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Gita Lesson - 0502: Advantages of Karma Yoga

Bhagavad Gita
Unit - 05
Lesson - 0502: Advantages of Karma Yoga
By Raja Subramaniyan

All of us are involved in some action or the other all the time. We do not have a choice in doing action. However, we can either do them as mere Karma or perform Karma Yoga. Karma Yoga is superior to Karma as described below.

1. Doing Karma is Material Pursuit and doing Karma Yoga is spiritual pursuit.

2. Karma is Result Oriented and Karma Yoga is Process Oriented.

3. Doing Karma may result either in success or failure resulting in happiness and sorrow. Doing Karma Yoga will always yield success leading to Joyful Living. There are no failures for a Karma Yogi.

4. Doing karma may result in disappointment (One may not get promotion or incur loss in the business). Due to this possibility there will be stress, tension and anxiety while doing karma. In case of Karma Yoga the efforts are never wasted. One will gain mental maturity in proportion to the work done.

5. Chance of committing mistakes is high in Karma since one is under pressure to achieve a specific set of results through action. While doing Karma Yoga one is not worried about the results and therefore the work can be done without any tension thereby reducing the chance of any mistakes.

6. Mistakes will always affect the results in case of Karma. Mistakes will help one to progress faster in case of Karma Yoga since immediate results are not a cause of concern to a Karma Yogi.

7. Evan if karma results in success, one will not be fully satisfied since results will never be enough. A person doing Karma Yoga will always be satisfied since his happiness does not depend on the results.

8. In case of Karma, external factors over which one does not have complete control will influence the work/ results. In case of Karma Yoga, one has complete control over how one responds to external events. The external events can only contribute to improve the performance and never adversely affect the performance.

9. The benefit of Karma will come in small portions and with mixed with pain. (Promotion means more money but more work/responsibility too). The benefit of Karma Yoga will lead one to everlasting happiness which is not mixed with any pain.

10. Karma is done for the sake others (boss for example) which is always uninteresting. Karma Yoga is done only for the self and therefore one can put in heart and soul in the work.

11. By the end of the day a person doing karma will be mentally tired. (One will hate to get back to work on a Monday). A Karma Yogi will be mentally fresh when he returns from work and will look forward to Monday for getting back to work.

12. Everyone who does Karma need vacation or break from the work which is not the case for a Karma Yogi.

In short Karma may meet the requirement of body (comforts/ sense pleasures) alone while Karma Yoga in addition to this will meet the requirement of mind (values/ art/ job satisfaction) and intelligence (Philosophy of life/ Quest for the ultimate truth)

Karma Yoga will give benefit (mental maturity) corresponding to the level of work performed. However, Karma may give benefit (success) only if it is done completely.

Teaching 15: Work for correcting the mind not for correcting the world.

Chapter 2: Wisdom is the solution [Verse: 40]

2.40 In this path of yoga there is no failure. There are no adverse results. Even a little advancement on this path can protect one from the suffering of the world.

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