This world is perfect; we needn’t bother to help it. Yet we must do good; not with a feeling of superiority, but with humility, only because we’ve the opportunity and privilege to help. All good acts tend to make us pure and perfect; but don’t think foolishly that the world waits for our help. Yet we must do good; it is the only way to attain our goal of Perfection.
Also remember, this universe isn’t drifting. There’s an Omnipotent, Omniscient God ever present everywhere, eternally active, infinitely watchful. Therefore, don’t look down and hate anyone; sympathise with the weak and love even wrongdoers. The world is a moral gymnasium where we’ve to ‘exercise’ to become stronger to attain success and Perfection.
Non-attachment is self-denial: Every action that emanates from us comes back to us as reaction (samskaras in our mind). The mind is always open to influence. When we do evil, we influence others and spread evil; when we do good, we influence others to do good and both grow to Perfection.
According to Karma-Yoga, action done cannot be destroyed until it bears fruit; no power in nature can stop its results, evil or good. The cause must have its effect; nothing can prevent or restrain this. Moreover, there is no action which does not bear both good and evil fruits at the same time! This world will never become perfect, there will always be disease, death, unhappiness, wickedness. A perfect life is a contradiction in terms.
Does it mean Perfection can never be attained by work? Is there no way out? Then, what is the purpose of work? The main purpose of work done for others is chitta-suddhi, purification of our Minds, Samskaras. We foolishly think we can make ourselves happy. After years of struggle we shall find at last that true happiness consists in killing selfishness and that no selfish action can keep us happy for long. Every act of charity, sympathy, help, good, makes us unselfish! This is the Goal, end-purpose of all Religions; entire Selflessness, no selfish-ego, all is Thou. This is Dharma, Ethics.
We may not study a single system of philosophy, believe in no religion, God, but simply fulfil our duties to best of our ability, (housewife, vyadh as example; or farmers, workers, who toil and we mistreat them). The simple power of good actions can bring them to the state where they’re ready to sacrifice for others; they arrive at the same point to which the religious man will come through his worship. Men of Spiritual Knowledge, Devotees, Karma Yogis, they all meet at one point, that of self-abnegation; unselfishness.
World is selfishness; Unselfishness is God: One may be a Ruler and be perfectly unselfish; and then he is in God. Another may live in a hut and wear rags, and have nothing in the world; yet, if he is selfish, he is intensely merged in the world. Any action that you do for yourself will bring its effect to bear upon you. If it is a good action, you will have to take the good effect, and if bad, you will have to take the bad effect; but any action that is not done for your own sake, whatever it be, will have no effect on you.
Therefore Karma-Yoga teaches, live in the world, imbibe its influences as much as you can; but just selfish enjoyment should not be the goal. Work without attachment; hold yourself as a witness and go on working. Look upon your extended ‘family’, children, as a maid looks after your children; but as soon as you give her notice, she quits. No attachment. She goes. Note, no one in this universe depends upon us; not one beggar depends on our charity; not one soul on our kindness; not one living thing on our help. All are helped on by nature and will be so helped!
I alone am responsible for what I am: The whole secret is in knowing and practicing. First hear of it, then reflect and practice. This is true of any and every Success or Religion and Yoga. Many things which we don’t understand will become clearer by constant hearing and thinking. The explanation of everything is after all within yourself as Self; Kingdom of God within.
No one was ever really taught by another; each of us has to hear, learn and teach himself. All external events, even teachers, offer only suggestions which rouses the internal ‘teacher’ to explore the past memories, samskaras stored in our mind, to think and understand things.
Pravritti means going towards the Universe of wealth, money, power, name, fame, I and mine. Nivritti means going away; towards God. Nivritti is the fundamental basis of all morality and all religion, and the very perfection of readiness to help and sacrifice for others.
Are you unselfish? Have you attained to selflessness? That is the question. If you are, you will be perfect without reading a single religious book, without going into a single church or temple. Fools alone say that there’re higher or lower status, caste, vocation, menial work.
The learned know that though we’re apparently different now for whatsoever reasons, it is the attitude of Karma-Yoga in and thru’ our vocation and workings for good of society that shall lead all to the same goal of Highest human Perfection, which is attained by Tapasya, Religious worship.
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.