Karma yoga is the path of balancing the yoke of karma—of causes and effects set in motion in this and previous lives; the path of good works evidenced in pure thoughts, feelings, words and deeds; the discipline of the four lower bodies with an emphasis on physical action for alchemical change; spiritual/physical exercises including the invoking of the sacred fire (agni yoga) in the giving of violet flame decrees (mantra and japa yoga); nonattachment to the fruit of action or to its reward.
The end of the path of karma yoga is freedom from the round of rebirth through the Holy Spirit’s all-consuming Love and Grace, and reunion with God, the Mighty I AM Presence, in the ritual of the ascension.
It is possible to reach great heights of spirituality but leave undone the one thing that must be accomplished: the full balancing of karma. Through exercises and devotion, you can achieve exalted states of consciousness—it’s like climbing a ladder. But by and by, you must climb down the ladder, take up the path of karma yoga, roll up your sleeves, go to work and balance your karma.
Karma yoga falls on the nine o’clock line of the Cosmic Clock, the physical quadrant. It is the path to salvation for those who are suited to action.
The teaching of Krishna
As Krishna explains in the Bhavagad Gita:
It is not right to leave undone the holy work which ought to be done. Such a surrender of action would be a delusion of darkness. And he who abandons his duty because he has fear of pain, his surrender is ... impure, and in truth he has no reward.
But he who does holy work, Arjuna, because it ought to be done, and surrenders selfishness and thought of reward [or praise], his work is pure, and is peace. This man sees and has no doubts: he surrenders, he is pure and has peace. Work, pleasant or painful, is for him joy.
For there is no man on earth who can fully renounce living work, but he who renounces the reward of his work is in truth a man of renunciation. When work is done for a reward, the work brings pleasure, or pain, or both, in its time; but when a man does work in Eternity, then Eternity is his reward.
If we work for personal gain and ego gratification, we are attaching ourselves to this world and to the fruits of our actions. If we work for the good of others or to the glory of God, we are liberating ourselves from past karmas.
In the world but not of it
It is a dangerous situation when people leave off the service of God and his work for meditation, contemplation and other spiritual activities. They have not learned that the work of the heart, head and hand is a chalice for true meditation, contemplation and contact with God.
The path of karma yoga shows us how to be in the world but not of the world. It shows how we can stop digging ourselves deeper into the mire of the human ego and instead work toward becoming a pure crystal through which the Atman can shine unobstructed.
Karma yogis must follow basic moral rules, never think evil thoughts, control their desires and passions, and never harm anyone mentally or physically. The karma yogi must never do work out of selfishness or feeling that he is making a sacrifice or a great effort. Krishna says that such work is impure. We must use the work to become detached from the world.
Jesus and Kuthumi, Corona Class Lessons: For Those Who Would Teach Men the Way.
Mark L. Prophet and Elizabeth Clare Prophet, The Masters and the Spiritual Path.
- Juan Mascaro, trans., The Bhagavad Gita (New York: Penguin Books, 1962), pp. 115–16.