Karma Yoga - Universal Law Of Karma
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Different Styles of Yoga

Karma Yoga

Karma Yoga - Universal Law Of Karma

The law of Karma is based on a very simple and thought provoking principle of Nishkaam Karma or selflessly done actions. The actions done without any self interest or hidden motives are the ones that create the basis of law of karma. The Karma yoga is based on such actions. The prevalent belief that yoga is a study of detaching the person from the world and taking him into a sagely state of existence is just a misconception. Yoga is actually a methodology that suggests the path to salvation, but it is not about renouncing the worldly responsibilities. It is about doing complete justice to one's duties and yet remaining detached in a certain way so that the effect of hunger and thirst, grief and sorrow and changes in fortune do not affect a person very deeply and sway him from the path of uniting him finally with the divine consciousness.

The law of karma is perhaps best described in the Bhagwat Gita. In the situation where Arjuna refuses to fight his brethren on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, Lord Krishna gives him the teachings of Bhagwat Gita. The essence of these Shlokas very succinctly defines the paradigm of Karma, which can be described as the duties of a human being have to be performed under all circumstances. This is simply the universal law of karma.

The universal law of karma defines karma or all actions to be containing eternal energy. Even thoughts are considered as mental actions and they are known to have energy in them. This energy can be both positive and negative. All actions are considered to be embodiment of three factors or processes. These are desire, knowledge and actual action. These in Sanskrit are called as Ichcha or desire, Gyana or knowledge or thought of certain action and Kriya or performance of actual action. Thus, all karma is a resultant of these three essential factors.

All karma results in energy that finally results in fruits of the action. The person has to take births many times in order to experience the fruits of his karma. The bad karmas will result in bad fruits and good karmas will result likewise in good fruits. This cycle is never ending. In order to break free from this cycle the person has to concentrate upon good karma and reduce bad karma. Constant focus on good karma will slowly take him closer to the divine intelligence and ultimately he will be released from the cycle of births. Good karmas will release one by giving him the ultimate birth of an angel. The bad karmas however put him in lower and lower Yonis or species. The human birth is a resultant of mixed bag of good and bad karmas. It is a chance given to enhance the quality of future karma. This chance is available only to humans and no other species has the intelligence or the wisdom to refine his future actions.

The law of karma has been expounded by many ancient texts. Vedanta philosophy explains the law of karma very simply by the example of a boy with a quiver full of arrows. He shoots one arrow and loads another one on his bow ready to shoot it also. There is a quiver full of arrows left on his back so he does not even worry about hitting his target with every arrow shot. This is a simile used to explain the law of karma. The quiver of arrows is the karma which is still not conducted. It is called Sanchita or accumulated opportunities. The arrow that has just been shot is called Prarabdha or the present state of karma or actions. The fresh arrow that has just been loaded is representative of the future karma or action and is called Kriyamana. It has the essence of Agami or Vartamana or the present that has still not happened but is about to be executed. An individual has control only over the Sanchita and Agami, while Prarabdha has already happened and by no means they can be changed or even controlled. This example in very simple terms explains that actions that can be controlled are the ones that have still not been implemented.

The doctrine of karma is an integral part of religious scriptures of many religions. It has been explained using many different ways and examples, but the basic philosophy is of considering actions as the basic foundation of all that manifests itself in the society. The principle essentially remains that an individual reaps so as he sows. The actions result in consequences and good actions will always result in good consequences.

These days a lot of self help books and audio-visual educational material is available. In fact education industry is a booming business the world ever. The corporate training patterns are more often than not based on this universal law of karma. The language used may be very contemporary but the essence of the message is always revolving around the age old doctrines of karma.

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