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 - 04
The Spiritual Disciplines of the Four Yogas for Religious Experience
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Lesson: 5-04
The Spiritual Discipline of Karma Yoga
Principles behind the Daily Practice of one's Duty and Rituals
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Essentials of the Karma Yoga explaining the Philosophy for Daily Practice
 
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Work, when performed as a spiritual discipline and equanimity of mind, is called Karma Yoga. When work is done without any desire for the personal gain out of the work or not as a routine duty out of fear, it becomes spiritual action. Performance of ones daily work or a profession alone is not Karma Yoga. Karma yoga is the secret of action without attachment or desire for the fruits as the main aim of action. It gives tranquility with evenness of mind in gain and loss, success and failure. The work should be performed as a service and offering to God and not for personal glory or profit.

Gita says: "Karmanye va Adhikaraste' Ma Pphaleshu Kadhachana." "You have the right to action only, and not to its fruits." It must be performed as a service to society, seeing God in everything and taking the results as a blessing of God. "Action is always superior to inaction." When one is conscious of one's duty to the society and performs an activity without attachment to the gain, a sense of peace and evenness of the mind is sure to follow.

Karma Yoga is an effective spiritual discipline for persons seeking knowledge of God or of the self. Action should be natural and spontaneous, like helping a needy person without looking for the gains in return. Karma Yoga is taught as the most basic discipline and as the most important and the first step in the Hindu faith, before the devotional path of Bhakthi yoga, discipline of Raja Yoga and the Divine knowledge seeking Jnana Yoga.

It is, at the same time, the most difficult to follow for the common man uninitiated in the wisdom of the teachings of the Vedas. It calls for a mental discipline in our activities. Even fighting a war should be possible for a real Karma-Yogi if one is performing it as a Dharma and is free from selfishness, greed and passion.

Dharma as action or duty is considered dry and empty unless it is done with devotion to help the soul to attain a spiritual goal. They should perform duty without ego, greed, possessiveness or lust. That performance of duty should not be with attachment to the fruits but as a duty to God and His Maya. This is the essence of practice of religious faith, and the ethics to be followed in our day to day activity.

 
 

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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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