Selfless Service

One of our very loved and HIGHLY active volunteers shared this with a few of her YG friends, I found it beautiful, insightful and on point….enjoy!

Karma Yoga

Satsang by Swami Amar Jyoti

Any karma or action will not produce freedom, but an appropriate action done with the right attitude will surely bring freedom. What counts is how consciously you do something, not what you do. 

 THE TERM KARMA YOGA literally means union through karma. The word karma itself means both action and reaction, and also implies duty. Action, reaction and duty are covered by the same word because they basically have the same meaning.

          Cause and effect is an indisputable law of both science and spirituality – “As you sow, so shall you reap.” Your experience shows you that an action that produces a reaction does not die there but produces a chain reaction, an unending process of attraction and repulsion, called bondage. Therefore morality has taught you to forgive. Unless you forgive, you do not end the karma. Those who want salvation should forgive. Being tolerant is merely an unsafe “no man’s land” between revenge and forgiveness.

          Karma yoga means selfless action, and here lies the very crux of the matter. Selfless action means that you do not react, you do not enter into the bondage of chain reactions. The most celebrated definition of karma yoga is that you have the right to act but not to the fruits thereof. The most common misunderstanding of this lies in the objection that if one does not react, how is one going to correct or reform something and help others? Here we must see the deeper meaning. Selfless action does not mean no reaction but rather no reaction in which you bear a selfish motiveIn determining what is selfish and what is not, it should be noted that there are certain basic needs and fundamental rights that can be safeguarded.

          Union through karma implies, then, selfless action in which you do not react out of motive and impulse. You act with equanimity and serenity because that action is right, because it should be done. But if you harbor any selfish motive or impulsive reaction, then you are trapped in bondage. Oftentimes you only come to know this after five or ten years, when you look back and see the many habits and tricks your mind has formed. Bondage creates weakness and misery. Righteous and selfless action will begin to loosen the bondage of your mind and will lead you to the freedom, strength and joy of which all religions speak.

          By selflessness, I mean utter selflessness. You can harbor no selfish motive, no desire for name and fame, no greed, no ambition. At this point the objection is often raised that you cannot work without these things. If you have no ambition, no selfish purpose and no drive behind your actions, then how will you act? Karma yoga means that you act because that is your temperament. You do not have to calculate motives once you work according to your temperament. Even when doing charitable works you may still be in hell if you are not doing them selflessly and according to your temperament. Once selfish motive enters in, your mind is defiled, and you will see in a day or two that the quality of your work will decrease automatically because you have limited it.

There can be no place for ambition once you genuinely serve according to your temperament. But do not think that therefore spirituality diminishes your talents or interferes with your profession. The more spiritual you are, the more your talents are refined and sharpened. Through karma yoga you become a better gardener, a better writer, a better cook. Karma yoga enables the limitless expression of your talents in any field.



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