April 13

Lord Krishna expects us to cultivate dynamic peace. He does not want us to be idle for even a single second. He characterizes his ‘dear ones’ as those who are engaged in working for the commonweal. Such activity is known as the practice of yajna, dāna and tapas – sacrifice, charity and self-control.

Man should practice self-control. Man should practice charity – he should give, give, give. He should give whatever he has. And he should transform all his daily activities into one continuous sacrifice. He should feel that he, Brahman, is offering the various actions into the infinite Brahman. He should perform all actions in a perfectly unattached manner.

Do your duty but inwardly feel that you are only an instrument in the hands of the Lord. Feel that your true self, the godhead within you, is the eternal witness. That is why Lord Krishna described yoga as karma-kuśalam (skill in action). Karma yoga is an art in itself.

The secret of karma yoga is to combine deep interest with perfect detachment. If work is performed for work’s sake, if such work is performed for the sake of the commonweal, in a spirit of sacrifice – then you will enjoy an ineffable peace, a bliss that surpasseth all understanding, all description. The gates of the kingdom of God will be thrown open to you. That is what the Lord assures us in the Bhagavad Gita.

Selfless actions are not soulless actions. Put your heart and soul into all that you do. Live in the Lord and realise that you are an instrument of his will. Whatever is done without this realization is an act performed in ignorance, is an act that would bind you faster to the wheel of sarhsara (cycle of birth and death).

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Three things are necessary when you practice karma yoga. You must be free from egoism; you must not expect any appreciation for the work that you do; and you must have a balanced state of mind in success and failure.


Swami Sivananda

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