Karma-yoga








The following is a synopsis of Karma-yoga, as taught in chapter three of the Bhagavad-gita.

Karma Yoga: Krishna teaches that karma-yoga (renunciation through disciplined action) is preferable to Jnana-yoga (the renunciation of action).

Karma in this context refers to one's socio-religious duties and responsibilities, whereas abstaining from such duties is implied by Jnana. Quite literally Jnana-yoga is a path of social abstention and metaphysical speculation. Both paths have as their objectives: freedom from karma and enlightenment.

Chapter Divisions:

Texts 1- 8 It is better to act within the context of varnasarama, with regulation and detachment; than to abandon all such activities.

Text 9- 16 Such actions are sinless when performed as sacrifice (yajna) or without immediate self interest.

Text 17- 19 Only the self realized do not require to act, therefore act with detachment and equanimity, by doing which you will attain the Supreme (param)

Text 20- 25 Even if you are self realized, better act to set an example and benefit others

Text 26- 29 Don't confuse those working with material objectives, (which may result in their abandonment of work), encourage them toward karma-yoga.

Text 30- 35 Do all acts for Me, with detachment and be free of bondage or otherwise be lost. Prakrti is powerful, stick with your duty (sva-dharma) and don't be obstructed by the senses.

Text 36- 43 Excessive desire (kama or lust), arising from Raja-guna, can deviate you from your sva-dharma. Recognize that lust pervades you and over come it with transcendental knowledge.

The simple teaching is therefore to keep working, responsibly and dutifully, as an offering to Lord Krishna with detachment.

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