The literal Sanskrit translation of karma is “action.” Each karma has an effect, in the present or the future. Therefore, the effect of our karma is neither punishment nor reward but simply an extended expression or consequence of our chosen acts.

Karmas lead to bonds and attachments. Yet as long as we are living, we have no choice but to perform actions. Karma Yoga, therefore, is the path for those looking to perfect their actions so that bonds are not created and one becomes closer to God and Self-realization.

What does it mean to perfect one’s karmas or actions? The Bhagavad Gita is filled with wisdom on this topic, and here is a simple summary taken from our Satguru Ji’s writings:

Karma Yoga is to do karma with the body while keeping the mind in meditation. When actions are performed in this way, desire for the fruits of one’s action ends and karma transforms into karma yoga. Therefore, a karma yogi is peaceful in both gain and loss. One then becomes a karma sanyasi (renunciate of karma), performing all actions by one’s senses but the soul remains detached.

While this may seem esoteric, it is reachable in this lifetime! We must apply what we learn from the scriptures to make real progress. Here are some practical tips to help us learn to combine karmas with detachment and meditation:

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Our annual celebration of Vyas Puja, or Guru Puja, took place on July 14th and 15th, 2012.  Over 100 people came to read from Satguru Ji’s Ramayan over the 24 hour period, giving us knowledge and peace as we all strive to live a more yogic life. Below are some videos from the auspicious weekend:

 

Urmilla Chawla, a dedicated student of the Ashram, wrote this adaptation to the 2nd chapter of the Bhagavad Gita. This chapter contains Lord Krishna’s discourse on Samkhya Yoga, or Yoga of Knowledge. Urmilla has done a wonderful job conveying the Gita’s wisdom in a beautiful form for all to enjoy. 

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