Evening Meditation & Spiritual Baba Talk
Santa Rosa, CA
Santa Rosa, CA
3rd Friday Night
of each month
To practice karma yoga requires no reading of scriptures, no reciting of rituals, no grand knowledge. Its basic requirement is that one serves others with a selfless attitude. The service is not to gain anything for oneself. Service to get something is a business deal. That is not karma yoga.
In karma yoga, actions are for the benefit of others and not for any consequences. They can reap positive consequences but that is not their purpose. They are to bring joy and benefit to others. Karma yoga involves service to living beings but it also a certain mental relationship to that service that is selfless and without attachment to the results of actions.
Additionally, karma yoga needs madhuvidya. Madhuvidya means sweet knowledge. Madhu is honey, sweet knowledge. This sweet knowledge is that the entire universe is but a projection of the divine consciousness, the omnipresent, omnipotent consciousness of Parama Purusha, the supreme entity. That consciousness, that Purusha, that self-aware existence is the fundamental base of all that is. This entire universe is composed of this consciousness. When one practices madhuvidya, one intentionally ascribes divinity to all beings, everything in this entire universe. One intentionally takes the ideation that all manifests Brahma, all is divine. One does not attempt to see the transitory nature the substantive nature of all beings. Taking this ideation, when one gives service, one sees that one is giving service to the supreme Lord. One is giving service to the divine Brahma in the form of this person or that person. In this little creature, one serves Brahma.
The perception that the service is to Brahma and the one giving the service is Brahma. It not as if "I" give the service but the divine gives service through the karma yogi. The divine Brahma gives and receives the service within the body of Brahma. So one realizes that the very source of all action lies in the divine and not in the ego. One realizes that the sense of doership associated with the ego is an organizing function of the mind that is misguided. Really speaking, all action takes place within the body of the supreme.
Therefore, the karma yogi not only does the action without expectation of return, the karma yogi does the action feeling it takes place through him or her. The action occurs by strength and grace of the supreme. The one receiving service is also the divine entity. In this way, with this sweet knowledge, karma yoga soon turns to bhakti yoga. They are intricately related. One develops bhakti, love for the supreme, through good actions and proper understanding. This proper understanding is jinana yoga. Right knowledge, right understanding is jinana yoga. Thus, when one practices karma yoga properly, one will have to keep one’s mind in right knowledge through the application of jinana yoga. When one’s mind establishes in right knowledge, one perceives the truth of the nature of what is and one acts in a state of truth without egoistic desire. Then what happens? One perceiving Lord and serving Lord develops devotion to Lord. Bhakti yoga comes into play.
Once one’s practice develops more, the three yogas are inseparable. To practice karma yoga properly, one needs some knowledge, understanding and self-reflection to give attribution in the correct way. With this, the karma yoga is bound to minimize one’s isolation and egotism and strengthen the love in one’s heart, the universal sentiment in one’s mind. A little ordinary person thus becomes extraordinary. You may be ordinary today but through these practices, you become extraordinary. This is because the practices lead to the knowledge of the insignificance of one’s egoistic existence and one’s essential unity with all life. It is through knowledge of one’s essential unity with all beings that one comes to a state of divinity.
Doing kind actions for another is a great undertaking. You need not do some grand project. If it is there for you to do, fine, but you may practice karma yoga in the most simple day-to-day moments of life. You may help someone in need, make a phone call to someone feeling sorrowful, help a stranger in a difficult situation, take a little time to smile at another, to take a little interest in another, go out of your way a little for someone, do a small thing for another that will please them.
Even to hold your mind in steady thoughts of kindness, respect, and love for others is karma yoga. This karma yoga involves selfless work and thoughts. It involves work for the welfare of all beings. When this type of action consumes one’s life, one begins to lose self-consciousness. The first result of karma yoga is that one’s shyness goes away. One who does karma yoga overcomes shyness. The feeling of shyness is due to excessive self-consciousness that comes because one’s mind is self-absorbed, "Oh, do I look just right? Am I creating a good impression? Do I wear the right clothes? Did I say the right thing?" This type of self-consciousness is a disease of the mind from self-absorption in the ego, the bodymind. Karma yoga is the best cure for this disease of the mind. All manner of difficulties, troubles and turmoil will disappear from the mind when doing karma yoga because you are so busy caring for the needs of others and not so self-absorbed. Whether you meet some standard or are very impressive become less significant because you are more concerned for the welfare of the other.
A mother will not worry about how she looks when she is with her children. She will focus on making sure the children have what they need. Likewise, the karma yogi forgets their egoistic self and becomes absorbed in the larger sense of Self due to ideation on the needs of all beings. The karma yogi begins to seek their own welfare in the welfare of all beings rather than in their simple body and mind. They expand their sense of self through right understanding combined with right action and thus they achieve a state of expansiveness of mind. In this way, many maladies of mind that have to do with involvement in one’s egocentric self tend to fall away.
This type of yoga is particularly good for those who are very shy, for those who are very self-conscious, for those who tend to think of themselves a great deal. To cultivate this will cure these tendencies of mind and bring one into a state of pure mind, peaceful mind and contented mind. It is very good for mental turmoil. Good works will heal mental turmoil of many kinds. Really speaking, each one is but a small piece of an integral whole, a totality of being, even though all the universe abides within you, in the divine consciousness within each and everyone, each and every person, each and every creature. You are but a part of a vast whole, a thread in the tapestry of existence and the meaning of your life lies not in that individual thread but in the totality of the tapestry woven from all of the threads combined.
Where the welfare of all beings is your own personal welfare, a great love arises for living beings and their suffering and a wish to remove their suffering comes. This type psychology develops through karma yoga. You see when we come into this world and we are small, life begins with a struggle and a cry, a struggle to get the food, to make the body function, to secure oneself when in a helpless state. When the body grows stronger, the ego begins to feel, "I am in charge" and one begins to feel, "I will make a life for myself and that life will give me happiness." Then taking the temporal world and temporal objects to be the source of happiness inevitably leads to a certain amount of suffering and loss. Yoga provides a path to free the mind from this suffering, to find right understanding, right action and to open the heart in unconditional love for all beings.
The suffering in human life is very real but the cause of suffering comes from misunderstanding the nature of self and your relationship to all life. Due to association of conscious awareness with physical body, the feeling comes, "I will die. My life is limited. I must survive." The desire and passion for survival dominates the life and one comes into conflict between pleasure and pain, grasping and avoiding, achieving and losing. All these things are temporal related to the bodymind. That which you truly are is eternal, pure, pristine, unchanging, and forever unbound.
The appearance of binding brings suffering in the mind. The consciousness immerses and joins physical existence and in the physical structure attains the ego mind, the sense of doership, and the feeling, "I am this body." Being bound in the transitory, ever needing the eternal, being bound in the separation, ever yearning for one’s original state of wholeness, completeness, unity, the living being experiences the suffering of grasping, attempting to regain what is remembered deep within, the sense of totality, wholeness, completeness, and unity. The sense of the eternal nature of your being resides within you. Yet, identified with the body and temporal forms, suffering comes as the forms come and go, people you love come and go, achievements come and go. Everything that is temporal is like sand beneath your feet shifting and moving, never stable, never permanent. But your nature is a different matter.
There is a remembrance within each and everyone of you, a remembrance of your eternal nature, a remembrance of wholeness, of union, of completion, and a yearning, a longing, to come again to that state without desires where there is no need to achieve anything and nothing to lose. You are eternal, whole, complete, and aware of your own nature. Deep within, each one longs for this union. All desires that arise in the mind and go in so many directions are but the yearning and longing in different forms. Your desires are not your enemies. They may be misguided for they lead you to more suffering but what is behind the desire is your true longing to return to the state of wholeness in knowledge of your own being.
Each and everyone is a child of God. Each and everyone is a manifestation of divinity. The divine being is in all life, in all beings, in every molecule of this universe. He is everywhere. He is always with you. All that exists is a part of him. It is the understanding of differentiation that brings suffering, for with the perception of duality is division of self and pain of separation. The Self is not two or twenty or a thousand or a million or a billion, the Self is one, only one, pure, pristine, omnipresent, undying, eternal, unconditioned love. From the Self emanates great compassion for all living beings bound in duality and suffering. You are each and everyone the child of the divine. You are each and everyone great in your nature. Your true state is free. Your true state is unconditional love. Your true state is divine. Let no one tell you that you are less than this. Never believe it. Believe always in yourself. Believe in the love that flows from the depths of all beings, within and without.
For the supreme Brahma there is no internal and external. These are meaningless concepts. Consciousness is one. Love is unconditional. The Self is unconditional. All that appears in duality and conditioned is but an appearance upon the body of truth, upon the Self, upon the wholeness that is your real nature, the nature of all. The paths of yoga developed so that each and everyone might come to know, have the opportunity to perceive and experience the divinity that is unbound, the love without boundaries, the union that resolves all sufferings. This happiness is your birthright. It belongs to you.
Like all children, you must learn the way to your home of homes. You must learn how to move out of the darkness, pain, inferiority, separation, duality and confusion. Learn to trust your innermost being, surrender to love unconditional, be willing to give up the appearances and know the truth. Be willing to love yourself so unconditionally, so totally, so guiltlessly, fearlessly, shamelessly, completely that love grows and grows until all you see is love. Then the divine being surrounds you, speaks to you in all voices, comes to you in all forms and is omnipresent with form and without form.
In such a state of mind, there is nothing to gain, nothing to lose. Even when the physical body passes from this world, you remain the same. In such a state of unconditioned love and knowledge of the true nature of all that is, suffering is no more. You have each come because your heart longs for the divine. It aches. It draws and pulls on you, this longing for the Great. May you each and everyone find great success in your journey.
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