We must learn and understand the practice of Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. What is Karma Yoga? The word karma is used freely and frankly and all our misfortunes are blamed on our bad Karma. Karma is the real desires created in the mind. When we wish to possess, it is karma. Karma is a movement that takes place within the mind, body or emotions.
In the Gita it is written that there is not a moment in life when one can remain without action. We have to act as long as we are alive. Desire, passion and ambition are what ignite karma. We cannot renounce karma. Our mind is ruled by the three gunas, Sattva, Rajas, Tamas. Sattva makes us free of wanting. A sattvic disposition remains the same in times of plenty or distress. Even a Sattvic person has to perform karma as s/he has to set an example. Persons who are ignorant and are attached to wanting, must be led by the sattvic person, who must perform actions with devotion (Gita).
When we are under the sway of Rajas, we are dynamic, aggressive, and fiery. A rajasic person will be uncontrolled if they are not active and performing for success. A tamasic person is indolent and lazy. Krishna said that everyone has to perform karma, whether s/he works through the body, mind or intellect. We cannot run from our karma.
So, what is Karma Yoga?
It is our relationship with life. How do we behave with our family, our children, and our friends? What is our response? How do we behave in times of success and failure? What feelings govern us vis-a-vis in our day-to-day life. What karma yoga does it enables us not to be reactive and to do the right thing. We have to train our emotions and then our mind. It is very easy to say that we are very sensitive and emotional, and we get hurt easily. What about the other person with whom we are engaging? Are we at all in tune with them? Do we feel for them at all.
Now we come to Bhakti yoga
We channel our emotions to a divinity, in the form of a God or a deva or a Guru. Our love is presented to the higher being and we our empowered with our faith. Our emotions are balanced and we do not feel the absence of love.
How do we practice Bhakti Yoga? We start with trataka, candle gazing. Centre on our ajna chakra and gaze at the candle flame. Chant Aum seven times, with eyes closed. Open our eyes and gaze at the flame. When we want to blink, we close our eyes and try to see the flame in the middle of our eyebrow centre. No effort. Open eyes and continue the practice for twenty minutes. End with Aum chanting seven times. After trataka sadhana, use your mantra and practice the samvrit pranayama, 27 times. Inhale to the count of 5, pause to the count of 5, exhale to the count of 5, pause outside to the count of 5. You can use Aum, Soham or your personal mantra. This combination will enable you to calm your mind and be harmonious in your karma and bhakti sadhana.
Aim Hrim Klim