9. Karma yoga or the path of action
This is an important path of yoga because we are doing actions all the time.
A person’s belief system plays a crucial role in deciding the type of actions that person undertakes. This is obvious. What is not so obvious is that the actions can also alter the belief system.
Our belief systems and personalities can be changed by our actions. This is why it is very important to do the right actions, in the right way.
But what is the right action and how can we do it? Karma yoga gives the answers.
What is the right action?
Karma yoga says that we should do unselfish actions. Strong self-centeredness prevent us from seeing things as they are and cause many sufferings. Selfless actions do not aim to deprive oneself. They change our belief systems so that we can see ourselves and the world as the same thing.
And how can we do actions in the right way?
We are very used to living goal oriented lives. Having a direction in life is good but obsessing about the goal is not.
We tend to do things that give us some benefit in the future. We dream about them. Sometimes we obsess about them so much that we practically live in the future. But life is happening now, at this moment.
Karma yoga tells us to live exactly in the opposite manner.
Karma yoga recognizes the causal relationship between action and its result.
If we do good actions, good results will follow. If we do bad actions, bad results will be born from them. It is an universal rule.
Thus, one does not need to worry about the result but to make sure that the action is good and do it with dedication. The worry about the result reduces a person’s ability to focus on the action and enjoy it.
Always thinking about the benefit terribly limits our actions. We want to undertake only those actions that will bring benefits according to our limited power of imagination.
But the world is tremendously complex. There are numerous factors continuously interplaying with each other. An action can bring a result that is completely unimaginable at the point of setting goals.
Thus, we will deprive ourselves from those wonderful results if we neglect the actions because of our inability to see the future.
We are unable to see the future, but we are able to do the right action. We can do what is in our hand.