Karma Yoga(Yoga of Works), as outlined in the Bhagavad Gita, involves doing work not for one’s ego but as an offering to the Divine. The principles of Karma Yoga can be easily applied in the tranquil atmosphere of some spiritual retreat where one is surrounded by like-minded people but it is much more difficult to practice in a professional or business environment of today’s capitalistic society. This post discusses some finer points of Karma Yoga based on the commentaries of Sri Aurobindo.
During meditation, our consciousness gains contact with the Superconscient realms and becomes filled with calmness and power. This power acquired through meditation must be retained as much as possible in order to successfully transform our consciousness. The power dissipates into the external world if we engage in fruitless conversation. Therefore, economy of speech is a sine qua non for success on the spiritual path. These are some observations on the talking habit distilled from the advice that Sri Aurobindo gave to his disciples (see Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga – III: Transformation of the Physical – IX).
Yoga is the process of shifting the center of our consciousness from the empirical self to the eternal Self. The first step required in this endeavour is to separate the eternal from the empirical, the Purusha from Prakriti, the Being from Becoming. This is achieved by following a process of detachment which is normally referred to attaining the “state of the witness” or Saksi-Bhava. This post is an excerpt from a talk by Kireet Joshi, a direct disciple of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother, in which he discusses the gradual process by which we can cultivate this state of witness-consciousness.
The world is crooked(vrjina), says the Rig Veda, because every Divine vibration becomes distorted and debased in Man. Our outer personality is cut off from the Light and as a result, our worldly ego distorts every movement of Truth into an act of Falsehood. For example, the vibration of Love becomes disfigured into possession and hatred while the vibration of Delight gets distorted into overeating of food, desire for cheap thrills and other perversions. Continue reading