Hindu Heritage Study Program
 
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Hindu Heritage Study Program
 
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Principles and Practice of Hindu Dharma
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-HR 201.06
An Applied Method of Practice of the Agamas and the Vedas
The Right Path for a Pious and Peaceful Way of Life with True Happiness
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Lesson - 89 :
True Meaning of Karma Yoga in Practice
Karma, the Pathway of Selfless Action
Please see below
for Lesson - 02
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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. 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 lead 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, 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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Lesson - 90 :
The Spiritual Discipline of Karma Yoga
Daily Practice of one's Duty and Rituals
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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 a tranquillity 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 Jñana 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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Chapter - 6: Daily Practice of Four Yogas in the Faith - Lessons 89 & 90
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Lessons: ~: 81 & 82 :-: 83 & 84 :-: 85 & 86 :-: 87 & 88 :-: 89 & 90 :-: 91 & 92 :-: 93 & 94 :-: 95 & 96 :~:
 
 
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