THE BHAGAVAD GITA: KARMA YOGA #1
Written by Estella Vall
The Bhagavad Gita is one of the world-scriptures today. It guides the lives of people all around the world. Mahatma Gandhi regarded it as the “Mother”, to whom the humanity turned when in distress.
The Bhagavad Gita, often referred to as simply the Gita, is a 700-verse sacred Sanskrit scripture of Hinduism part of the Mahabharata. The Gita is a chapter from the epic known as Mahabharata, wherein a dialogue takes place between the prince Arjuna and his friend and chariot driver, Krishna. Their conversation is prompted by Arjuna as he’s overwhelmed by sorrow and misgivings regarding the oncoming battle in which he has friends and relatives on both sides. In reply, Krishna clarifies upon a number of philosophical yoga systems and practices (including karma yoga) through which Arjuna should continue with the fight on righteous principles. So, to sum up, the Bhagavad Gita gives a summary of the karma yoga process.
Karma yoga, also known as the “discipline of action” is a form of yoga based on the teachings of this scripture. Of the three paths to realization, karma yoga is the process of achieving perfection in action. Karma yoga is said to be the most effective way to progress in spiritual life. Found in the Bhagavad Gita, karma yoga is a part of nature. It’s taught by teachers of Zen who promote tranquillity and is often understood as a yoga of altruistic service. It’s described as a way of acting, thinking and willing by which one orients oneself towards realization by acting in accordance with one’s duty without consideration of personal self-centred desires. One acts without being attached to the results of one’s actions.