KARMA YOGA FOR A MORE PEACEFUL AND CONSCIOUS LIFE
Dear Self ( Atma Chandra),
The Gita says:
You have the right to action ( work) only, but never to its fruits ( results). Let not the fruits of action be your motive, nor let your attachment be to inaction. - Bhagadvad Gita Ch. 2;47
I am writing you this letter to help you connect to your birth right. Your radiance. Your souls power ( Atma Shakti & Iccha Shakti). To tell you, you are enough. With a deeper understanding of Karma Yoga, I hope you will know this power and live and bask in this radiance on a more consistent basis and it will become your norm. The circuit breaks, backsliding,harming others and suffering will lessen and the attached, ego self will loosen it crips on you. Sattva will grow.
Karma Yoga, the yoga of detached actions, gives us a whole system to help us live a more dharmic life fueled by Sattva. It is road map to help us understand the importance of cultivating Sattva, to live in Sattva mode ( unattached, as opposed to the attached Rajas, Tamas or Sattva), serving others and ultimately freeing us from, as the Gita teaches in the form of our Guru Acharya Shunyaji, the “ Disease of sorrow from attachment.”
In the Gita we see the rapid escalation of Arjuna’s sorrow moving from attachment Raga, to Shoka, Grief, and then to Moha, full blown delusion. This is familiar to most, the human condition.
Karma yoga describes this attached mind in detail (Gunas), the remedies to an attached mind; adopting and introducing the Science of the Five Detached Actions, (Bhuta Yajna-Give back to Mother Earth, Pitra Yajna- Give back to parents and ancestors,Manushya Yajna- Give back to humanity, Deva Yajna- Give back to God and divine forces,Brahma Yajna- Give back to Guru and spiritual tradition)and cultivating an attitude of Sattva while engaged in those actions.
One of my biggest take aways as I deepen my understanding of Karma Yoga is the importance of Sattva and serving others and their connection. In our kula we talk about being Sattva Farmers but it wasn't until this assignment that I really saw how important Sattva is to our “mental hygiene.” Now I truly understand what it means to become a“Sattva farmer.” We want to pull Sattva from wherever we can, through mediating, walking in nature,daily ritual, chanting etc… and plant as many seeds of Sattva as we can. I love the imagery of planting seeds of Sattva and the blossoming and harvesting of Sattva. It’s a revolving door of Sattva.
With deeper contemplation you realize that through serving others, even in your attached states as you turn your pursuits toward Dharma ( inner growth, adoption of values) and Moksha ( true self and God), and move away from the pursuit of Artha ( wealth, relationships etc…) and Kama ( pleasure), and your life becomes one of services while adopting the 5 Detached Actions, Sattva grows, heals, shines light and reminds.
Below are the specific teachings in more detail;
Karma Yoga describes 2 categories of actions: attached and unattached.
The attached actions ( also know as the three qualities of the mind) include Rajas, Tamas and Saatva ( attached kind) in which you are only concerned with “myself’ and “mine”,only.
The non- attached person remains in Sattva Mode Only and serves others primarily.
I feel it is important to add in the Shunyajis teaching on the 4 types of thoughts taught in Satsangha.
4 TYPES OF THOUGHTS
Rajas- a rajasic mind projects blame, is angry, impatient, stressed, sped up, greed, lust, aggression, unfulfilled desires,over indulgence, excessive cravings ( vasanas)etc.. “a wind swept pond.”
Tamas- a tamasic mind is full of shaming thoughts. Muddy and stagnate. Tamas means darkness or concealed and a Tamas mind is dull, lazy, uninspired, dishonest, deceit, quarrelsome, and un able to discern.
Reality Checking Thoughts- One begins to ask themselves, Really? Am I so pathetic? Am I so unlovable? Is my life so horrible? Question the self made reality.
Sattvic- a sattvic mind is the master of ones mind and is able to discriminate Nitya ( eternal) thought and Anitya ( not eternal). Able to discern between what is real and what is not. Asks its self, “ Do you have a ticket? Did you pay for it?” A sattvic mind reveals Grace from within.
Sattva, because of its stainless ( purity), is luminous and non-obstructive; it binds the mind by creating attachment to happiness and knowledge. Bhadvad Gita 14:6
Shunyaji says, “By making Saatva your deliberate mode of action you can live the life Ishwara intends for you. “Thought hygiene is in place, so mind becomes a wish fulfilling place.”
By focusing more on Dharma and Moksha will keep our mind in a a healthier attached state as we move to an unattached state. Below are the four legitimate desires, Purushartas, that unchecked can lead to the attached states Rajas, and Tamas, esepcially when focusing on the first two Artha and Kama.”
4 Legitimate human desires, Purushartas
Artha- Pursuit of material and emotional security, job, house, clothing, relationships, etc…( wealth and relationships)
Kama- Pursuit of pleasures, comforts, sex, recreation, art, music, dance, aesthetics, beauty, fashion, etc..
Dharma- Pursuit of inner growth, adoption of value, ethics, social consciousness, maturity in interpersonal behavior, etc…
Moksha- Pursuit of knowledge of true self and God
Shunayaji says, “Then comes the Science of the Five Detached Action (nisha-kama karm) for Spiritual Growth. These are non-attached actions that must be learned. “Karma yoga asks us to take up sets of obligatory duties toward five agents of the cosmos.These are done simply because they are right and not for personal benefit. If we gain any benefits, they are incidental).”
“ What we think, and ( because of our thoughts), how we act, influences and shape shifts the entire universe. To think wisely, is a very big responsibility.
Vedas point to the sense of giving, and not just taking, that is inherent in nature. For example, the peach tree grows not for itself, but for others. The rivers carry water, not for itself, but for everyone else’s thirst. The flowers bloom not for themselves, but for others.
What did you come here to blossom into , and how can you become a gift to the universe?How can you be that, which existence celebrates and supports, since you have become of incredible value to the divine allies through your sharing, interconnected and compassionate heart.’
To become a contributor, a giver, a helper, and a sharer, not only with fellow humans but with all God’s creatures is dharma. When dharma emerges in the mind, we become a self-appointed custodian of our planet, other earth, and the mountains, rivers, rocks, pebbles, and very grain of sand becomes beloved to us in our mind. We feel an undeniable connection with all.”
We do this by fulfilling our Karmic Debt to the Five Universal Agents, the dharmic code of conduct.”
Bhuta Yajna-Give back to Mother Earth
Pitra Yajna- Give back to parents and ancestors
Manushya Yajna- Give back to humanity
Deva Yajna- Give back to God and divine forces
Brahma Yajna- Give back to Guru and spiritual tradition
I find it relevant to mention that as I am writing this final draft of this homework assignment under the stars on the back porch of my in laws country home. The creek is flowing and the sounds of the night is alive and crisp. While nature was pouring its sattvic, healing cosmos energy down upon me as I sat at the table outside, I heard a rapid hum of wings zoom around me. I wasn't scared, ( being completely in my power protected by shasta and true knowledge, but curious about what this creature could be. Then I heard it fly into the wall lit by the outdoor porch light and hit the ground. It lay on the hits back struggling to return to its fit, successfully returned to his feet a few times, attempted to fly only to his the wall and glass door repeatedly. It was a beautiful June bug, golden brown, with white and bright green stripes. I wanted to help it and flip it over, but as Vedantic student I instead decided to turn off the all the lights that was drawing this poor creature in and finish my assignment inside. Electricity has given so much, but it has also taken the night away from the night crawlers, nocturnal animals, and us humans who stay up much later than nature intended as a result. That was a small contribution to Bhuta Yajna.
May you integrate this knowledge rapidly Chandra and it become your default. Now go do your Manushya Yajna and go tend to crying Nina.
Your True Self, Chandra