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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

A question on karma yoga

"You say it does not depend on what one does but on with which attitude one works. On the other side it is said in Gita that everybody is just following his nature and that it is stupid to try to go against ones nature. That implies to me that everybody also has to find a work that suits to ones nature andtendencies. Otherwise the work itself gives so much strain and disturbance that it is very very difficult to have a positive attitude during and towards work. My practical experience is also that i cannot neglect the aspect of WHAT i´m doing. To say :WHAT i´m doing does not matter at all and just take any work which I can get and try to have a positive attitude and be detached would not be a wise decision. Isn´t it? For me both aspects are important. The work i´m doing has to fit to my temper, and interrest. And with which attitude i´m doing that work is important to transform work into yoga. What do you think about the aspekt of WHAT kind of work one is doing? And how is it connectet with the attitude towards work?"

I totally agree with you markus that one has to find the work he does according to his nature as Krishna in Gita suggests. Otherwise one will land in all kinds of problems. Even if you may be a failure in your work if the work is according to swadharma according to ones own nature it is all right!That is the reason one has to choose the occupation which suits his or her nature. If ones nature is sattva it is good for him to go for sattvic activity and same way with rajas and tamas. He will be comfortable doing the work of his nature in general.But unfortunately life is not the same all the time. We have to face situations where in we may have to go ahead and do the activity which is not necessarily our nature. Bu these situations are not there all the time. They are emergencies or unforeseen situations! If we can anticipate such a situation we can always make necessary arrangement. In such cases we have higher nature of ours which is the freedom called we can switch between the natures smoothly without getting into feeling totally unpleasant until the situation is crossed over! This freedom is also our nature and is our higher nature which we can take shelter temporarily. But we should realize if this is going to be a routine affair then we will have to make necessary arrangement. When I said it does not matter what activity we do I mean people have an impression that if they do a certain type of activity it is superior and other as inferior. Like in an institution one who gives intellectual talks he is superior and one who does the sweeping or laundry it is inferior work! According to karma yoga there is no difference. As much as the person giving talks can get peace of mind the sweeper can get equal or some times more peace of mind.

Karma yoga

February 24, 2005


Ishavasya Upanishad is one of the important ten Upanishads. . It is the first one that really approves Karma Yoga. And the Bhagavad-Gita elaborately talks about Karma Yoga. “Karma” means “work”; and “yoga” means “peace of mind”. So karma yoga is the methodology by which the work we do can take us to peace of mind. But karma is also used for a different meaning. People also refer to karma basically meaning the past activity we have done and its effect; to say that something is karmic; like why were you born in Turkey and not in America? It is my karmic aspect. Why do I have to go through the suffering? It is karmic. But when we have a great pleasure and happiness, then it is not karmic. Then we easily say, “I’ve struggled hard! I struggled and earned and put all the effort in that work”. Whereas when a suffering occurs, when something bad occurs, then we say it is karmic. If you hit somebody, that is your effort. Somebody hits you it is karmic. That is why “karma” is used very conveniently, so we need to understand what karma basically is.
The second aspect is how karma can give us peace of mind? All agitations, disturbances and the stress all appear because of karma. Activity we feel brings about disturbance. This is the reason when somebody says ‘peace of mind’ people equate it to giving up work. When we simply say that we have to calm down the mind, listeners immediately react saying “if I calm down my mind, how I can work? And how can the work run if we keep quiet?” But that means that karma is the action that is responsible for our problems. And there is no way that I can come out of this activity, so there is no possibility for having peace of mind while I am engaged in work. Do you understand this basically? This is the first secret that Karma Yoga addresses us. It is not the action that is the problem; the problem is something else. Let me give a simple example in the form of a story to illustrate this point.
The idea of yoga is doing some thing extra ordinary. It should be like some thing challenging. How can simply doing an activity give us the benefits of yoga? Just as doing some humanly impossible rigors of discipline, and torturous practices on he body and mind etc are the ones which gives us the benefits of yoga, no pain no gain situation, how can ordinary activity give us the same benefits?
Just to show that it is not some thing very non-human you are expected to do a classical story is there.
Yoga can be in normal work! A saint by name Kaushik was sitting in the forest under a tree meditating deeply. A bird on the braches above was making noise which is natural for the bird. The sage Kaushik got disturbed from his meditation and with anger he looked at the bird with scorching eyes. The very angry looks burnt the bird and it fell dead on the ground.
Kaushik though felt sorry for the bird, on the other hand he was surprised at the power to burn the bird he acquired through the meditation and was proud too!
As his meditation got disturbed he found that he was hungry. He walked to a nearby house to ask for food and stood in front of the house and asked for food. It is the tradition those days that it is the responsibility of the society to take care of the needs of a student and a spiritual seeker engaged in meditation. But they are supposed to ask in humility and not in arrogance. When he stood in front of a house and asked for food the house wife came with all respect and wanted to take care of the saint at the door steps. But she found at the same time her husband walks in and she invariable has to take care of his immediate needs as a devout wife. She therefore apologized to the saint saying, “Sir, I would like to take care of you. Please give me some time wait for about ten minutes. Let me take care of him and come back to attend to you”. With he words Kaushik felt irritated, “how can she neglect me in front of her ordinary husband when a great yogi like him who accomplished a great power is standing there. But he controlled himself for the time being and waited. On top of all this she took little more time than he expected. When she came out she sincerely apologized saying, “I am sorry I made you to wait”. But his anger did not subside. She apologized repeatedly. But the arrogance will not allow one to act with compassion.
When she found he did not change in spite of her repeated requests and also saying that it was no intentional and she could not help the situation, she said, “oh sir, come on give up the angry looks,” and she further added, “I am not the bird to fall pray to your anger like the bird in the forest”.
He was shocked to hear from her about the bird being burnt because he never expected that any one would know about an incident that happened between him and the bird in the forest where no other person was there. How could he believe she knows about it? How could she know if she does not have any yogic powers? He felt her power must be greater than the power he has to burn a bird just by the heat rays from his angry looks. The moment he realized that she is extra ordinary at once he fell at her feet and prayed her to pardon his ignorance and requested her to tell what kind of yogic practices she does so that she acquired such great powers. She simply smiled and said, “I don’t do any spiritual practices and all that I do is to do my household activity diligently and meticulously”. But he could not believe and thought she is hiding about his practices. She in turn replied, “If you want any more information please go to my guru, his name is Dharma vyaadha and he is in the next town, and find out from him”.
Kaushik then proceeded to the town in search of the guru she has referred to him. Expecting to see a great spiritual teacher may be having an ashram or a place like that, he looked around in the center of the town. To his surprise he saw no ashram or no sign board of a spiritual master around there but to his surprise he found a butcher shop with the sign board saying ‘Dharmavyaadha meat shop’. He thought it can not be because he is expecting to see a pious man and not a meat selling person.
As he was hesitating standing there the person in the shop called him, ‘hi gentle man, aren’t you Kaushik and aren’t you the person the lay next village suggested you to meet me. I am the Dharmavyaadha you are looking for.’ Kaushik was totally dumb founded as how could he know what happened between him and the lady next town. But he could not do any thing. He remained as a mute spectator as he found to his surprise the guru is cutting meat and selling meat collecting money and fighting with them for the money! After he finished the work in the shop he counted all the money and took Kaushik wit him to his home. There he took care of his parents joyfully and at the end he asked him, ‘yes gentle man, what I can do for you?’ having seen all the work he is doing yet having such great wisdom, he is now totally surprised and asked him ‘sir, what is the special sadhana or spiritual practice you do so that you are such a great master. Dharmavyaadha replied humbly, ‘all that I do is to do all the duties that I am supposed to do diligently. That is my meditation’.
Right attitude of work can make it worshipThe moral of the story is that when we are doing the normal day to day work with a special attitude, then the work itself is no inferior to the highest spiritual sadhana. The question now is about the attitude, which can transform our activities into sadhana or spiritual practices!
Let me give you another anecdote how the attitude in the work can change the complexion of it.
There is temple that is coming up in a village. And there are several people working in this temple cutting and carving the stones and make some nice, wonderful sculptures. A press reporter goes to these persons and wants to interview. This lady reporter goes and finds a person who is cutting the stones. She asks him, “What are you doing?”
He replies with lot of anger, “Don’t you see that I am cutting the stone? And it’s a hard stone. Look at my hands! They became red. Beating the stone is like hell. And I would like to find some hole to slip away and rest, but the manager is always looking at me. He knows that I am a person who runs away from work. The whole work is like hell. And on top of it, you come and ask me if the work is really a problem. Cutting stone is really a horrible job. I feel I am cursed to do this. How I wish I could come out of this whole wretched work!” the press person asks the question, “ I see you are cutting the stone, but let me know what is coming up here!” he replies for that saying I don’t know why they are making this road and I am not even interested to know!
So she goes to the second person and asks him, “What are you doing?” He says, “I’m cutting the stone here. It’s my job. I work for a definite eight hours for ten dollars; I have my wife and children. It’s a burden for me, but I have to take care of them. This is just a duty I am doing.” She asks him, “Do you know what is coming up here?” He says, “Yeah, they say that there is a temple coming. We do all the work for the temple. Whether it is a temple or jail, whatever it is, how it matters, I just do my duty for eight hours and then I go away from here. I have nothing to do with them.”
Then she goes to the third person. He is also cutting the stones. Then she asks him, “What are you doing?” He answers, “I’m building a temple. In this village, there was no temple for years. Every time there was a temple festival, all these people had to go to the next village. My grandfather tried it for a lifetime to get a temple here. It remained as a dream. My father tried so much, but in his lifetime, it did not happen. It could not have happened in my lifetime as well. By the power and the grace of God, in my lifetime, this temple is coming up. You know, every time I hit the stone I hear such a wonderful music. And look at the way that everything is like a festival ever since that this temple started. This temple brought the whole village together. The temple made this sleepy village into festive mood.” She asks, “How long do you work on this temple?” He says, “Why do you ask how long? As soon as I get up in the morning, I come to this temple, and I start cutting the stones. I eat, drink, and do everything here. Even when I go home in the night, in my sleep, and even in my dream I’m cutting the stones, I dream of this temple. And that’s really enjoyable.”
“When will you finish this temple work?” He replies, “Why are you asking when we’ll finish? I’m sad that this temple work is finishing and I’ll not have anything to do once this temple is completed. I wish I could continue doing this temple work for a long time, and bring in many more facilities around this temple. It’s a blessing.”
When you look at the work, all three are doing the same work, but for the first person it is hell, and for the second person, it is a duty. However, for the third person, it is a blessing. If the work has the qualities inherently the goodness and badness, then these three should not have been feeling the same. But that is not the reality. The work itself does not carry these qualities. Then what is that which makes so much of difference? It is not the work which is disturbing our mind but it is some thing subtle.
Work is external. Attitude is internal. Work belongs to the world. Attitude belongs to you. You cannot change work much because it is in the hands of the world out side! When it happens to change, fine, it happens. But attitude behind the work is in your hands. A certain attitude makes your work miserable and certain other attitude makes it pleasant. Change the attitude, and you will become spiritual. If you do not have the right attitude, you are non-spiritual.
What you do vs how you do It is not the work that determines whether you are spiritual or not. This point needs to be understood very deeply. In fact, we have such stories in Indian philosophy. A woman can even work as a prostitute, but she can be an extraordinary saint. It is not because of the kind of work she is doing, but the kind of attitude she has. Attitude is in your hands and that is a thing you can change. Nobody can force an attitude on you. People can only influence your attitude, but it is you who decides what attitude you should have. And the right kind of attitude can help you turn it into yoga.
When you look at it this way, yoga is not doing a few postures. I have seen some people who have a wonderful body, which can bend in so many ways, but they cannot bend their attitude. They can hold their breath until eternity, but they cannot hold their greed, their arrogance etc even to a small degree!
Now what is yoga and what is not yoga? What appears like yoga may not be yoga. There are many yoga teachers that we come across who do not have the right kind of an attitude, they can bend very well and twist very perfectly yet they are not in true sense yogis because they don’t have right attitude. So karma yoga is not the work outside. It is essentially the attitude behind the work that we do. An attitude that takes toward peace of mind is a healthy attitude. An attitude, which brings about agitations of the mind, is not a yogic attitude. It is a worldly attitude. We have a wonderful ashram Prashanti. You have nice activities going on there. But you may have a few people there who have a wrong attitude. This can happen and does happen in many places. Such a person comes to the doorstep of something which can really help him. Yet he can not take the benefit of it. It is as if you take a spoonful of food and bring it close to your mouth, but you put not in the mouth but in the nose. You suffer. It is not the work that causes suffering but you and you attitude. If a right attitude is there, the work can give you peace of mind. If a right attitude is not there, then the work can cause tension to you. Now, let me give you a few tips as to how we can acquire different attitudes. Once you go to the depths, you have hundreds of things that are there in understanding the karma yoga, but because of the short time maybe we can discuss just a few things.
If you consider the activity, the first step is that there may be such activities that can harm others, and disturbs others. Then those persons may in revenge disturb me. If I hurt somebody, that person will hurt me back. If I tell lies and misguide somebody, that person might misguide and hurt me. Thereby I suffer, and I say, “Look, I’m suffering!” Then one asks, “Why are you suffering?” “I misguided that man and now he disturbs me.” A simple solution for that thing is, ‘do not cause evil to others! If you do not do evil to others, they will not disturb you. This does not even require spiritual knowledge. It is at a very simple moral level knowledge. At a very simple moral level, it is said, “Do good for others and don’t do bad. Be right; don’t be wrong. Help, don’t hurt”. This does not require the teachings. But there is one subtle point we need to understand here. We should not hurt, not because that person should not be hurt. The hurt that you give, you will get it back. That is one of the physical laws. The physical law says, action and reaction, cause and effect are equal and opposite. The cause and the effect are related. That is what the physical law says. Like in a simple example we see, if I eat bad food, my stomach gets upset. This is a very simple law; it is called a physical law. We understand it in a simple way. This physical law which says, what you do has cause and effect relationship. This is called as ADHI-BHUTA.
WHAT YOU SOW YOU REAP Whatever that I do, I get the benefit, the result of it. I do bad, so I get a bad result. You can see it right away. If I jump from the eighth floor of the building, I will die or I will break my limbs. I cannot say that I do not know why God is unkind to me. I cannot say my Karma is bad. You cannot blame anybody. You have been wrong. You have got wrong in return. This is a physical law. The physical law, the cause, and the effect are related.
Logically it is OK. What you sow, you will reap. This is one of the simple things in Karma Yoga. Never do anything bad to anybody. Do not even think bad of anyone. Even that can cause a ricochet effect. Try to do good. But then the next question comes: “I always try to do good, but I get bad.” It is like a person who drives rash on the road, or a person who drives in the wrong direction and has an accident. He has done wrong so he got the result. So simply, do not drive in the wrong way. Do not drive in a rash way, and you will not have an accident. But I am driving in the right direction, and I am not driving rash, yet suddenly someone comes from the opposite direction and in the wrong way and hits me. He is hurt because he is wrong, but why should I suffer a hurt? What mistake have I done? Do you see what it means? I have been good but I receive bad. This is a situation we come across. If it is the good people who suffer then they ask the question, “Why do we suffer in spite of us being good?”
Now consider this argument. An accident is a physical law. The moment we say it is a physical law; it has a cause and an effect. You are hurt physically, which basically means that there is a cause and effect connection. Accordingly the physical law can have two different dimensions. One dimension is that physically both the vehicles collided and so I am hurt. This does not consider whether you are in right direction or wrong. Physically both vehicles collided and so the accident took place. The second dimension is the subtle one. It is why I should suffer when I have done every thing right. This can be answered as chance which means there is no connection to whether you are right or wrong. It is just a chance. But this explanation can not help us to introspect and also this take apposition that what ever happens is a chance and we have no freedom or a say in such matters. There is another way of looking at. It also has a cause and effect connection because this is also a physical happening and it has to have the cause and result. In other words you created cause some time back and the effect you are receiving now! It can be possible that the cause and the effect may be immediate. But many times it can also be spaced at a long gap, or the cause and the effect may be very far away. The cause and the effect may be distanced so far apart that your perception may not reach. The distance may be both in terms of space and time!
Our memory and our perception have a certain limit and limitations. We often do not know what we did thirty, forty years ago. In fact, when you look at your own photographs of four years age, you cannot recognize yourself. You start wondering, “Is this me?” and that basically means that our memory does not go that far. ‘Memory does not go far’ does not mean that the events that took place do not exist. The cause and the effect may be beyond your memory, but they are related. If you plant a mango seed, it takes twelve years to get the fruit. You might think that the seed you planted is of a wonderful, beautiful, tasty mango, but at the seed level, you cannot tell the difference. However, twelve years later when the fruit comes, it is a tasteless horrible mango. Then you start saying, “I planted a wonderful mango seed and I got a bad fruit.” How can that be? What you have planted you have got. This law cannot be violated. Just because your memory does not reach that far, it does not mean that the cause is not there. Because it is a physical law it can not have an exception.
There is a tribe in Africa I heard. Because of some local genetic conditions, this tribe has a memory not longer than six months. They can only think of things that are six months old, and they do not know what happened beyond that. That is as to how the people of this tribe make a connection between sex and childbirth. That connection is a minimum nine months, but since their memory does not go that far, they think that sex is a different part of life and that the child is god-given. It is not because there is a cause and effect relation, but because the cause and the effect are placed beyond the memory. According to Indian philosophy, the effort can bear results not only in this life; it can be after this life. You plant the seeds now, but you reap the fruits later. The “later” may be this life or maybe the next. This is what is called as “karma”. So when we say “karma”, it is not that somebody else is responsible; you are responsible. Then the student asks what the advantage of this hypothesis is. How can we utilize this knowledge? As a result of this knowledge when something bad happens, we do not blame anybody else. We know that it is our own actions, which have given the fruits. Yet I can decide through my actions and attitude what fruits I will have in the future, and not only in the future but in the life after this one. So from now on whatever activity I do, I never plan anything wrong to anybody, so that I shape my future which can be free from agony.
THE STORY OF BUDDHAOne day Buddha went to a house and begged for some food. This is normal for a sanyasin, who has taken to the spiritual life in India. His requirements are very small: some food and few clothes. They do not have any attachments to anything. Buddha was a big king and he became a sanyasin. And then his requirement is just a morsel of food. Sanyasins do not have houses where food is cooked because it becomes an attachment. So the culture goes that these people go to a house and ask the house lady for food. So Buddha went to a house and asked for food. The lady, respecting the culture, wanted to offer food to him. She opened the door but then she saw a well-built, robust forty-year old man in good health. Obviously she did not recognize him so she at once got annoyed and started shouting at Buddha, “why are you begging food? Can you not earn? Why don’t you work at some place and earn your food? Why should you beg for it? You are a lazy fellow!” After she shouted all that at him, she slammed the door on his face. Buddha’s disciple Ananda heard all this and got angry. He told Buddha, “Why did you keep quiet? Look, you are the king of this place. If she is eating food, it is because of the king’s grace. Why did you allow her to shout at you?” Buddha smiled. “Maybe in some previous life I shouted at her. I’m glad that this debt is cleared now. I don’t want to shout at her now, so that I don’t create a fresh balance. She shouted at me and went back, and now I’m peaceful.”
Adhi Bhuta,
Adhi Daiva This basically shows how one’s behavior changes. So karma philosophy is not blaming somebody but seeing how one’s future has been planned. It gives a person a big relief. This is called adhidaiva. So the first one is the adhibhuta, we are responsible for what happens to us because we see immediately or in the immediate future which is in our memory range. The second is adhidaiva, which is beyond our memory, may be this life or may be in the previous but we are responsible. There is a third force called adhyatma. Bhagavad-Gita says that it is our own nature. Adhibhuta is not spiritual; adhidaiva is also not spiritual, because they are cause and effect related, so it is bound, whereas adhyatma is a spiritual force, and that spiritual force is our nature. What is that?
Even good activity can give miseryEvery activity has these three forces as components. The first component is ‘you do right, and then you get the right back’. Second thing is, ‘you get the benefit, and you get the result from the past, and take it as it comes. Consciously eliminate any activity which can result into bad karma to you’. And the third and the most important aspect is adhyatma, which means we have that freedom psychological that whatever happens to us, we are free to worry or not, to get disturbed by that or not’, and that freedom is the spiritual force within us. We all have that. It is our nature – called swabhava. A situation may be bad, but how to take that situation is in my hands. To get disturbed by the situation or not to get disturbed by it and to use it in the right way is a wonderful force of freedom. It is in our hands. The lady shouts, but the smile at her is the freedom that Buddha exercises. That is the spiritual knowledge within us. Once you have that in your hand, show me what can disturb you? There is nothing in this world that can disturb you. If somebody hurts you, equipped with this knowledge you can smile at him. If somebody slaps you on the cheek; you can turn the other cheek. We all have that freedom. If you apply this freedom even one per cent, you have a one per cent saint in you. You have become a Buddha; you have become a Christ for that moment, and this is our freedom. This is Karma Yoga. If we do good and don’t do anything bad even then we may have the problem of agony. It is because we do good and we now expect the results. If the good does not pay the results expected, it becomes our agony. This is the next subject noticed by the student. Let me tell another real life incident. You know Madras in India. There was a slum area. In these slums most often people do not keep their houses clean. A group of youngsters, who were really charged for doing something good, wanted to do good in that area. They went there and saw that the streets and the people were dirty. There was a lot of work to do. So they wanted to do selfless work. They cleaned the streets and the houses, and showed the people how to clean the dirt why to keep clean and live a life of hygiene. They collected all the garbage, threw it out, and gave baths to the kids. In the end, the kids were looking neat; the streets were neat. The time from morning to evening was spent usefully and they were happy. “See we did good work,” they said. They had peace of mind.
The same group of youngsters came again to the same place the next week, and they found the place is as it was before and back in dirt. Yet they consoled themselves, saying “People will not learn it in one day. Maybe if we do this, another two-three weeks, people will slowly learn.” So the following Wednesday, they did the whole thing once again. They cleaned the whole place, disposed of the garbage, gave baths to the kids. Everyone was wonderful and happy. The next week they went there one more time and found the place no different. But they were still not tired. The same enthusiasm was there. They cleaned the whole place, did everything nice. People were happy; the students were happy. Then they went back. Then for the following Wednesday there were some important problems in some other part of the city. Since the students had to go there they could not come to the first place for one or two weeks,. They did all that - Happy. Then once again, the following Wednesday after that, they went back to the same slum area. As soon as the local people in that slum area saw the youngsters, they asked them, with anger,” What happened to you last week? Why did you not come to clean?”
Now you are frustrated. You say to yourself, “I taught them something good. I tried to do good, but the good did not pay the result. The results are not coming forth. The people do not realize” This frustrates us. The work has not frustrated, but not getting the result of the work frustrated us. What we then normally do is blame the work and say that we should not do this work since the work causes us frustration. Look at this subtly. Work itself did not frustrate you, because the first week we enjoyed it; the second week we enjoyed it, and now it has become frustration! If work caused the frustration, had it not have always frustrated you? However, it gave happiness before and how can it give frustration now! If the work is causing frustration then how could it give satisfaction before and why not now?
Work itself does not cause frustration, but there is something else that causes frustration; that is the expectation of the results. The expectation of the results gives us frustration. We do the work with a good attitude, but the expectation of the results is the bad attitude. That is why Krishna gives us a golden rule: Give up the fruit of the work. ‘Ma phaleshu kadaacana’. Give up the desire for the results. Immediately we have a rebel within us for that very thought. The question rises if we do not expect any results, then why do we do or why do we have to do the work? Here, we need to understand the nature of work from a deeper perspective.
When you closely watch we see that we have good intention for doing good. If it is not there then you are not even fit for spiritual knowledge. Spirituality does not start if you have not arisen from bad to good! And a simple moral education is sufficient to make one to come towards doing good to others from doing bad. Therefore in the first place a spiritual person tends to do good to others. He plans and starts working towards that. From the time he starts doing he enjoys the activity. Doing bad has vengeance or venom behind it and that it is crippling and causing pain. He has come out of all that negativity the moment he comes out of doing bad. You were happy as you are doing the good work. That means your inner self was happy by doing good. But as we progress we start expecting results. The expectation of results is outside. Joy of doing the work is internal and very satisfying. But the moment your focus is outside you are disturbed. As long as your focus is inside, you are happy. The moment you turn your focus outside, you are unhappy. Therefore, expecting results brings you out of your personality. You start becoming anxious and frustration for seeing the results and disappointments if they do not give expected results. Even then the objection sustains. You say, “I did good work and the good work should give a good result”. You start wondering why there has been failure. You loose your faith in good work also. It appears good work may not have desired fruits.
GOOD ACTION HAS GOOD RESULTSPlease understand there is nothing wrong with good work and good work has the result. You may not be able to see. Yes, the work has the result. You do not have the result. The result does not belong to you. The result belongs to the work itself. The fruits belong to the root. What the seed is, so is the fruit. The fruit belongs to the seed, and not to you.
Be assured that every good work has a good fruit. However, it might not show the results today. Do you not see that good has a good flow of activity? People did good activity not because they wanted to see the good result. In fact, for doing good activity, many people meet with such horrible obstacles. A person who did good work has been given poison and another is crucified. Yet if the activity is good, it is going to bear good fruits one day. Socrates was given poison for the good message he spread. Jesus Christ was crucified for the compassion he spread. If we consider the activity and if he was interested in seeing the result, Jesus Christ was a failure, but look what happened after two thousand years? People follow Christ. Have that conviction. Any good work that you do is not a waste. It may have fruit some time, yet you may not be there to see it. You should not worry inside about seeing the fruits. Your efforts should be for the good.
Krishna gave Gita for Arjuna in the battlefield five thousand years ago. Even then Arjuna was not satisfied and not totally reformed by that. If Krishna would have cared only for Arjuna, he would have been a miserable person after giving the whole of Gita to Arjuna. He would have been depressed. “Such a wonderful message I have given. Nobody has benefited by that.” Krishna never looked at the benefit. He wanted to give a good message, and that is why this same message is vibrantly living after five thousand years.
In America, I was working with psychiatric patients. One very wealthy billionaire lawyer lady came to me for psychological support. I told her some ideas with which she was very happy. Then I told her that this idea is from a text called Gita. Her face brightened. “How wonderful this text is! How wonderful this idea is,” she exclaimed. She was really blissful, but then she became depressed and asked me, “You say that this idea is from Gita, and Gita is a Hindu text whereas I am a Christian. How can I apply this?” I said, “Krishna did not have the idea for one particular race or for one particular person. His message is for the mankind. If it is useful, take it. If it helps you take out of your problem, please use it.” She was so grateful for that thought. She realized it is not to convert one from one faith to the other but it to help mankind from his/ her misery
Our good is not dependent on a person, a race, or on an area. Our good is for the mankind. Good has no boundaries. The moment good work is attached with an agenda wanting someone to get converted then the good work lost its importance to conversion and that is no more a good work. Goodness of good work becomes secondary and our other agenda becomes primary. A good work does not have any boundaries. Only with the expectation of results, we create boundaries. When Krishna said ‘don’t think of the results’, he never meant that good results were not going to come. His idea was ‘don’t create a boundary around goodness’. The thing which has no boundary is called as the divine (Ananthata= infinite). This is Karma Yoga. Karma Yoga tells us to do the good activity and not to look at the results.
EGO OF GOOD WORK IS BADBut there is one more step Krishna wants us to recognize and it will take us one more step ahead.
Despite the fact that there is no visible result that you expected, do not become depressed. The assurance is that the result is going to be there anyway. Then the second objection when we start thinking is: “What a wonderful, good work I’m doing. I am not even expecting results, but I am doing good work.” This doing good work can become our ego. This is the evil about the good work. A person who does bad work is saved from this evil anyway. A person who does bad work is not egoistic, but a person who does good work can become egoistic. We have to be careful with that. Who are you to do good work? You can never do good work. Good work is always there in this world. You can only become a part of the good work that has been going on. I tell the truth. Truth is always there. Millions of people have been telling truth, and the truth is supporting them. The same way, you are also telling the truth. You can be egoistic of goodness if you start thinking you are doing good work. Subtly seeing you can only join the good forces that are there in this world. Even before the untruth took birth, truth was there. So truth is something which is eternal. The good work is eternal. It is like a river that flows all the time, perennial. Your good work is like taking a dip in that river. Be humble. Be humble that you are given a chance to be good. Good is going on, and you are associated with that. Thank God that you have become part of the good force that is going on. This attitude takes away the ego of goodness, which is much more dangerous.
There is another important aspect of Karma Yoga. Whether good or bad, I will do the work. I can think good. I can plan good. I can organize good. I do so many wonderful things. This has to be eliminated. Consider the simple fact that I am giving this message. I could be egoistic. But many people have already said what Krishna also said all that knowledge has come to me consciously and unconsciously and from me to you. You are fortunate that you have intelligence. You are fortunate that you are able to put these things together. How can you therefore be egoistic about it and claim the ownership of the knowledge?
Three gunasThere are several external agencies responsible in all these activities and it is you are fortunate so you are able to give. For example, if you had mental retardation, what would you have done? Or if people had not passed on this information to you, will you have created it? Therefore, do an activity but do not be the doer behind it. Do not give up doing the activity just because you are not a doer. This is the essence of Karma Yoga.

There is another aspect of Karma Yoga. Karma means activity. God has created a variety of activities. They are absolutely unique, marvelous, and different. That is how the whole universe is created. Observe nature carefully. You will understand. Look at a plant. We have never looked at a plant leisurely. If you look patiently at a plant you can see the wonderful work going on there. The roots go to the ground, and we really do not know what and how they collect from the earth and ground. They untiringly work inside, absolutely in the darkness of the earth, and do not keep what they collect for themselves; they relentlessly pass it on. There is also a stem, the plant portion. It holds the plant tight, has a hard outer cover to protect the plant from external attacks from the creatures outside, and passes on this wonderful message up the plant. Then on the top, you can see the wonderful leaves, foliage, and the flowers shining in the sky. We look at the leaves, the foliage and flowers, and see how beautiful the tree is, and how wonderful it looks; and we see that as a tree. However, leaves are there for a few months until the fall comes, when we see all are gone. It looks as if the tree is dead, but when the tree is dead, when the whole leaves are gone, all that you see is the dry branches sticking out dead like, yet it is still the roots that hold the life. The roots have all the patience. They patiently wait for the next sun to come. They patiently wait for the next spring to come. They give total assurance to the plant: do not worry. You will once again carry that beauty and give fresh leaves and flowers. Those roots do such a wonderful sacrifice. Thus, each part is doing its own job in this plant.
The plant is divided into three different aspects for the sake of our convenience; the roots, the stem and the flowers and foliage. In a plant all these things are necessary for its existence. The manifestation might have taken place separately but the intelligence of roots; stem and foliage are always available. For the sake of understanding they are given the identity as sattva, rajas and tamas. The flowers and foliage are called as sattva; the trunk is called as rajas; and, the roots under the ground are called as tamas. These three divisions namely sattva, rajas and tamas can be found in the whole creation. You can find the same description in the whole of manifested world. Just look at a human being. He has feet always on the ground, and carrying the weight of the whole body and help you climb up and down the stairs. The feet never complain that you have so much weight although they themselves are on the ground all the time. What the feet do is a selfless work. That is the tamas aspect of us.
The middle portion of the body, which holds the body together, and which distributes the food everywhere and cleans the blood all the time, is called the rajas. Then we have the head where you see, think, enjoy, plan, scheme, and imagine: a totally different kind of activity. This is called the sattva. So in our body we also have rajas, tamas, and sattva.
The leaves, the flowers, the fruits, the sky, and the fresh air, are all sattva. The stem the braches are all rajas. So also any thing hard and working all the time holding together like the way a trunk holds the tree together protects all are rajas and the roots buried all the time under the cover if the soil which does not see the light of the day and the putrefied, decomposed food which is the food of the roots darkness where the roots are always are all tamas. Darkness also means not having knowledge not seeing the brightness of life all are tamas. Tamas also means therefore darkness. Similarly there are these activities which are called the sattva, rajas, and tamas. Soft, gentle, quiet activities are sattvic. The activity of the nature of constantly supplying and distributing the material from the roots to the whole of plant and holding the plant together and protecting all are rajasic activity. There is also another activity which is tirelessly going on doing monotonous work not seeing the light of the day, hard, constantly pressurized labor kind of activity, which is tamas. Thus, the creation is made out of all these three different kinds. This is how the whole creation can be looked at it is made up of these three gunas namely sattva, rajas, and tamas. Krishna says, “Look at all these three things.” This is how basically nature and activity can be explained into three different kinds.
Unfortunately most of the spiritual texts set sattva, rajas, and tamas into a hierarchy, saying that sattva is very good and wonderful, and that we all should go to sattva, whereas rajas is bad, and tamas is horrible. This is how most of the texts have translated, but it appears to me in a different way. Each is important and each is doing its own work wonderfully. If you say sattva is good, being in the fresh air, and the flowers and foliage are good, and you take the roots and keep it in the sky trying to make it sattva, the plant will die. Similarly, if you say, “Why do my feet have to carry the body all the time? Let the feet also be in the space outside. Let me use my feet in thinking because I would like my feet to do sattvic activity. Therefore, I will stand on my head.” That’s not right. Each has to do its own job. Sattva has to happen in a sattvic way. Rajas has to work in a rajasic way. Tamas has to work in a tamasic way. Not only that, only when sattva is recognized and provided the chance to manifest its natural state of sattva it is going to be in bliss, and same way rajas is recognized as rajas and provided the opportunity to manifest rajas naturally it will be pleased, and tamas needs the same way recognition.
In the human beings also there are three categories of people. It is not that a person who is of one quality does not manifest other qualities but basically one or the other qualities of sattva, rajas and tamas will be predominant and others will be supporting that major quality. We may have all these three, but one of these qualities can be dominant in us. Some people have sattva as predominant quality. These are people engaged in thinking, planning, and scheming which are basically sattvic activities. Whereas people who are rajas by nature can protect and organize an army of people for giving protection or for running an organization or a country due to their very nature. They are also people who can distribute things and do trade just like the way the middle portion of our body does. These are people who belong to the category of kings and traders. It is their very nature to be able to do that. Sattvic people are like our head by nature. They think and organize. Rajasic people are like our trunk or stomach portion which protects and organizes the food etc. There is also a fourth category of people who are like our feet. They can do heavy work. They do the labor work and we should be able to appreciate their activity. They are like our feel which carries the weight of the body without any complaint from morning to night. We can not say that tamasic activities are inferior activities and thinking and planning are superior activities. We are here to improve the world and make them go from tamas to rajas and then ultimately to sattva. That is the way we can improve the mankind. Therefore in order to improve a person we should make one to do sattvic activity and take him out of tamas activities. By making them to do these activities they are not suitable for such sattvic activity, actually you are giving them trouble. A scientist is a sattvic person. But if a scientist says, “All right, let me start a business,” he will be a failure. Business requires a different frame of mind. It is a rajasic mind. A professor is a sattvic person. If you put him in the army, he will be a failure. He can only think in a way of a scientist. The other day I heard an incident.
During a state of emergency in a country they wanted to have many people in army and they were recruiting all eligible adults were being recruited in army. A professor was drafted into the army and during the training period the captain was giving orders. They were learning to march and the captain was ordering, “Left right, left right. Right turn. Left turn… And left turn. And another right turn’. The professor stood. He did not move with the others. The captain came to him and asked, “Why don’t you join the march?” The professor asked the captain, “You first decide which way to go. Then I will move. You are constantly changing, right turn, left turn and all that.” The professor cannot understand that. By nature, he is a different person.
Similarly, there is a fourth category of people who are laborers, and we have to have respect for them. What they do is a wonderful job. If you ask a professor to do the labor job, he will be a failure, whereas certain people are there for work like that. Understanding their nature, putting them to the kind of work that they are suited to would be a wonderfully harmonious match. The work which is harmonious for you, and the activity which harmoniously blends with your nature does not become a burden.
I was having a colleague in my office. He is a trained engineer but he is basically tamasic in nature. He was happy doing preparing the reports work which really does not require any brain but it is simply collecting the data from one report and reorganizing into another report. He was never tired doing such repetitive activity without any complaint. He does not worry why is he doing that work where that report is going to go or is there any other way of simplifying the repetitive monotonous work. Many of us were wondering how can he do it that we could not have done for such long time. It is alright for few days doing such repetitive work. Therefore these divisions namely the learned class, royal class, trader class, and the labor class are basically divided because of their innate quality of sattva, rajas, and tamas and generally speaking they come by birth in the family.
Gandhi was a businessman by birth. The business spirit or the money matter was there in his blood from hereditary. To show how subtle this nature was, let me give an example that I heard some where from his life.
Those days when freedom struggle was going on, he inspired the whole country by his talks. One day in Ahmadabad, he was giving a talk. There were thousands of people who assembled. It was in the night. First he inspired them for the national freedom struggle and then said that this required a lot of funds. He wanted to raise funds. People were really charged to participate in freedom struggle by giving donations. The organizers spread a white sheet on the stage. People came in a cue, and they were giving whatever money, jewelry they had, throwing it onto the white sheet. All the leaders were standing there. After all was collected, the leaders made a list of the things given. Gandhi was talking to somebody. They finished the counting and showed the list to him. Gandhi looked at the list, just glanced, and then asked them, “Have you taken everything?” They said, “Yes.” He asked again, “Did you not miss any small little thing?” They said, “No. Why don’t you check again?” thus he insisted. They started feeling a little annoyed. Because, you know, businessmen look into small things when the question of money is there. They do not even want to leave small things. He has become a national leader but he still has the quality of a businessman. They were a bit irritated. Realizing this, Gandhi said, “OK. Let’s go now.” Then they retired into the tent.
Suddenly in the middle of the night, Gandhi came unto the stage with a small little lantern. When he was coming, the others also followed him. When he came unto the stage, he found a small stool standing in the corner. One little earring was lying underneath it. He picked up the earring and gave it to the man. “Please take this also carefully because I respect this. Whoever has given this thing must have really urged, pleaded God, that with this, the country should get freedom. That’s why this is very precious,” he said. Then they asked Gandhi, “We have really mistaken you, Gandhiji. How could you guess it and how did you know something must have gone there?” He said, “Naturally, people were coming from this direction, and when they threw their donation items, something could roll and fall in that direction. So I thought that we had not checked under the small table. That’s why I’ve come.” Then they asked him, “How did you know that something was missing?” This is a very businessman like attitude that comes into the picture. “When I was glancing at the list, I have seen the necklace and this and that. They were all alright but when I looked at the number of earrings, I thought that anybody would give two earrings, not one earring. So I should finally have an even number, not an odd number. When I looked at the number of earrings, it was an odd number. Then I thought something must be missing.”
This is the attitude of a businessman. A businessman cannot miss this. Similarly some people by their very nature are leaders and protective. So Karma Yoga says ‘recognize one’s inner nature and give the right kind of work’. Do the work the way that it needs to be done, and then the work will not be a burden.
Nature itself is not a bad it is a combination of sattva, rajas or tamas in a harmonious proportions. Neither sattva is bad, or rajas or tamas. They are what they are. In the journey of life we come across all these things namely sattva, rajas, and tamas. We are comfortable with what suits our nature and there is nothing right or wrong about it. Even the colors can be looked from the angle of sattvic, rajasic, and tamasic. Even the colors also have an appeal according to ones nature. That is why we like also colors accordingly and nothing wrong in that. One might wonder, how can somebody like those colors. It is only that their nature makes them to appreciate those colors!
If every thing is fine, what is wrong and why suffering? Our suffering is due to our attachments. Our problem is our attachment with one or the other. If my nature is sattva I tend to do and choose things according to my nature called sattva and if my nature is rajas I do things and I like things which are rajasic in nature. This is perfect. But life does not always go on in one guna. Here and there once in a while we may have to shift from one guna to other guna according to the necessity. If I am attached to sattva, even when I have to do rajas or tamas, I still end up doing sattva way only due to my attachment. It is like an obsession in the body. A crude example can be if there is some problem in the body the sattvic way to manage is to just apply a balm, and the rajasic way is to give some harsh and painful drugs or application and tmasic way is to cut and do surgery. In case of a growth in the body where you really need a surgery if the surgeon says he is sattvic, he does everything in a sattva way only, even when he needs to cut open the body, take out the abscess, and take out the growth… it is an obsession and is not in harmony. This is wrong!


When I need to beat, I need to beat. When I can do it in a soft and gentle way, I should do that way. We should have this freedom. And this freedom is possible only if you do not have an attachment to any one of these natures.
Sattva is good at some places and bad at some places but attachment to sattva is always bad. Rajas is also good on some situations and bad in some situations where as attachment to rajas is always bad. Tamas is also good in some situations and bad in other situations but attachment to tamas is always bad. Thus, yoga is non-attachment: non-attachment to all three gunas.
Karma, akarma,
vikarmaIf you have an attachment, you do it your own way. The result may be some times success and many times may be failure. But you still continue to do it your own way because of your attachment. Though from the point of view of the result of the activity, it may be successful but from the point of view of self it is always bad and non- spiritual because such an activity promotes our attachment only. Therefore what you do is not depended on what is the result but what is the state of the subject or self. If the subject is getting more and ore bound by his nature he is getting bound, if the person is not getting caught up in his own nature then it is freedom. If our focus is on outside it is worldliness and if the attention is self then it is spirituality. Whereas if you do not have an attachment, you can do what is right. One more concept of Karma Yoga and then we can stop.

Krishna gives one more idea of karma yoga in Gita:
Different people have different explanations about the concept of karma, akarma, and vikarma about which Krishna says in Gita. It is often stated that karma is the rituals and the activities such as the performances of Yagana etc. and akarma is like the non action and the example they give is the axle which is behind the wheel. Finally vikarma is explained as the actions which are prohibited like violence, steeling and robbing, injuring some thing telling lies and series of activities of this nature which are essentially bad. I had difficulty in understanding this because Krishna need not say these things to Arjuna because Arjuna has already been good. he can not think of doing any thing of this sort. There is no reason Krishna has to tell him what is good activity and what is the bad activity and also advice him not to do bad activity and do only good activity. We don’t need spiritual knowledge to tell us to do good actions and not to do bad, to do right and not to do wrong. This is the roll of simple moral knowledge. It is not spiritual knowledge because spiritual knowledge is far beyond the moral knowledge. Arjuna has been highly moral and yet he is suffering. Therefore moral knowledge can not find a solution which he needed. Therefore in my point of view we need to look at it from a different angle at Vikarma different from moral angle so that we can get spiritual knowledge. Let me share with you this idea.
According to Krishna in Gita, he says there are three things which he states as karma akarma and vikarma. These can be translated as action, non-action and reaction. It is easy to understand action and non-action but it is difficult to relate it with reaction.
Action is fine, non-action is fine. He calls action as karma. When he says A+KARMA we can look at it as non+action. He says karma is fine, and that akarma is also fine. However he says, don’t do Vikarma. Now in this statement he brings the third concept called as Vikarma. It is unique with Gita. Vikarma is bad. Krishna says, that activity is OK, non-activity is also fine, but he also says, don’t do Vikarma.
Vikarma puzzles us. We wonder what is it and how does it exist. When there is some thing to be done, you either do it or do not do it. You only have two alternatives. Here is a simple example. I am watching a football game. My wife is busy in the kitchen. And the child cries. Maybe he needs a diaper change. He cries. I tell my wife, “Take care of the kid.” She responds, “You take care of the kid as I am busy in the kitchen cooking!” I say “I am also busy and it is the duty of the mother and not the father to take care of the child”, I bring in law point. I now have two alternatives: I either do karma or akarma. I take care of child or I do not take care of him. I choose not to take care of him because I have an idea. It is not a man who should take care of the child. So I tell my wife, “I am busy here watching the football match. You take care of the kid.” I know in my heart also that it is only an excuse and I am not busy. I don’t have to see football match, after all what is there if I don’t watch football match!
She says, “All right, I’ll take care of the kid, but you will not have lunch.” That is her triumph card. That is a problem for me now. Now what to do? I now feel no other alternative as I don’t want to miss the lunch!! Then very unwillingly I agree to take care of the kid with out one more word of argument, but deep inside, I feel angry. Why should I take care? I should not be doing this. I am a man. Men should not take care of children. Men only give birth for a child. All such arguments rise inside. Yet I still go and take care of him. I now angrily ask the child, “Yes, tell me what are you doing all this mess for”? Wife hears my harsh voice and says from in side the kitchen talk to him nicely, don’t be unkind. Now I can’t even be harsh so I stomach my anger and work! That way while I am doing an activity my inside is constantly telling me “don’t do”. This doing has a strong fight inside. This is defined as vikarma. Vikarma is essentially keeping the negativity and fighting inside while doing an activity. This fighting is roughly called as ‘reaction’. Krishna says that action is fine. Non-action is also fine, but this reaction is bad because the reaction disturbs your inner peace and harmony. Reaction is a poison in our body. Every reaction throws adrenalin in the body in an erratic way. Every reaction disturbs your body chemistry. Reaction is bad. Our action can be reaction. Even our non-action can be reaction. So reaction can manifest in the form of action as well as non-action. What we see outside is action or non-action but what is hidden behind is reaction. Action or non-action is only outer cover, but the spirit behind is reaction. Looking or caring for action or non-action is looking at the world but looking and caring for the reaction or the spirit behind is the spirituality.
Now look at our twenty-four hours of the day and seven days of the week. How much time are you spending doing action, or non-action? And how much you are spending our time and energy in reaction?
Suppose you have to get up early in the morning. No doubt you get up early morning as alarm rings and realize what the first thought that comes into your mind is: “Oh my God, I have to get up. I don’t want to get up. It is horrible. I shouldn’t go to that office.” But then you get up and go. You are on the road. You say to your self, “Horrible traffic! Everybody is on the road!” But you still travel. You reach office and there you find your boss and momentarily you say to yourself, “See, how horrible it is. Now I have to face him throughout the day”. Yet you smile and greet. Understand that in each of these actions every one of them is nothing but reaction only.
Same way your non action is in true sense not non-action. You are resting. But you are not peacefully resting. Thought comes up, “if I don’t sleep, what will happen tomorrow? Should I get up and do this and this or should I just say let me do it tomorrow”. That sleep also has an agenda. Ninety per cent of our whole day is in the form of reactions. That is why we are in trouble. Krishna says, “Give up reaction.” Once you give up reaction then you will not have the problem of this fight within and the disharmony within. We feel that is alright but if I do not react how the other person can be set right? I have to get anger; I have to have my reaction and I can not give up reaction.
Reaction causes disturbances in our body chemistry, it spoils the interpersonal relationship. Reaction creates negativity. Reaction is bad. Though it is bad if I don’t have reaction what do I do?
The opposite of reaction is not ‘non-doing’ because reaction can manifest both in the form of doing and non-doing. Do not have reaction. Opposite to reaction is response! Your response helps the situation to become alright. Reaction many times may help the situation temporarily but on a long run it can hurt the situation also. Response unites where as reaction separates! Have response. Respond to the situation. Your response is what is important. Response has compassion and love, where as reaction is very mechanical, it does not have soul! Response is healthy where as reaction is not healthy to one self or even for the situation.
Reaction has the tone i have a right to do this way or the other way. Reaction is basically based on our rights. I have a right to react. It is showing our right. The question choosing between reaction and response is actually between rights and responsibilities. These days, people talk so much about their rights that it is the most important thing in life. Individual rights constitutional rights, human rights children rights abuse of rights so on and so forth. From morning to evening we keep hearing about the rights.
I was trying to find out what to call for rights in the Sanskrit based languages. Very surprisingly I found that there is no word equivalent in Sanskrit language for right, there is no word for right! Sanskrit language is one of the richest languages. It has so many words, which are not there in other languages. When Sanskrit could give us many words could they not have been given one more word called “right”? They wontedly carefully avoided the concept.
They have not given a word for “right”. That is why none of the Indian languages born from Sanskrit has a word for “right”. In all Indian languages, we only use the word “haq” to express right, but “haq” does not have a Sanskrit origin. “Haq” has an Arabic origin. It must have been borrowed after the Muslim invasion of India which is as recent as 12th century or 13th century. But why did we borrow this word? Simple answer is we did not have a word called right. How could a culture survive for ten thousand years without a word called right! Or is it that because we did not have that word, the whole culture survived for a ten thousand years without a “right”. Please understand that this is very important issue. The culture survived not only without “haq”, but the culture survived because that there was no “haq”. Is it not that this haq is a great poison for the social harmony. Search for the whole Indian literature you will find references for responsibilities and nowhere there is reference for rights!
We have no rights but we have responsibilities under Indian culture. During the whole period of Sanskrit literature for ten thousand years, nobody has a right. This we can not even imagine! The king has no rights. Subjects do not have any rights. Women have no rights, men have no rights. Parents have no rights. Children have no rights. But everybody has responsibilities. The king has a responsibility. The subject has a responsibility. The parents have responsibilities. Children have responsibilities. Why?
A ‘rights’ divide you. If the parents say, “These are my rights” to the children, they are not one unit bout they are separating themselves out. The husband says, “These are my rights” to his wife, they don’t become a unit together but he is separating out. If a king says, “I have rights,” he is not one of the people. Whereas, on the other hand, if he says he has the responsibility he is part of the whole population. Like the way hands and legs are part of the body and try to survive and be happy collectively. Same way according to Indian philosophy a home or a town or a s kingdom all are living organisms like out body and various persons involved in this are various components sharing the responsibility of collective living. Father is not is not separate from the family. An individual is not separate from the society king is not separate from the kingdom. Rights separate and responsibilities unite. Everybody’s responsibility is to unite with the other. The parents have the responsibility to make the house beautiful. The children have the responsibility to make house beautiful. The king has the responsibility to make the country beautiful. The subjects have a responsibility to make the country beautiful. Responsibilities bring people together. Rights separate. Responsibility has yoga, reunion built in it. Rights separate us. That is why a culture which has responsibility as the root, is a culture which survives, which is time tested. A simple example: there are thirteen of us here. If we take responsibilities, it becomes simple. On the other hand if we sit and say, “This is my right, and this is my right,” we can only destroy.
I only wish if these concepts of Karma Yoga spread in the world we may want this strong message that we should have a world society where everybody is responsible. What a wonderful world we can create. We have the responsibility to see the world will be with richness. Trees are rich, rivers are rich, forests are rich and every where there is richness. How can I do that? It is simple. Before I destroy any thing let me construct double of that. Before I take a leaf from a plant, let me give water to the plant so that it has two leaves.
Responsibility comes from within. Responsibility has a satisfaction in itself where as rights are looking for the satisfaction elsewhere. A right has to be imposed from outside. A right requires constitution. Responsibility requires spirituality. We have this wonderful country India, for ten thousand years its culture was based on responsibility. This has been said all over the scriptures, and when we got freedom, our leaders wanted to write a constitution. They were very good and patriotic but they lacked the necessary spiritual attitude to look at the spiritual basis of this culture which survived this for ten thousand years intact if not more. The country was not only survived but was the most prosperous. Until few centuries ago the whole world was looking up to India for riches and happiness. Alexander the great came to conquer this country if it were not rich. Gory Muhammad and Ghajni Muhammad would not have invaded this country umpteen number of times and plundered its wealth if it were not prosperous. Vasco De Gamma or Columbus would not have dreamt of reaching India if India were not prosperous! Our leaders would have thought what made this country prosperous? What was the unique feature which was there in its thought process instead of totally rejecting India means a bundle of out dated dogmas! The framers of constitution have taken guidance from American constitution, French constitution and British constitution to frame ours. There fore our constitution has looked at the rights of every one and not the responsibilities. Our culture was based on responsibilities and our constitution is based on rights. Therefore unfortunately, what happened is that our constitution and ruling is mismatched with the culture. It is one of my dreams that the day comes and hope that is not far away, that we recreate a society based on responsibility, and show the world that something like that can work.

Naishkarmya Siddhi,

Krishna in Bhagavad-Gita brings about another extraordinary subtler aspect of activity, which is about naishkarma that state is called as naishkarmya. This is different from Nishkama-Karma, action without desire for fruit. A simple meaning of the word sounds that it is “non-doing”. It sounds very much like non action, but it is different and it is very spiritual.

He says ‘just by non-action one does not reach the state of non-doing, just as by rejecting the world one does not reach the fullness of satisfaction or one attains the supreme’. He shows a clear difference between non-action and the state of non doing. Action and non-action are two different things as discussed earlier. Let me try to explain them in detail. Action and no action are opposite to one another. Both options are there for us very clearly in all activities. We do an activity or we don’t do an activity, either we take the stance of doing or we can take the stance of non-doing depending upon the need and the situation we are in.
I put the seed in a prepared bed of soil and give all necessary things like manure, water, and sunshine etc. Now the plant has to go on its journey from out of seed. That is not in our hands. I now sit and wait. Until now I was on the phase of action now I am in the phase of non- action. I can be agitated and restless; I may pace up and down. These are the only kind of activities I can do. About the plant coming out of the seed I have to wait and see but nothing I can do. I have to accept non-action. I cannot pluck the plant out of seed. Nothing I can do about it. I cannot even say, let me reduce the suffering of the plant in coming out of seed by plucking it out of seed. I may on the other hand, damage the plant or kill the plant itself.
I read the story long time ago whose significance I see now in this context. Some where a social worker saw, a butterfly struggling to come out of its pupa, it is still very tiny and cute but it is going to be a big butterfly when it comes out, but now it is struggling in the pupa to come out. He felt compassionate towards the little one. He felt bad when he saw that the butter-fly is struggling with the hard shell of pupa to break. Now this social worker wanted to help; he thought after all, let me cut the pupa wall little by little without injuring the butter fly, so that he could release a butterfly out of the hard shell.

His intention was not even bad; it was on other hand very good. His intension was never to hurt the butterfly. His intension was not even to see the butterfly fast and own the butterfly. Don’t find fault with his intentions in any way. When he fully cut open the pupa wall the butterfly is released. Freshly coming out to the world, the butter fly fluttered her wings to dry and make it loose, and she wanted to fly in the open sky.

Other butterflies also come out of their shelter, come out of their pupa but naturally with out cutting their pupa and they also fluttered their wings free, and in front of his eyes they started flying in the infinite sky and into fresh air. But this butterfly, which he helped, wanted to fly but could not. The person now found out that the butterfly wings are not fully grown. Like the wings of the other butterflies who struggle their way through and who come out of pupa in natural process. The social worker lamented. ‘Oh, god! What happened’? He wanted to help the butterfly he felt the butterfly is struggling its way but unfortunately, if the butterfly gone through the struggle she would have had fully grown strong wings, but because he did not provide the opportunity to the wings , the opportunity to the butterfly to struggle her way she didn’t develop her wings fully.

Intensions may be good. But a lack of patience wanting to be doer can create a problem.

He has done something which has caused the suffering and he became the doer because he thought he can reduce the suffering of the butterfly. How can you reduce the suffering of plant coming out of a seed, or the suffering of a butterfly coming out of a pupa?

Don’t be a player, even in good activity. Some people become players by involving in doing an activity. On the other hand some other people would become players by withdrawing from doing an activity. So in doing an activity or in not doing an activity, in both cases one can become a player and in turn the sufferer.

Allow ‘doing’ to happen, allow ‘non-doing’ to happen, in both the cases don’t be a player. Human being has a wonderful facility over other creature. Matter has the consciousness which has totally become existence. Matter has nothing but existence. Plants and animals have consciousness, which becomes existence and also the conscious of existence. That’s why plants and animals not only exist but they can work towards existence. Plants send roots in to the ground, through the stones and pebbles to reach the water bed and to get the nutrients. Plants send the leaves in the direction of the sun to support its existence through the process of photosynthesis. The same way animals search their foods. And struggle for existence, because they are conscious of existence.

Whereas the human being is existence and conscious of existence and in addition to the both, he is conscious of the consciousness for existence.

That is why he can be a witness of his existence. And he can also be the conscious of his means or effort for existence. But he has an option in this. He can become a totally involved doer, struggling for existence and may be totally absent as an observer or witness. But he can also be totally a person conscious of the effort of existence which is witness. He can identify himself with the one who is struggling and putting effort for existence. And he can also be witness of the one, who is struggling or putting effort for existence. The moment one become witness, one is free form ups and downs, successes and failures and all emotional upsurges behind the player. Then he can witness that the play is going on. Then the doing is happening. This is the state called naishkarmaya, the non doer. Such a person who has realized naishkarma, or who achieved naishkarmya siddhi, he is walking yet not walking; he is talking, yet not talking etc., ‘I am doing’, concept of him is totally dissolved and he is totally one with the witness and which is nothing but ‘I am being’.

Once you become a sakshi or witness, the search for happiness through the objective possessions, recognitions and all the other things from outside do not make any sense. One finds the happiness within. Search for the happiness outside may be one type of bondage, which is crossed. Subtler than this bondage is the bondage of wanting to be the doer. The doer bondage is much more disturbing and is very difficult to recognize. All the people who do and want to do good are seldom caught in this bondage. That is the reason you see their life becomes very serious and the bliss of life will only be at the lips level. He is constantly in pairs of opposite and he can not accept both success and failure are one and the same. Once this bondage is dropped, he is then free. One who reaches his freedom he is beyond the ultimate pairs of opposite called the birth and death.

Between birth and death, two aspects are blended. We are working and also we are living. One is the ‘doing aspect’, between the birth and death, heart will be pumping blood, breathing goes on, the nourishment as to take place and the struggle for the existence is continuing. All these things are one aspect of life which is the doing aspect. The doing has the limitation of birth and death. And the doing stops with the death. The stopping of the doing itself is death.

There is another aspect underlying this doing which is the ‘being’ aspect, the being has been going through all these changes. Yet the being has none of these limitations or the pairs of opposite. It is free. It has no boundaries.

One who is held by doing is bound by limitations. Therefore fear will be there; where as one, who is identified by being, he is the existence itself. Such a person will not be touch by birth and death success or failure, praise or blame, or finally birth and death. Fear will be there if we want one and we don’t want the other and there is a possibility to get the one which is not our choice. Therefore fear does not touch him who does not have pairs of opposite. That is called as final ‘abhaya’ state or the state of ‘freedom from fear’. This is the subtlest aspect of karma yoga called naishkarmya siddhi. Achieving this in karma yoga is parallel to achieving Samadhi in raja yoga. The description of Brahman is given us “Sat Chit Ananda” where Sat means the existence itself. A person who achieves naishkarmya siddhi has achieved the sat aspect of Brahman and becomes one with Brahman.
Several ideas are there on Karma Yoga. Let me just give one final message. Yoga does not mean running away from the work. Yoga is holding responsibilities more joyfully and harmoniously. Yoga does not make somebody irresponsible. If it makes anybody irresponsible, it is not yoga.

Let me now sum up these few ideas of karma yoga:
Karma yoga can be one of the paths of yoga if only it contributes to the peace of mind and harmony with-in like all other paths of yoga have to give us the peace of mind and harmony.
‘Doing good actions and guiding us not to do bad actions’ is not purpose of karma yoga. This is at simple moral level. Good and bad is at ordinary level of human transaction. If a human being is not doing good and doing bad he is to be punished. There is no spirituality in this. Arjuna was already good but he needed Bhagavad-Gita. It means that karma yoga is not to give us the clarity about good and bad but to take us beyond.
So the journey or the sadhana of karma yoga is to rise from good action to the action without expectations of fruits of action, and finally to go to action where the doer is absent and the doer ship is sacrificed and dissolved.
This is similar to the last three steps in astanga yoga namely dharana dhyana Samadhi. These are sat karma, phalapeksha rahita karma and finally naishkarmya siddhi. Like the body is the temple of god the same way the work we do is also the worship of god. It is our ignorance which makes us to take work as stress or curse or punishment and only if we do some specific activity that will be karma yoga and sacred. An attitude which can make this transformation of all activities we do is karma yoga.
Thank you so much.

Question: Could you please repeat the last sentence in Sanskrit?

I’ll tell you where Krishna thinks about this idea.

karmany evadhikaras te, ma phalesu kadacana
ma karma-phala-hetur bhuh, ma te sango ’stv akarmani
Oh, Arjuna you have the adhikara to do the action but not the fruits for the action. You also do not become the cause for the fruits and don’t be attached to non-action.

Regarding the origin of this knowledge of yoga, Krishna gives a very philosophical Arjuna. In Bhagavad-Gita Arjuna asks Krishna “Look, you are telling all these things. When did all this knowledge come?” Krishna answers that this knowledge is called as yoga and is ageless. Basically the principles of yoga are given birth to creation. Even when creation had not taken place, the concept of creation, the concept of yoga had always been a part of existence. This is a basic idea. The creation has originated from the concept of harmony. When he created the day, simultaneously the night was created. When the birth was created, at the same time the death was defined. This means that this concept of harmony, which is essentially yoga, was even there before creation has taken place. And at any point of time, if the survival has to continue, then this balance has to be maintained. So that is why this idea of yoga or the state of yoga is something which is always there through time. This is why it is called as ageless. This is something which is there at the background and this is the background for the rhythm that is there. A thing which does not belong to this gets eliminated.
For example, when man did not have all this technological developments, all this culture and civilization, it was not that he was sitting in a forest meditating. He was living harmoniously. That is his support of life. It is this harmony which maintained him. That is the background of life. In fact, one of the Upanishads uses this statement called “yoga dandha”. It basically means that the central core support is yoga.
As man has grown he required a method of practice which has to remind him about yoga all the time. That is how these practices evolved. Every one is engaged in these practices as a part of the culture whether he is a servant or a teacher or a trader every one used to practice yoga on a regular basis. The king who was ruling a kingdom of lavishness and luxury is also a student of yoga. Yoga is taught in the school to small children. Yoga is also taught to Arjuna by Krishna in the battlefield. In that sense, yoga is all inclusive. One might wonder what yoga Arjuna was to know in Battle field. Definitely it was not the practice of asanas. But it was definitely yoga. Therefore it is always chanted that it is Bhagavad-Gita and the science of yoga.
People have taken yoga and tried to use it for their own smaller purposes. For example, the Indian dance has developed on the principles of yoga. Indian cooking has developed on the principles of yoga. People have picked few ideas of yoga although they lack the whole system of management.
You are asking me a question about new age group and ask me is it yoga. There are a few yoga principles here and there they have picked up and that they started giving several names. One such thing is what is called a new age group. And they say, “What we are saying the same thing yoga also says.” Actually few of them grasped what yoga says. In my opinion, I have no objection about that since you pick up a few principles of yoga and make your life better. It is wonderful.

QUESTION: You are talking about good and bad, and it is critical in the end deciding what is good and what is bad because it is relative and good and bad changes according to culture. So how will we decide?

In fact, I can clearly say that culturally what is good for one can be bad for one from the other culture. So this is very local thing to call one thing good or bad according to the culture. They are not absolute. This is essentially respecting the culture. In that sense, there is not good and bad in reality, whereas at a much deeper sense, there is no good and bad. So Krishna also gives in Bhagavad-Gita some simple principles of good and bad. But finally, he gives another definition which is a much more encompassing definition. This is, “That which helps the sustenance is good, that which promotes destruction is bad”. Wherever we can adapt the good and the bad in a society of that society, or culture, or whatever it is, it is fine because that culture has not come to you; you have gone to that culture.
Take for example the few things in certain parts of India. There are certain things which are good or bad, but the moment you come to Prashanti, there are different goods and bads. So Prashanti has defined good and bad one way. That definition of good and bad in Prashanti is to develop that kind of an environment and an atmosphere which is necessary for people to grow certain things of life. If I go to Prashanti, I can get what Prashanti can offer to me, and adapt to the good and bad of Prashanti. I adapt these things so that I can get the best of Prashanti. If I’m in a car, the moment I sit in the car in the driver’s seat, I have some goods and bads there, some thing right and some thing wrong, and I need to respect, and the moment I respect, then the car will help me. So we should have that flexibility to accept, but they are not absolute. Absolute bad is that where you clearly see that the end point is destruction and if it is going to sustain and not cause destruction then it is good. That definition of good and bad will help us to take world much better way.

QUESTION: But sometimes destruction can bring something that is good.

That is right. I mean the destruction and the sustenance in the long run. I destroy a bacterium for life to survive because the badness of the bacteria is that it not only destroys the other, but it also gets destroyed in the process. Let me make it a little clearer. For example, take the case of a bacterium. The bacterium is actually surviving in that person. But in the process it destroys that person and when the person is not there, the bacterium also gets destroyed, too. Whatever that is sustained. What is the badness of cancer? The cancer cell destroys a person who is responsible for its own growth. This is bad because it is self-destructive. This has to be understood from a deeper perspective.

Suryanamaskara - Practice

December 24, 2005

One of the readers pointed out since there are several styles of practice of suryanamaskaras why don’t I suggest the technique we adapted in all our contacts. Hence I am giving the details here.v STITI [the starting position]: stand with back neck and head in one line with both hands folded in front of the chest in namaskara mudra.v Start with eyes closed with the sloka of respect to the sun god, Hiranmayena patrena…..v This is followed by one of the sun mantras OM HRAM MITRAYA NAMAHA, OM HREEM RAVAYE NAMAHA, OM HRUM SURYAYA NAMAHA etc. one mantra with one set of practices.v Say ‘ekam’ [one]. Inhale and bend back taking the hands all the way up and back – ardha chakrasana. v ‘Dwee’ [two]. Exhale and bend forward and down completely. Keep the palms by the side of legs, if possible on the ground – padahastasana. v ‘Treeni’ [three]. Inhale and take the [alternately right and left] leg back into comfortable position and stretch the body forward.v ‘Chatwari’ [four]. Exhale and take the other leg back to join the first leg and the whole body is in one inclined plane.v ‘Panca’ [five]. Inhale and exhale sit on the knees and bend the head down, hands stretched in front on the ground – shasahankasana.v ‘Chata’ [six]. Hold the breath [kumbhaka] flat on the floor with palms, forehead, chest knees and toes on the ground in sastanga namaskara asana.v ‘Sapta’ [seven]. Inhale and with palms pressed on the ground raise the head up into bhujangasana – the cobra pose.v ‘Astha’ [eight]. Exhale and raise the waist up stretch the hands and legs into invert v position. Pravatasana.v ‘Nava’ [nine]. Inhale and exhale and sit on knees. It is repetition of fifth pose – shasahankasana.v ‘Dasha’ [ten]. Inhale and bring the right leg forward toes in line with the palms.v ‘Ekadasha’ [eleven]. Exhale and bring the other leg forward – padahastasana.v ‘Dwadasha’ [twelve]. Inhale and come up bend back fully and retrieve into the starting position.v Start the next cycle with chanting of next mantra of surya – the sun god. BREATHING PATTERN Following the breathing pattern is important for the following reasons. The breathing will help make the process of doing the posture easy. Body and Prana have to flow together then only one is in harmony with the other. In sun postures it is taken care of. It is natural that when we bend forward the chest and stomach is compressed and if we do not exhale that will be added burden. Similarly when we bend back breathing in will enhance the bending activity. This cycle is maintained. That is how definitely when we bend forward and down we are breathing out and whenever we bend back breathing in is included. In between the breathing is so managed that when ever we are doing posture we are adapting breathing and not holding the breath.Normally our tendency when we are not aware is to hold the breath when we do some thing. It is necessary to hold breath called ‘Kumbhaka’, when we have to lift heavy weights. But it appears that this habit percolated into other activities. Even when we are bending forward or so also we hold breath, which is not necessary. This continues in almost all activities. Similarly when ever we are anxious we hold the breath. If there is a big unexpected sound around you look in that direction in wondering what it is. That time you watch you will find that while watching you are holding the breath! Logically speaking why we have to hold the breath. There is no reason. But still this sympathetic response we do as a part of our habit. Many times it is not the work which tires us, but the breath holding is many more times taxing for us than the work we do.The practice of proper breathing and the breathing while doing the posture will help us to create a counter habit of maintaining proper breathing wile doing an activity such as bending forward or bending back or twisting.In the sixth position, which is the ‘sa – asta – anga – namaskara – asana our face is directly on the floor or the carpet and our nose is nearer to the ground. If we inhale we may be inhaling dust how ever much we take care. In order to avoid this we hold the breath. This posture also provides us the practice of ‘Kumbhaka’ in a gentle way. All other postures we may breathe or not depending on the amount of time we give in the posture, but in sixth position we need to hold the breath.Fifth and ninth positions are basically relaxing position called sasahankasaka, the crescent moon posture. It is observed that especially in case of patients this posture in between the other flow of postures will help one to relax and regain the balance. Since it is a relaxing posture in this posture do normal breathing. Here in this posture therefore if needed do the normal breathing more than once.One should never be in a hurry to do the number of suryanamaskaras. It has to be done leisurely and with awareness.o If we do not follow proper breathing there may not be any damage but following proper breathing will enhance its benefits.o The benefits due to adapting proper breathing pattern are as follows.o It is found to improve the lung functions.o Deep breathing becomes possible because in these postures we systematically adapt all the three lobes, namely second posture helps in abdominal breathing fourth middle lobe and fifth upper lobe and Bhujangasana facilitates full yogic breathing!o Proper breathing will help to build stamina.o A habit of maintaining proper breathing in various day to day activities will be cultivated. o Since it has all these benefits it is very therapeutical and many times suryanamaskaras alone can be a remedy for lot of ailments.

Annamaya kosha and suryanamaskara

December 13, 2005

Let us now come to the physical body called ‘Annamaya Kosa’, which is equivalent to physical body. Though we roughly equate it is not strictly so because Annamaya kosa is not water tight compartment but it is a continuum in body-mind-consciousness complex, which is what we are. Because of this difference there are few things which we need to consider. They are Annamaya kosa as the name indicates it needs food. Food is ‘Anna’ and Annamaya is like ornament made out of gold is called as ‘hiranmaya’ where ‘hiran’ is gold. I will no go into this aspect because I would like to go into the exercise aspect which is directly connected with Suryanamaskara. The other two aspects are exercise and relaxation. Exercise is very important aspect of our life. Exercise involves bending the joints twisting and stretching. So in all the postures make sure that you fully stretch and where ever it provides an opportunity twist fully like in the case of third posture or tenth where we stretch one of the legs forward there is a chance to twist too. Use this opportunity. Regarding stretching in the second posture consciously and slowly stretch in back bending systematically from neck muscles to chest and further on to stomach muscles to waist. So that your posture helps you to fully stretch the front portion of the body. Same way use the third posture to be used for stretching the back fully. Every posture involves some body part being stretched. In every posture also recognize that you one should be stable.If we study the postures closely we can see that starting from the top of the body come to the waist then to the lower portion of the body and come to total prostration in namaskarasana. After that the sequence is to retrace the steps back to standing position which is like unwinding. There is a nice symmetry involved, which is also further enhanced by the breathing pattern adapted in the postures. The stretch is from the upper body muscles to the lower limbs thereby e The stretch is from the upper body muscles to the lower limbs thereby exercising the whole body. That is the reason in several schools they consider Suryanamaskara is a wholesome exercise for our body. When we can not do other practices of asanas due to some external reasons we should be able to do at least six sun-salutations. Yoga postures are different from the physical exercises in several aspects. In case of the physical exercises awareness is not mandatory where as in case of yoga practices or suryanamaskaras we must have the awareness. Another aspect in physical exercises we have to do more and more and achieve more and more which is measure for progress. On the other hand in yogic practices such as Suryanamaskara it should be like a flow of physical postures smoothly and effortlessly and not the doing of ‘more’ is important! We have to relax in the practice which means actually the muscles have as little participation as possible. Therefore the physical exercises are for building muscles where as Suryanamaskara will help us in glandular system and the nervous system. For nervous and glandular problems Suryanamaskara is a good solution. Though they are essentially not focusing on muscles, since there is some participation of muscles the practice of Suryanamaskara will help in loosening the muscle tone. Early morning if we do six rounds of Suryanamaskara followed by brief Shavasana for five minutes we have observed that the day’s activities of the work place flow very smoothly and harmoniously. In hospital ‘Stift Rottal clinic’ at Griesbach in Germany, all my doctor friends do the practice of five to six suryanamaskaras before starting their days work.The great benefits of Suryanamaskara is, it helps in improving the circulation of blood and makes the body flexible and helps to spend the energies of Vasana in a neutral way so that it helps to contribute towards inner peace! Simple muscular pains and discomfort because of our sedentary habits will be removed very effectively and makes our activities normally blissful.According to the energy model explanations when we are not engaged in any activity we can experience the accumulation of some sort of uneasiness, and the desire of wanting to do some thing or the other comes up for all of us sooner or later! This is what we call as ‘boredom’. We actually engage in either drinking cups of coffee or munch some fried stuff or in gossiping. These physical activities help us to spend the restless energy for some period of time. This restless-form-of-energy-disturbance is called as moola Vasana or anaadi avidya. Suryanamaskara offers a very non-injurious form of exercise to get rid of this moola Vasana. Therefore Suryanamaskara practice is spiritual in nature taking us to inner peace and harmony!So let me summarize the points for suryanamaskaras.Suryanamaskaras are good for circulation and helps to start the days work much more harmoniously.It is useful in case of glandular and nervous dysfunctions.It helps to loosen the joints and tones up muscles.Spends the general boredom forces and makes the life enjoyable and the over burden of life can be diffused.Heart patients should exercise caution in doing this practice. A proper Suryanamaskara should help one to go deeper into various aspects transcending the physical identification and let us now try to understand from the pranamaya stand point.According to yogic language of physiology we have these chakras which are located in the middle of the spinal chord and the chakras are supposed to be in dormant way so that the serpent power or our vital force is lying coiled in the foundation chakra called mooladhara. Though lot of these things appear to be rather vague we can experience one thing that is we can feel the laziness in the position which correlates to chakras which will make us lazy and we will be unwilling to take up activity. Once we practice this it will make us active. For the first practice of back bending we have to pull our body from the lower abdominal region which will start working at the mooladhara chakra. The next posture will work on the next higher chakra swadhistana, in this sequence these postures are so designed to activate from lower to higher chakras.The posture immediately after the sa-astanga-namaskarasana [where the participant is lying on face on earth, with forehead on the ground, with chin on the floor which is the symbol of surrender to the divine] the posture which follows is bhujangasana, the cobra pose which is indicating the awakening of kundalini or the coiled serpent power. When the force acts without awakened mind it will lead us astray where as when the activity comes up as activity with awakened mind, the same force will be constructive and all activities become spiritual activities. Therefore the Suryanamaskara has a very deep perspective from yogic physiology point of view.