Karma Yoga and the Season of Giving

Journey to Mokṣa

Visualize yourself a traveler preparing for your dream trip. You’re seeking a place called Mokṣa (मोक्ष). This is a country like no other where all beings are well, all beings are free, and all beings have peace.

Before setting off on your trip, you ask your travel agent more about Mokṣa. You are curious about how to get there and what to do once you arrive. Your travel agent shares with you three primary routes to get to your destination. Traveler reviews express that the best route is to travel by boat along the river of Bhakti. Along this path you’ll experience singing, dancing, prayer, and community. This is the most expensive route, but you’ll have a joyous time.

The next way to get to Mokṣa is by driving south through the city of Jñāna (ज्ञान). Jñāna is an ancient city with so much history to explore. So much that travelers often spend more time in Jñāna, which extends their trip. This is why traveler reviews rate this the longest path Mokṣa.

Learning this, you are more excited for your journey and want to get to Mokṣa the cheapest and quickest way possible.

karma bridge You say to the travel agent,  “Ah, plane, right? That’s the fastest way to get there!”

The travel agent replies , “No”.

“Then how? How do I get to Mokṣa?”, you ask further.

Your agent hands you a map entitled Kārma (कामर्) and leaves you with these words, “Accordingly as one behaves so does he become. The doer of good becomes good, the doer of evil becomes evil. One becomes virtuous by virtuous actions. Others become bad by bad actions1.”

Standing alone still unclear what to do and how to get to Mokṣa, you open the map.  Then, you contemplate and decide what type of action (route) you will take to begin this journey.

 

Kārma Offerings

You take the map and fold it up. You’re ready to go to Mokṣa. You begin to look for ways to serve those around you: family members, friends, acquaintances, coworkers. You notice that the more you give to others, the more you receive. You begin to look  for ways to serve communities and organizations that have made a difference in your life.

Kārma is how you the traveler respond on your journey. Kārma defined as actions and reactions driven by the things we want and don’t want in our lives, in our world (Yoga Sūtra 2.12). On the map you will find four types of karma oerings known as sevā (सेवा) (service).

Karma Yoga1. Physical service, shu’drocita sevā2 which is using your body to dig, fix, clean, etc. śūdrāḥ (शूद्र) means laborer. Are you able to help You Call This Yoga (YCTY) build its digital presence? Could you like, share, forward our communications? Share your talent.

2. Martial service, kṣattriyocita sevā is known as security service or helping those in need of protection. Kṣattriya (क्षित्त्रय) means warrior. Are you a yoga practitioner seeking to volunteer your time to serve as a YCTY Ambassador? Share your time.

3. Economic service, vaeshyocita sevā is relief work that requires funding such as feeding the hungry, helping those in need, building houses. Vaeshna means businessperson. Are you financially able to donate to YCTY’s 2021 programming? Share your finances.

4. Spiritual service, viprocita sevā is offered through teaching ethics, yoga practice and philosophy. Vipra means “learned, a sage, a seer, a singer, a poet”. Are you a yoga teacher or studio owner? Is there a workshop that you could offer towards YCTY’s Silent Auction? Share your wisdom.

Choosing your next step

There is no effort wasted in whichever sevā you perform. Before choosing your next step, you check the calendar and realize you are starting your trip during the season of giving. There is plenty of action that we could take towards healing ourselves, our families, and our communities. No energy is wasted. Enjoy your travels, Mokṣa awaits you!

 

The article was specially written by Kiesha Battles for You Call This Yoga.

footnote 1 = https://fivepillarsyoga.com/the-upanishads-karma/

footnote 2 = Unable to verify the sanskrit

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