by 200-hour Purple Lotus Yoga student

Exploring Other Forms of Yoga

Karma yoga is a yoga of selfless service. In Sanskrit, kri means “to do.” Karma means any physical or mental action and also the result of that action. Yoga means union. The literal meaning of karma yoga is the path of union through action.

Krishna explains that work done without selfish expectations purifies one’s mind and gradually makes an individual fit to see the value of reason.

It is believed that man is born with both positive and negative attributes which contribute to certain actions in this present life. This continues until one gets to a zero balance which is when one achieves liberation. The law of karma is seen in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.

The law of karma gives hope to hopeless because karma gives the chance for correction and improvement by changing thought and action.

Man is threefold consisting of:

Iccha :: desire or feeling

Jnana :: knowing

Kriya :: willing (to do or not to do)

Desire, thought, and action always go together.

Kinds of karma:

Sanchita :: accumulated works of the past (character of man) accumulated karmas of the past.

Prarabdha :: fructifyung works (present) responsible for the present body paying for past debts.

Kriyamana :: current works being made for the future.

Good karmas make you a god or angel in heaven. Bad karmas throw you into lower wombs. Mixed actions give human birth. Every work is good and evil. The goal is to bring maximum good an minimal evil.

The Karma yogi has non-attachment to fruits of actions. This non-attachment makes one bold and fearless. The more you give, the more you get. The karma yogi should be absolutely free from lust, greed, anger, and egoism.

A karma yogi should have a large heart. He should be able to get along with all adjusting to the habits of all. One must not be irritable or easily offended.

How can you practice karma?