Basic Lessons on Hindu Dharma
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  Basic Lessons on Hindu Dharma ~ Level - 1  
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Chapter - 5:
An Introduction to Paths of Yoga Hindu Traditions
 
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HR105 - 03
The Spiritual Disciplines of the Four Yogas for Religious Experience
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Lesson: 5-03
True Meaning of Karma Yoga in Practice
The Teachings of Karma - the Pathway of True Selfless Action
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Essentials of the Path of Action and our Free will for Daily Practice
 
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Karma is what is done, a deed or activity as seen everywhere. Whereas every one else is talking about their rights, our Vedas first talks about our Karma or activity as duty, to individual, to the community, to our Ancestors and to God. The individual Soul is given the rights of Free will to perform action according to one's own desires. But, is also given the intelligence to discriminate between right and wrong and through one's desires of Purusharthas, attachment, lust and greed.

Ordinary Karma has a binding quality leaving an impression, leading on to new actions and new impressions. This gives rise to attachment, to desire, then to greed and to lust and in the end it leads to disappointment and sorrow. It bears an effect on this life now and in our future, on our children and our future births.

They are called Sanchita, Prarabdha and Kriyamana or Agami Karma. Sanchita Karma is all the accumulated Karmas of the past. All tendencies, individual nature, desire and capabilities come from this. Prarabdha Karma is that portion of the past action in Sanchita Karma that is now taking action and influence in the present birth. It is that effect which has begun, like the fruit ripe for reaping. It can not be avoided or changed, but exhausted by experiencing. Kriyamana or Agami Karma is that which is now being made for the future and can be avoided.

These Karmas are of three kinds. The Nishiddha Karmas are the ones to be avoided as they are against the ethics and the Dharma. These actions involve greed and lust and causes injury to the society and its moral values. The Kaamika Karmas are actions performed for their benefit and pleasure only. They are considered inferior as they arise out of desire and leads to greed and grief. The Karthavya Karmas are superior as they are performed without desire or greed but as a service to God.

The Charvaka School of thinkers, who are materialistic, had rejected righteousness or Dharma, salvation and spiritual freedom. They accepted only two values in the performance of action with free-will, namely, those related to wealth and those related to sense of pleasure. The Upanishad draws a clear distinction between what is ideal of pleasure and what is good. The pleasure is created by ignorance, lust and greed. It will ultimately bring suffering and misery. The Karma pathway is considered to be the first stage or the first step and the most essential to attain salvation and to reach God, before practicing the pathways of devotion, rituals and knowledge.

 
 

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Lessons: - :~: 5-01 :~: 5-02 :~: 5-03 :~: 5-04 :~: 5-05 :~: 5-06 :~: 5-07 :~: 5-08 :~: 5-09 :~: 5-10 :~:
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