Yoga is essentially a dynamic expression in the interpretation of the western mind. We are vitally concerned in any ideology which will promise more efficient living, more abundant health and more material improvements. And this no doubt attracts many students to follow Karma Yoga, the Yoga of Action.
Disciplining our lives and achieving self-mastery through Yogic techniques enables us to develop our own self culture lives and accomplish our inherent aspirations. Everyone has abilities that can be used for one’s own self culture and purposes or for the benefit of others. We are all granted opportunities to develop our own talents and to in some way help others. Many are lazy and find both avenues neglected but will find a degree of disappointment or frustration is felt with any procrastination.
Everyone must nurture a degree of unselfish longing to contribute to society. Until this is fulfilled in some way, life will tend to seem wasted in spite of all the transitory experiences and pleasures.
Yogic practice develops self confidence as we come to understand the presiding natural law of Karma, or cause and effect that rules all action and determines repercussions. We know that constructive effort is rewarded and goodness will result in positives in life. Karma however is not a bargaining table. Its great calculations are left to higher agencies than our human system of debits and credits. The ancient Egyptians understood that both the heart and mind are weighed in the balance to determine the quality of our actions and depicted this in their frescoes. It is important in understanding Karma Yoga to realize that right action follows right thought and right feeling.
There comes a time that each of us must make decisions about how we choose to spend our years ahead and what we would wish to do. In the planning that helps us focus upon priorities we have to make choices such as whether we will live entirely selfishly or to include a degree of effort towards contributing to the community. We are all aware of the many avenues where help is needed by those less fortunate and it is this awareness that helps to motivate us to act. It can become very uncomfortable if we choose to do nothing.
Westerners are active and purposeful. Studying and applying the principles both of physical and mental activity and balancing energies with quiet meditative moments help to make us candidates for leading a vital, healthy and rewarding life that satisfies our personality as well as our soul. The Karma Yogi understands and enjoys activity and work. Work is enhanced by the injection of enthusiasm. This, the Bhatia’s energy, is known and expressed by Kahil Gibran in his simple words “Work is love made visible.”
Westerners can accomplish much by their dynamic approach to life when the passive power developed through meditation inspires their enterprises to reach beyond material purposes alone to goals that satisfy the deep needs of others and to advance human progress.