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April 4

The mind is so framed that it cannot work without expectation of fruits or anticipation of rewards for actions. If you smile when you meet your friend, you expect a smile in return. If you give a glass of water to somebody, you expect something in return. If you salute a friend, you expect him to salute you in return. This is the inborn nature of a worldly-minded man.

Train the  mind  to  work   disinterestedly.   Discipline  the  mind with patience and perseverance. Worldly-minded people cannot understand the spirit of niṣkāmya sevā (unselfish, motiveless service) as their minds are charged with or even saturated with impurities. In the beginning all your actions may be selfish. But if you work hard in the field of karma yoga for two years then five actions out of a hundred will be unselfish and ninety-five will be selfish. Scrutinise your motives. Purify them. Struggle hard.

After some years of incessant struggle, fifty actions out of a hundred will be unselfish. A good time will come and all your actions will be unselfish and pure. The time is not very far to reach the ideal if you keep the ideal in front of you daily, and if you struggle hard and are sincere and earnest in your purpose.

Every work is worship of the Lord. In the light of karma yoga all actions are sacred. The aspirant who always takes delight in doing work which is considered by worldly man as ‘menial services’, and who always does such acts willingly, he and only he will become a dynamic yogi. Only he will have no downfall. The canker of pride cannot touch him.

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The world is nothing but manifestation of God. Service of humanity is service of God. Service is worship. People are impatient, they expect to get siddhis (psychic powers) after doing a little service. But the real karma yogi, who serves people with humility and who sees God in every face, is honoured and respected by all.


Swami Sivananda

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