Modern Yoga – A fabricated truth-(Part 4) Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga


Modern Yoga –A fabricated truth Part-4
Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga

Namaste Everyone! Hope you are enjoying the Summers and Sunshine.

In this article, we are conversing about Karma and Bhakti Yoga, two most practical and simple paths, which are widely accepted by both common men and advanced Yogis. So let’s start it with a simple question –

Is it possible for us to live even a single day without actions and emotions?

And our answer is definitely ‘NO’! We living beings are a bundle of emotions and bound to perform ‘’Karma’’(actions).

“All men are forced to act helplessly according to the impulses born of the modes of material nature, therefore no one can refrain from doing something, not even for a moment. (Bhagavad Gita 3.5)”

bhakti-yoga

Karma Yoga deals with actions and Bhakti Yoga deals with the emotions.

Firstly let’s discuss Karma Yoga-

I – Karma Yoga- The path of Action
Karma means action-Union (yoga) through performing selfless actions is Karma Yoga.

A) According to Bhagavad Gita-

Definition

Lord Krishna says-
1. Be steadfast in Yoga, O Arjuna. Perform your duty and abandon all attachment to success or failure.
Such evenness of mind is called Yoga. (samatvam yoga ucyate.) (2.48)

2. A man engaged in devotional service rids himself of both good and bad actions even in this life. Therefore strive for yoga, O Arjuna, which is the art of all work.
Perfection in the actions is called Yoga .(yogah karmasu kausalam) (2.50)

➢ Method

Work done as a sacrifice for Supreme has to be performed, otherwise, work binds one to this material world. Therefore, O Arjuna, perform your prescribed duties for His satisfaction, and in that way, you will always remain unattached and free from bondage. (3.9)

• from Bhagavad Gita as it is by Swami Prabhupada.

B) According to Yoga Sutras-

Sadhana Pada(chapter 2) starts with the path of actions mentioned as ‘Kriya Yoga’. Kriya means actions.

*Here we have to be clear that Kriya Yoga mentioned in different ancient tantric texts has a different background of philosophy (based on Kundalini Shakti).

  • Definition

Tapah svadhyaya ishvarapranidhana kriya-yogah.(II-1)

Austerity,self-study and surrender to Ishwara (universal soul/God) constitute Kriya Yoga (path of action).

Aim-

That Yoga of action (kriya yoga) is practiced to bring about Samadhi (trance) and to minimize the afflictions (kleshas). (II 2)

Cycle of Karma-

The receptacle of works has its root in these pain-bearing obstructions (kleshas), and their experience in this visible life(present), or in the unseen life(future).(II 12)

Types of Karma-

Chapter 4 Kaivlaya pada describes three types of Karma and breaking the cycle of Karmas (Sutra 9-12).

Works are neither black nor white for the Yogis, for others they are threefold, black(Krishna), white(Shukla), and mixed.

*Source PYS by Swami Vivekananda

Summary –

The law of Karma is a universal law –“As you sow, so shall you reap.”

Nobody can escape from this law. Only knowledge and non-attachment can make one free from the bondage of Karmas.-Swami Rama

In Gita Lord Krishna asked Arjuna to perform his righteous actions to complete his duty of a warrior though it involved the killing of his own brothers,there is nothing right or wrong deed as far as we perform our duties without getting attached to the results of our actions.

If you are crawling through your work, that is karma. If you are dancing through your work, that is karma yoga.- Sadhguru

Swami Rama explaining duties and Karma .

 

Secondly, let’s come to Bhakti Yoga-

II Bhakti Yoga –Path of Devotion
Bhakti -The Sanskrit word bhakti has the root “bhaj” which means “to adore or worship God.”
Bhakti is a yogic path, in that the devotee’s aim is of loving union with God.(supreme soul).

The beginnings of Bhakti Yoga can be seen in-
-Puranas-Bhagavata Purana
-Upanishads-Shvetashvatara Upanishad.
-Bhagavad Gita

A) According to Bhagavad Gita-

  • Definition

Lord Krishna narrates in chapter-12.2
He whose mind is fixed on my personal form, always engaged in worshiping me with great and transcendental faith, is considered by me to be most perfect Yogi.

B) According to Yoga Sutras-
In my understanding ‘’Self-surrender to God’’ explained by sage Patanjali is a path of devotion, through which Sadhaka(student) can purify his/her emotions. It is mentioned in the following aphorisms-

➢ Ishwara Pranidhanad va –self-surrender to God (Chapter 1 ,23)
(a method to attain Samadhi)

➢ Part of Kriya Yoga as already explained above (Chapter 2 ,1)

➢ Self-surrender to God is the 5th Niyama (2nd limb of Yoga)

  • Aim
    Samadhisiddhirishvarapranidhanat I (2.45)

By sacrificing all to Isvara(God) comes Samadhi.By resignation to the Lord, Samadhi becomes perfect.

Summary-
Emotions, if properly directed, can lead you to the highest state of ecstasy. -Swami Rama

Emotions are the driving force of the thoughts and actions and controlling the emotions is as difficult as taming the wind.
Through Bhakti Yoga one can cleanse his/her emotions and instead of simply driven by them one can achieve serenity within.

I believe that these two paths of Yoga can change the world. If we all could learn to act selflessly and develop firm faith on the universal soul,we will be able to love and live peacefully without conflicts ! Does it not sound perfect?

Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah ! May all be happy !

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