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Karma Yoga

Posted by lahar9jhadav on March 8, 2007

rope bridgeYoga appears as fatalism. But it is not fatalism in the sense of the accepting of the exact and unalterable preordination of everything without the possibility of any change whatever. On the contrary, Karma Yoga teaches how to change the karma–how to influence the karma. But from the point of view of Karma Yoga this influencing is an entirely inner process. Karma Yoga teaches that a man may change the people and events around him by changing his attitude towards them.

The idea of this is very clear. Every man from his birth is surrounded by a certain karma, by certain people and certain events. And in accordance with his nature, education, tastes and habits he adopts a certain definite attitude towards things, people and events. So long as his attitude remains unchanged, people, things and events also remain unchanged–that is, corresponding to his karma. If he is not satisfied with his karma, if he wants something new and unknown he must change his attitude towards what he has and then the new events will come.

Karma Yoga is the only way possible for people who are tied to life, who are unable to free themselves from the external forms of life, for people who either through their birth or through their own powers and capacities are placed at the head of human communities or groups, for people who are connected with the progress of the life of humanity, for historical personages, for people whose personal life seems to be the expression of the life of an epoch or a nation. These people cannot change themselves visibly; they can change themselves only internally, while externally remaining the same as before, saying the same things, doing the same things, but without attachment, as actors on the stage. Having become such actors in relation to their life, they become Yogis in the midst of the most varied and intense activity. There can be peace in their soul whatever their troubles may be. Their thought can work without hindrance, independently of anything that may surround it. Karma Yoga gives freedom to the prisoner in a gaol and to the king on a throne, if only they can feel that they are actors playing their roles.

This example has been given to show how a man can follow new directions in life and so live his life under other laws while being in life. The Work is a set of new directions for living life. These directions come from a far source: they come from Conscious Humanity, from those at a level far above our level. In terms of the side octave of the sun, they come from those who have reached the level of being and understanding and consciousness represented physically by the sun. All those who have evolved have left memorials behind them in teachings, parables, and other directions for those still in prison on earth. These constitute the map and compass, the chart, the secret instructions, and, in our case, the Work itself. If you follow these directions–that is, if you think from the ideas of the Work, you are no longer driven by life even though you may still be living in life. [Maurice Nicoll]

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