There are three types of yoga, as we discussed earlier in our previous article. Among these three types, we also discussed why Gyan Yoga (attainment of supreme knowledge) comes first (check article). If the start is well, end will also be well, but these are sentimental words. Anything or any process has three integrated parts in it. For example, in any experiment, the first part of it is to find the experimental procedure. It is followed by observation and finally interpretation of results. Similarly, in case of Yoga (attaining salvation) too, there are three types of yoga, but the word type is an elementary word here, as all the three are three steps towards the Supreme Soul (Paramavtar).

Today, in our lesson of Advanced Yoga, we will be disclosing the second one among the types of yoga – the most vital one. We have come across Gyan Yoga, the first of the three types. That part or types makes the mind understand why there is need of Yoga and what the purpose of yoga is. A mind, while finding the nectar of Yoga, learns from Gyan Yoga that, Ultimate goal of life is to attain salvation or Nirvana. Those minds, who have made their intellect ready for that salvation, goes forward to the next step – Karma Yoga (the science of doing work). In today’s lesson of types of yoga, we will discuss on the same under the following headlines –

  • What is Karma Yoga?
  • How Karma Yoga is related to Gyan Yoga?
  • Why Karma Yoga is the toughest form of Yoga?

We hope, while we cover on these three headlines, you will understand the essence of Karma yoga in the life of a Yogi, quite effectively.

Before talking about Karma Yoga, one thing must be intimated promptly. Karma yoga is the science of work and the origin of this science is not mapped in the pages of history. While narrating types of yoga, Shri Krishna in his Bhagbad Geeta, delivered to Arjuna, promptly says, he has said that before to Surya in other manvantara. From there it can be assumed that the science of Karma is age old. Another thing is also clear from here that this science had been highly influenced by Shri Krishna himself. In fact, he pressurized this form of Yoga highly, throughout his life.

Shri Krishna charged up the Yadavas with this significant among types of yoga and he also recharged Arjuna in Kurukshetra war and kept him as an instrument in the entire war. According to this form of Yoga, a person must be dedicated to the works of his Varna, according to Varnashram concept and while doing those works, he/she must remove the attachment of his/her from the fruits of those works.

Varnashram concept was at its absolute glow in the Krita age. However, from Treta yuga, different calamities continuously came to it. Kshatriyas became too much violent and arrogant with their power and for that Parashurama had to fight them and follow a mass killing to tame them and bring them back to their responsibilities.

In Dwapara, a tendency to break the Varnashram was often found. While Drona and Ashwathama, being a Brahmana, reacted like a Kshatriya, Karna although being brought up in a Sudra culture, was desperate to proof himself as a Kshatriya with uneven warmonger attitude. Finally in Kali Yuga, Varnashram washes out entirely, dismantling all job securities, job allotments of society and enhancing social mixes.

However, Karma Yoga, the science of work and the prominent among the types of Yoga, primarily points out to follow strictly the works of own Varna. The most important feature of this science is the second point of it – removal of attachment. According to this science, attachment towards fruit of every work must be eliminated from heart. This is a real vital part of the science. And it deserves a deep understanding too.

Attachment to the fruits of work means a lot. Take a live example for a better understanding. You have given your class exam or submitted your assignment paper. Now that will be awarded a marks and you are expecting 80 percent as the marks you will be obtaining. This marks awarding is the fruit of the work, where the work itself is the exam or the submission of assignment. And finally, the expectation of yours with the work’s fruit makes you feel that you will get 80% marks. Hope you have understood the differences. Now, as the results are out and you are being awarded some marks, you found your marks was 60%. What will you feel then?

Sorrow is the result. Why? Since that is much lesser than you expected. What will happen then? You will be disheartened with the next assignments. This is one part of results, when you are attached with fruits of work. On the other hand, you might find that you achieved 90%. What will it result? It will grow over confidence in you. And what about the effect of this overconfidence? You will give less efforts in your next assignments and you might even fail for that in your exams.

Thus, while doing a work, if you are attached with the fruit of that, you will generate expectation out of it and that expectation will either be the cause of your arrogance or your sorrow. To avoid such effects of sorrow, what you do, you try to please the authority by unpleasant means, official provide bribes to direct the fruits in their desired directions and all the unwise means are discovered and implemented by human. The second and the most advanced among the types of Yoga, Karma Yoga says to remove attachment towards fruits of work and work with full dedication.

The essence of Karma Yoga is faintly understood by now. However, unless the Karma yoga is related to other types of Yoga, the need of this yoga could not be understood. And yoga itself says, not to do anything, without a proper understanding. So, relating Karma Yoga to Gyan Yoga is essential.

Gyan Yoga has the morale that God, or Soul or Paramatma is the only ever-existent one and all except him/her are volatile. They are now present and at the next moment ceases to exist. More physical a being is, more volatile that would be and more subtle that is, less volatile that would be. The ultimate intention of practicing yoga is to attain salvation or to be united with god or the Super-Soul (Paramatma).

Hence, yours and every Yogi’s aim must be to remove their mind from all volatile and fix that in the ever-existent one – the Paramatma. To do that, the only way which is suggested by the types of yoga is to keep every other objectives out of mind. More or less all objectives, a mind sets as its goal, are somewhat physical or futile. Hence if the non-futile is dreamt to be reached, the futile are to be kept aside from thought. And the best way to make that happen is to drive away all material attachments.

From the definition of Karma Yoga, we already know that attachment comes from expectations and expectation have their cause in the thought about fruit of works. So, if the material attachments are to be kept aside, the only way that remains is Karma yoga, where one has to do work only for the sake of duty. As the works are done, that naturally generates fruits. Accept those fruits, without thinking how they are. Those will generate experience and those experiences will remain embedded in the subtle body, which is not changed, even when the coat or the body changes.

 Once that experience fills the mind, then only manthan or curding starts and that curding puts you face to face with truth or the Paramatma. Hence, Karma Yoga when practiced alongside with Gyan Yoga, Knowledge of truth actually gets a chance to be exhibited to the mind. Thus is the relation of Gyan Yoga and Karma Yoga, among the types of Yoga. Karma Yoga enhances Gyan Yoga and vice-versa. Hence a proper Yogi, dedicated to get salvation, practices Karma Yoga in all his activities and relates the fruits of work with Gyan Yoga. This ultimately reveals to his mind the real truth of creation and once that is created, dedication to the truth naturally comes out.

Now coming to the last part, why Karma Yoga is toughest among types of Yoga? In fact, answer to this question cannot be completely delivered in this lesson, since the actual answer of this question is another form of Yoga, which is the most powerful one among types of yoga.  What can be said here is that it is really tough to either putting away all attachments of mind from fruits of work or to put all expectations related to futile or material world away from mind. For the reason that mind is residing within bodies for crores of years, it already started to believe that the material world is the ultimate world. So it is really tough to make it understand that the entire material world is a dream of Paramatma and is a futile creation, whose destiny is destruction and cessation of existence.

Desires of a mind are mostly based on those futile objects only and hence putting those away from mind, although they can be sensed by Gyan Yoga, is really tough. The real fact is that the mind will have to assume that what the senses are finding are some set of assumptions and manipulations only. So, a set of artificial thought has to be raised before mind to move it out from attachments. However, there is one and only one way to make this heavy task simple and that itself is one among the types of yoga. But we will not discuss that in this lesson. In fact, the periphery of that most powerful among all types of Yoga is such that it itself will take 100s of lessons to narrate its best features. So, from the next lesson, we will start talking on that.

Narrating the best Types of Yoga - What is Karma Yoga?

Before talking about Karma Yoga, one thing must be intimated promptly. Karma yoga is the science of work and the origin of this science is not mapped in the pages of history. While narrating types of yoga, Shri Krishna in his Bhagbad Geeta, delivered to Arjuna, promptly says, he has said that before to Surya in other manvantara. From there it can be assumed that the science of Karma is age old. Another thing is also clear from here that this science had been highly influenced by Shri Krishna himself. In fact, he pressurized this form of Yoga highly, throughout his life.

Shri Krishna charged up the Yadavas with this significant among types of yoga and he also recharged Arjuna in Kurukshetra war and kept him as an instrument in the entire war. According to this form of Yoga, a person must be dedicated to the works of his Varna, according to Varnashram concept and while doing those works, he/she must remove the attachment of his/her from the fruits of those works.

Varnashram concept was at its absolute glow in the Krita age. However, from Treta yuga, different calamities continuously came to it. Kshatriyas became too much violent and arrogant with their power and for that Parashurama had to fight them and follow a mass killing to tame them and bring them back to their responsibilities.

In Dwapara, a tendency to break the Varnashram was often found. While Drona and Ashwathama, being a Brahmana, reacted like a Kshatriya, Karna although being brought up in a Sudra culture, was desperate to proof himself as a Kshatriya with uneven warmonger attitude. Finally in Kali Yuga, Varnashram washes out entirely, dismantling all job securities, job allotments of society and enhancing social mixes.

However, Karma Yoga, the science of work and the prominent among the types of Yoga, primarily points out to follow strictly the works of own Varna. The most important feature of this science is the second point of it – removal of attachment. According to this science, attachment towards fruit of every work must be eliminated from heart. This is a real vital part of the science. And it deserves a deep understanding too.

Attachment to the fruits of work means a lot. Take a live example for a better understanding. You have given your class exam or submitted your assignment paper. Now that will be awarded a marks and you are expecting 80 percent as the marks you will be obtaining. This marks awarding is the fruit of the work, where the work itself is the exam or the submission of assignment. And finally, the expectation of yours with the work’s fruit makes you feel that you will get 80% marks. Hope you have understood the differences. Now, as the results are out and you are being awarded some marks, you found your marks was 60%. What will you feel then?

Sorrow is the result. Why? Since that is much lesser than you expected. What will happen then? You will be disheartened with the next assignments. This is one part of results, when you are attached with fruits of work. On the other hand, you might find that you achieved 90%. What will it result? It will grow over confidence in you. And what about the effect of this overconfidence? You will give less efforts in your next assignments and you might even fail for that in your exams.

Thus, while doing a work, if you are attached with the fruit of that, you will generate expectation out of it and that expectation will either be the cause of your arrogance or your sorrow. To avoid such effects of sorrow, what you do, you try to please the authority by unpleasant means, official provide bribes to direct the fruits in their desired directions and all the unwise means are discovered and implemented by human. The second and the most advanced among the types of Yoga, Karma Yoga says to remove attachment towards fruits of work and work with full dedication.

How Karma Yoga is related to Gyan Yoga - Relation between types of Yoga

The essence of Karma Yoga is faintly understood by now. However, unless the Karma yoga is related to other types of Yoga, the need of this yoga could not be understood. And yoga itself says, not to do anything, without a proper understanding. So, relating Karma Yoga to Gyan Yoga is essential.

Gyan Yoga has the morale that God, or Soul or Paramatma is the only ever-existent one and all except him/her are volatile. They are now present and at the next moment ceases to exist. More physical a being is, more volatile that would be and more subtle that is, less volatile that would be. The ultimate intention of practicing yoga is to attain salvation or to be united with god or the Super-Soul (Paramatma).

Hence, yours and every Yogi’s aim must be to remove their mind from all volatile and fix that in the ever-existent one – the Paramatma. To do that, the only way which is suggested by the types of yoga is to keep every other objectives out of mind. More or less all objectives, a mind sets as its goal, are somewhat physical or futile. Hence if the non-futile is dreamt to be reached, the futile are to be kept aside from thought. And the best way to make that happen is to drive away all material attachments.

From the definition of Karma Yoga, we already know that attachment comes from expectations and expectation have their cause in the thought about fruit of works. So, if the material attachments are to be kept aside, the only way that remains is Karma yoga, where one has to do work only for the sake of duty. As the works are done, that naturally generates fruits. Accept those fruits, without thinking how they are. Those will generate experience and those experiences will remain embedded in the subtle body, which is not changed, even when the coat or the body changes.

 Once that experience fills the mind, then only manthan or curding starts and that curding puts you face to face with truth or the Paramatma. Hence, Karma Yoga when practiced alongside with Gyan Yoga, Knowledge of truth actually gets a chance to be exhibited to the mind. Thus is the relation of Gyan Yoga and Karma Yoga, among the types of Yoga. Karma Yoga enhances Gyan Yoga and vice-versa. Hence a proper Yogi, dedicated to get salvation, practices Karma Yoga in all his activities and relates the fruits of work with Gyan Yoga. This ultimately reveals to his mind the real truth of creation and once that is created, dedication to the truth naturally comes out.

Why Karma Yoga is toughest among all types of Yoga?

Now coming to the last part, why Karma Yoga is toughest among types of Yoga? In fact, answer to this question cannot be completely delivered in this lesson, since the actual answer of this question is another form of Yoga, which is the most powerful one among types of yoga.  What can be said here is that it is really tough to either putting away all attachments of mind from fruits of work or to put all expectations related to futile or material world away from mind. For the reason that mind is residing within bodies for crores of years, it already started to believe that the material world is the ultimate world. So it is really tough to make it understand that the entire material world is a dream of Paramatma and is a futile creation, whose destiny is destruction and cessation of existence.

Desires of a mind are mostly based on those futile objects only and hence putting those away from mind, although they can be sensed by Gyan Yoga, is really tough. The real fact is that the mind will have to assume that what the senses are finding are some set of assumptions and manipulations only. So, a set of artificial thought has to be raised before mind to move it out from attachments. However, there is one and only one way to make this heavy task simple and that itself is one among the types of yoga. But we will not discuss that in this lesson. In fact, the periphery of that most powerful among all types of Yoga is such that it itself will take 100s of lessons to narrate its best features. So, from the next lesson, we will start talking on that.

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