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Step 12: Acting selflessly.

Principle: Service

The mind's capacity (samarthyam) to carry out its function is contingent on illumination provided by the infinite and unconditioned light of consciousness. Brahman is the light of consciousness. Karma yoga is the performance of an action with detachment from the results for the sake of worshipping the Lord (isvararadhanarthe). It is action performed in a spirit of selfless sacrifice to God.

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Let me explain karma yoga, a workable spiritual discipline for living a more effective, happier life in this saddening, every-changing world. Karma yoga literally means union with Divinity through worldly action.

Strive to make selfless (egoless) action your path; then you can live a spiritual life while staying fully active in the world. When your everyday activities are not based on desire for a reward, it is easier for you to steady the mind and direct it toward Atman.

Do your world work with your heart fixed on the Divine rather than outcomes. Learn to be unattached to, or unaffected by, the results of your work, whether favorable or unfavorable.

The crux issue, deaf friend, is desire and the consequent lack of inner peace. Desire for the rewards of your acts brings worry about failing, which pulls you from the present into an imagined, usually fearful future. This robs your energy and you become miserable and lapse into inaction.

Gradually learn to do your duty uncontaminated by desire. This frees you of suffering and leads you to increased effectiveness as well as inner peace. Selfless, egoless, desireless action is the secret of living a life of real accomplishment and success, a contented, satisfied life.
Essential Wisdom of
the Bhagavad Gita


Karma Yoga is the union of the soul (Atman) with Spirit (Brahman) through selfless action. Service is dedicated to Brahman. There is no motive of personal gain. Results, outcomes, expectations and rewards are surrendered to Brahman. The karma yogi claims nothing for self. The sole purpose of the yogi is to serve Brahman. Seva is selfless service to others.

American Institute of Vedic Studies (go to Links menu to connect to the website)

Auyrvedic Institute (go to Links menu to connect to the website)

Hindu Universe (go to Links menu to connect to the website)

Hindu University of America (go to Links menu to connet to the website)

Hinduism Today. (bimonthy magazine) South Asia Books, P.O. Box 502. Columbia, MO 65205. Email: sabooks@juno.com (go to Links menu to connect to the website)

World Association of Vedic Studies (go to Links menu to connect to the website)

Yoga Research Center (go to Links menu to connect to the website)


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