-Yoga.

This is the highest result of good works.

Although a man has not studied a single system of philosophy, although he does not believe in any God, and never has believed, although he has not prayed even once in his whole life, if the simple power of good actions has brought him to that state where he is ready to give up his life and all else for others, he has arrived at the same point to which the religious man will come through his prayers and the philosopher through his knowledge; and so you may find that the philosopher, the worker, and the devotee, all meet at one point, that one point being self-abnegation.

However much their systems of philosophy and religion may differ, all mankind stand in reverence and awe before the man who is ready to sacrifice himself for others.

Here, it is not at all any question of creed, or do…

Karma-Yoga : Ch-6. Part-10.



 Part : 10.

Here are two Sanskrit words.

The one is Pravritti, which means revolving towards, and the other is Nivritti, which means revolving away.

The "revolving towards" is what we call the world, the "I and mine”; it includes all those things which are always enriching that "me" by wealth and money and power, and name and fame, and which are of a grasping nature, always tending to accumulate everything in one centre, that centre being "myself".

That is the Pravritti, the natural tendency of every human being; taking everything from everywhere and heaping it around one centre, that centre being man's own sweet self.

When this tendency begins to break, when it is Nivritti or "going away from," then begin morality and religion.

Both Pravritti and Nivritti are of the nature of work: the former is evil work, and the latter is good work.

This Nivritti is the fundamental ba…

Karma-Yoga : Ch-6. Part-9.



 Part : 9.

You will find various classes of men in this world.

 First, there are the God-men, whose self-abnegation is complete, and who do only good to others even at the sacrifice of their own lives.

These are the highest of men.

If there are a hundred of such in any country, that country need never despair.

But they are unfortunately too few.

Then there are the good men who do good to others so long as it does not injure themselves.

And there is a third class who, to do good to themselves, injure others.

It is said by a Sanskrit poet that there is a fourth unnamable class of people who injure others merely for injury's sake.

Just as there are at one pole of existence the highest good men, who do good for the sake of doing good, so, at the other pole, there are others who injure others just for the sake of the injury.

They do not gain anything thereby, but it is their nature to do evil.

Swami Vivekananda

 To be …

Karma-Yoga : Ch-6. Part-8.



Part : 8.

That is the same universal Spirit whom the Saivites, Vaishnavites, Shaktas, Muruga Bhaktas, the Vedantins, the Arya Samajists, the Vinayaka worshippers etc. all adore.

This one Supreme Being alone is the one God of the entire Hindu Society all over the world.

What is more wonderful is that the Hindu sages and God-realised Spiritual Masters saw that even the different other religions besides Hinduism were all worshippers of one and the same God who was the Creator of countless universes and the Father of all mankind.

This is the glory of Hinduism that discovered and declared the oneness of God or the ultimate universal Spirit.

They may call Him by various names.

But the Being that is called is one and the same.

The various religions can be considered as so many different paths to suit different types of people, all taking them finally to that one universal divine Spirit or God.

Swami Vivekananda

To be continue…

Karma-Yoga : Ch-6. Part-7.



Part : 7.

By means of the constant effort to do good to others we are trying to forget ourselves; this forgetfulness of self is the one great lesson we have to learn in life.

Man thinks foolishly that he can make himself happy, and after years of struggle finds out at last that true happiness consists in killing selfishness and that no one can make him happy except himself.

Every act of charity, every thought of sympathy, every action of help, every good deed, is taking so much of self-importance away from our little selves and making us think of ourselves as the lowest and the least, and, therefore, it is all good.

Here we find that Jnana, Bhakti, and Karma — all come to one point.

The highest ideal is  eternal and entire self-abnegation, where there is no "I," but all is "Thou"; and whether he is conscious or unconscious of it, Karma-Yoga leads man to that end.

A religious preacher may become horr…