WORK - REST - PLAY - IMPROVE
"Action follows thought and desire. We will experience the fruits of our actions in this life and in the next."
"Attend to that which is infront of you as best as you can."
Karma is a Sanskrit word that means activity.
Consequence follows action and we are all responsible for our actions - in thought and in deed. Karma and it's consequences follows a soul through many incarnations. So we must learn to put matters straight, get on the good path, and get it right.
Karma Yoga is a set of spiritual guidelines that help us get on the good path, serve life and God, and remove many negative karmic consequences from previous lifetimes.
God can remove any negative karma if He thinks this is appropriate to our learning.
"God has given me these skills, qualities, and attributes so that I may improve and enhance life for all sentient beings."
If I have good qualities then love and thank God that these things exist.
If I have bad qualities then love and thank God that these things are to be understood and overcome.
Either way, always love and thank God for all things. Do not claim anything as your own, realize that everything about life is God given and in this way avoid egotistical claims that always spoil the experience, activity, or achievement.
LOVEWISDOMGOODNESS: Whatsoever is done, however large or small, as a skillful and devotional offering to the holistic health and welfare of the Unity of Life, this is an act of LoveWisdomGoodness. For those who skillfully serve LoveWisdomGoodness for the benefit of all, all negative karma and negative holistic habits eventually drop away.
Try to make all your activities an act of pure LoveWisdomGoodness.
Don't mistake activity for achievement
Karma yoga is skillful life service dedicated to "The One in All."
I do what I can to the best of my abilities. I understand my limits and I try to learn. By steadily and holistically improving myself, I am able to deliver a higher quality service to the collective community of life.
"Whatever you do, let it be a perfect act. What is a perfect act? It harms nobody, it brings at least some benefit to somebody. If you have control, you can use anything and everything to achieve some good purpose. Keep that in mind as your goal. Whatever you think, whatever you say or do, ask yourself: 'Will it harm anybody?' The answer should be, 'Absolutely no.' The next point is, 'Will it at least benefit somebody.' The answer should be 'Yes.' If it is not benefiting anybody, it is a wastage. So, no harm to anybody, at least some benefit to somebody." - Swami Satchidananda: Integral Yoga Institute.
"THE TRINITY OF
Brahma (creation), Vishnu (maintenance), Rudra (change/dissolution)
This is the trinity of activity and is represented in Hindu symbol above featuring Brahma (creation), Vishnu (maintenance), and Rudra (change/dissolution). We observe this trinity in all life activities.
Coming to terms with death (change as dissolution) is essential for a healthy life. Not just death in the physical sense but the coming to end of events in all areas of life (each chakra). In relationships, in projects, in groups, in everything. When we come to terms with this fact of life, then we learn how to let go of the old and embrace the new.
The Three Governing Principles of Life Activity. Everything in Life obeys these three principles. Every area of life will involve communication and action based around these three principles. We can learn more about each principle by considering what is required at each stage.
- Similarity of purpose.
- Meeting with appropriate others.
- Establishing required resources and skills.
- Gathering of Appropriate Resources.
- Organization and Itemization.
- Persistence .
- Judgment .
After creating something we then need to decide whether or not we want to maintain it - keep it alive.
Life is always changing, moving, mutating. If we are successful at creating and maintaining then we need to be open and ready for the inevitable changes that is the very nature of life. Life is not static, it is fluid, always in movement. We need to learn how to be flexible and adaptive to the reality of change otherwise stagnation will set in. Stagnation is death. Stagnation is decline. Whatever happens change will occur. Change towards growth. Change towards decline. The movement of the changes in our lives depends on our understanding and skill in creating and maintaining and our openness to change.
It is useful to realize this and try to master this trinity so that we can achieve:
Happy acceptance of change.
Another important trinity of activity is:
"Do your work as service, then let go, relax, play, enjoy your leisure."
To maintain and improve the quality of life, and our service to life, then we need to gain skills that we can put to good use.
The gaining of skill is an essential activity if we are to serve life with confidence.
Svadharma means "doing that which comes naturally to you and is always good for everybody" - our natural calling in life. When we try to do things that are not part of our natural character (our soul) then we often fail. This is because we are not following our svadharma - the natural temperaments of our soul.
Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 3 - The Yoga of Action
Find out what your svadharma is. Ask yourself, "How do I feel when I am doing certain things? Does something come easily? Is it natural for me or am I trying to imitate somebody else?"
First, take stock of your natural inclinations and your capability, which is your taste, temperament, style, and capacity. With some things it's so natural. You're like a fish in the water. You just know: "Ahh, that's what I'm meant to do." This is your svadharma.
Svadharma is different from karma (which is just an action based on selfish interest). Svadharma is something righteous, natural, and benefits everybody. That is why you cannot say "It is my svadharma to steal." The word dharma always implies benefit to the welfare of everybody - there's no personal desire behind it.
Our svadharma may change over the years. It's not a conscious decision, it just flows, it develops naturally. It is often unplanned by you and it is always good for everybody.
Everything in life serves the whole. Each organ of the body serves. The mind serves. The heart serves. The soul serves. God serves the whole Creation. The whole of nature serves the Unity of Life on Earth - the One in All. The only thing that does not serve is the mindstate of human ignorance, selfishness, and egotism.
Yoga serves to rid humanity of the mindstate of egotism. That's the whole point of the science of yoga - the operation of the egodectomy. The removal of the selfish ego by purification and the appointment of the spiritually motivated soul to take charge of the body/mind/worldly character.
We can make our activities a great ocean of holistic life support that lovingly benefits the lives of many or we can fall foul of egoism and become a sad and selfish personality on the Great Stage of Life. As our holistic awareness of interconnectivity and interdependence increase sthen we begin to realize the great benefit of becoming "a Holistic Life Support Nodule in the Great Network of Creation!"
Karma Yoga is a technique to avoid the arising of egoism.
Karma yoga is thus the conscious interpretation of our life activities as acts of loving service and support to "The Unity of Life on Earth.
For example, we perform some activity, like washing up, and to avoid egoism - getting all puffed up with self-admiration - we then dedicate that action back to life "I dedicate this washing up action to the health and well-being of my family."
Every time you do something, feel, "May this activity be dedicated to The Unity of Life on Earth."
Mine binds, Thine Liberates. If you drop "mines" all over, they will "undermine" your life - or blow up in your face. But if you change all the "mines" to Thine, you will always be tranquil and safe.
Let us dedicate our lives to The Unity of Life on Earth.
Can we see how karma yoga cuts right through the possibility of getting egotistical and at the same time it helps us to increase our heart (fourth) chakra awareness and expression by learning to consider others?
As we sow, so shall we reap, in this life and in the next.
Karma and it's consequences follows a soul from one life to the next, weaving itself into inner and outer events.
Outer events are concerned with our interactions and experiences in the world and the Creation.
God helps the soul sorts out negative karmic problems by:
- REINCARNATION: God's gift of life to the soul
- Appropriate forgiveness and merciful acts
- Providence: Divine intervention
- Teaching the soul how to live the good spiritual life
- Showing the soul, often by direct experience, the error of deluded/egotistical behaviour and of previous mistakes in previous lives
As actions are impelled by thoughts and desires no one but you is responsible for the subsequent reactions, good and bad, which are the outcome of desires.
Man's nature is threefold:
Ichchla - desire, feeling.
Jnana - knowing.
Kriya - willing.
Before committing any action of importance you should think clearly, which most people do not, and weigh up the possible consequences. This, people will not do, as at the time their horizon is bounded by desire. Desires are illusory, for no sooner is one desire satisfied than, more often than not, it is no longer desirable. An employee of the electricity board in this village hankered after a certain make of car costing £3,000, a price far beyond his reach. Then his father, a provident man, died leaving him precisely that sum which, instead of being invested wisely, was spent to gratify his desire.
When I saw him weeks later and asked how he was enjoying his new toy his face lit up: 'You should see the eyes of the householders pop with astonishment when I go to read their meters,' he said; 'it gives me a hell of a kick.' He soon dis-covered, however, that this monster had an insatiable thirst which his pocket could not satisfy; repair and other bills ate holes into his savings and - most tragic of all - the car depreciated in looks and value. When he had gratified his desire of racing up the M1 at 'over a ton' the thrill soon palled and when he was prosecuted for exceeding the speed limit and had his licence endorsed he began to realize that his patrimony had been frittered away. He aquired a little wisdom, sold the apple of his eye arid now goes about his lawful occasions in a much more modest vehicle.
Every Thought Is A Seed
The moment you think, you tend to start a chain of actions, though frequently thoughts of desire lead only to day drearns. They are like seeds, many of which fail to fertilize; but those that do flourish and produce flowers and fruit always have the same kind of fruit; that is, an apple pip will produce only apples; a peach stone only peaches.
Every action has a threefold effect: it leaves an impression on your mind which will urge you to repeat the action until it becomes habit; it affects character; it has external effects.
To discipline (not repress) your mind you should indulge in pranayama and mowna (silence). Retire if you can to a quiet spot, a room of your own if possible, and meditate in silence. Meditation moulds character.
Desire, Thought and Action
These three always go together and when the threads are twisted in to one they form the Cord of Karma. Thoughts lead to desires; desires produce emotions; emotions affect the endocrine glands which secrete hormones into the bloodstream and in due course the character built up by desires, thoughts and emotions is reflected in your face.
Physical characteristics are shaped by the way you think and act! As we think, so we become.
Beauty is not formed by bone structure alone but by desires, thoughts and emotions, Riffle through the pages of the 'glossy' magazines devoted to the caperings of Society and a glance at the faces of 'beautiful' women will reveal vacinity, hardness arid ambition. Study the photographs of business tycoons and their mouths and eyes reveal the ruthlessness necessary to claw their way to the top. On the other hand some plain, even 'ugly', people have kind, generous expressions and when they smile their faces light up with true beauty. Thoughts and desires lay the foundations of character. Have no doubt about it.
Vedantic literature gives us innumerable analogies to illustrate truths, The bundle of arrows an archer has in his quiver is likened to sanchita. The arrow he shoots into the air is prarabdha and cannot be recalled. The arrow he is about to release is agami.
He has complete control over sanchita and agami but none over prarabdha. He must take thought betore loosening his arrows for he alone is responsible for the damage they may cause or the benefits they may bring.
What you are today is the product of what you thought and did in the past. If your deeds were evil you will pay by good actions in this life until the slate is wiped clean; then the tide will turn in your favour. But if you continue in your evil ways the chance will not come again until you are reincarnated.
If, however, you have lived constructively in a past incarnation and developed your character, your path should be smooth and your future rosy, unless you descend to depravity once more, in which case you will amass a further debt. Some lucky people seem unable to put a foot wrong. They are reaping the benefits of past virtue.
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