April 10

Half-hearted service is no service at all. Give your whole heart, mind and soul when you serve. This is very important when you practice karma yoga.

Some people have their body in one place, mind in another place, and soul in another place. That is the reason why they do not make any substantial progress in the path.

Forget not the goal of life amidst selfish activities. The goal of life is self-realisation. Are you attempting to reach the end and aim in life? Are you doing japa (repetition of a name of God)? Are you doing pranayama (yoga breathing) ? Are you doing meditation? Have you kept the ideal before your mind’s eye? That day in which you do not do any spiritual sadhana (practice) is wasted. Give the mind to God and the hands to work.

You will have to analyze and scrutinize your motives. It is the selfish motive and not the work itself that binds a man to sarhsara (world- cycle). Prepare the mind for karma yoga. Selfish work cannot be taken as karma yoga.

Life is very precious. Live in the spirit of the Gita’s teaching. Work without expectation of fruits, and egoism. Think you are a nimitta (instrument) in the hands of the Lord. If you work with this mental attitude you will soon become a yogi.

Work never degrades a man. Unselfish work is worship. All work is sacred. There is the story of the famous butcher-sadhaka (seeker) of the Mahabharata. He realized God in his butcher’s shop – through serving his parents.

Inside, you have got all the materials for wisdom. There is a vast magazine of power and knowledge within you. It wants kindling. Now wake up!

When you  work  disinterestedly,  without  any  thought  of agency, and when you surrender the works and their fruits as īśvarārpaṇam (offering to God), all karmas are transformed into yogic kriya (practice). Walking, eating, sleeping, answering the calls of nature, talking, etc., all become offerings unto the Lord.


Swami Sivananda

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