Karma Yoga

joejo's picture

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The core issue in any undertaking is the energy we bring to it. We can observe our emotions and see that they cannot be controlled by rational mind. Then there are processes that happen without the participation of the part that is conscious. These are not the processes that we are unconscious of but some tasks we perform mechanically. Let us take the part we are conscious of. We endeavour to do many things and have various goals that we seek to achieve. We could say we are a divided house and energy is scattered in various directions and often working at cross purposes.

Let us take a simple example of our resolve to get up early. Now we have a habit pattern of not being able to get up early. To simplify we may not account for the causes of this which could be varied but take a case where a person would like to get up early and even sets up an alarm clock and is still unable to. We can see the threefold process that has been outlined previously. The resolve to get up is a conscious decision. The pleasure of enjoying sleep in wee hours of the morning is the aspect linked to our emotional being. This is the reason we get easily worked up when someone wakes us up from sleep. The third is a habit pattern we have built up over the years.

Tradition talks of three forces which work independently and often at cross purposes. Any effect would therefore be a resultant of these three forces. In the given example if our conscious resolve to get up early is not strong enough we would not be able to undo the influence of the other two forces.

We must gather ourselves and bring sufficient conscious energy to the task for it to succeed. If we could also ensure that we do not suffer from the consequences of the results accruing from such an endeavour we would have mastered the art of action or Karma Yoga as given in Gita.