How to Practice Karma Yoga: Benefits, Principles & Examples (24)


Lesson 24 show how Karma Yoga leads to success in ordinary day-to-day situations. Promotes healthy attitude & relationships with Self, World (Jagat), Others, Īśvara. It invokes a sharp, intentional, Sāttvic and constantly meditative mind. It's persistent practice eventually leads to Liberation. Sessions purpose is examples of putting Bhagavad Gītā chapter 3 into practice.


  1. Why it's impossible to fully surrender to Īśvara (God), until you know how Īśvara operates.

    Complete surrender to God (Īśvara) is a mark of the absolutely most developed human being. Because it implies total willingness to let go of one's body-mind to be used for one's own likes/dislikes. A worldly person uses his-her body/mind for pleasure, power, enjoyment, intellectual pursuits, career, etc.

    Living based on one's own likes/dislikes leads to series of joys followed by sorrows. Because what one gains, it eventually comes to an end or changes it's form/texture, which no longer provides the enjoyment it once did at the beginning. What's more, one's one tastes change. So what was attractive yesterday is repulsive today. This mediocre way of joy/sorrow acceptance as way of life – goes on for lifetimes. It's called saṃsāra.

    Whereas one that's completely surrendered to Īśvara, lives as permanent satisfaction, not apart from it.

    In order to surrender to Īśvara, one first has to KNOW what is it exactly to which they're surrendering to. Else it results in surrendered to own version of Īśvara. Just like kids surrender 15 hours a day to computer games. 🙂 Which actually isn't surrendering to anything – but a subjective thought in time-space and disconnected from Reality.

    For that reason, in order to be successful in Karma Yoga (turning any action into a spiritual practice) – one first needs to know what exactly is Īśvara.

    Īśvara is All Knowledge, All Power – in potential. And this potential is constantly collapsed into manifest-unmanifest form every moment.

    For example this second, one of the white blood cells in your body, is in a certain location. The next second, it's no longer in the previous location, but in another location. And you didn't do any of this manfiest-unmanifest phenomena. This ordinary phenomena (which we take for granted) is a CAUSED by All Knowledge, All Power… called Īśvara.

    Another example: Let's say you shout (CAUSE). That sound will have a certain EFFECT, like travelling at 1225 km/h – and even reverberating if environment is appropriate.

    And all you did was use the power of your Free Will (which is also given by Īśvara) – and the EFFECTS (with Intelligent attributes) therefrom took place.

    These EFFECTS is Īśvara's All Knowledge, All power – potential collapsed. And then you get to experience these EFFECTS using an instrument (Body-Mind) which you also didn't create. All we do is put food into our mouth, swallow… and series of intelligent EFFECTS happen. Like enzymes (which you didn't create) breaking down food and being absorbed to different parts of body.

    Thus we can start to appreciate Īśvara as a POWER. And not as some person with it's own Mind-Intellect that controls everyone; this is incorrect thinking.

    Īśvara is like Gravity. It's a law in which humans no only depend on, but also have free will within the context of Gravity. Meaning, you can jump, or sit or fly with an aerodynamic instrument. Eitherway, the user of gravity (human) is dependent on gravity, but also because of gravity has free will to do different things on earth.

    Which means, Īśvara is like thousands of laws (like Gravity) which CAUSE this entire Universe to operate in total harmony.

    Now we start to see that there is no reason to fear Īśvara. It's an innocent power that's always operating and fascilitaing the results of Jīva's actions. Meaning, what actions you apply, is up to you. For example…

    If one indulges in pleasure – Īśvara will innocently fascilitate that CAUSE, as an EFFECT in form of joys-sorrows. If you contemplates on the unchanging nature of “I” – Īśvara will innocently facilitate that CAUSE, as an EFFECT of mokṣa. Entirely up to you how to use Īśvara's laws.

  2. What is Right Attitude, in spirit of Karma Yoga?

    Please explain in your own words what is “Right Attitude”, and provide 3 examples.

    HINT: Karma Yoga is renouncing fruits of your actions to Īśvara. Assuming you know that any CAUSE (done by your free will) will have an EFFECT which is totally out of your control due to complexity of the entire field. Thus one's likes/dislikes are actually irrelevant and have no correlation to Actuality in this huge field of endless CAUSES and EFFECTS.

    For example, did you ever approach someone with a good intention to meet them – but they responded in a hurtful manner (rejected)? We may take this personally.

    But in truth, they could've responded hurtfully because a robber stole the their wallet on the way to the party – and now they're upset and taking the anger onto “strangers”.

    Meaning, you only CONTROL the CAUSES (what you do). But have ZERO to LITTLE control over the EFFECTS (what happens as result of your CAUSES).

    If you were really in control of the effects, you'd be getting what you want 24/7. But this isn't the cause for anyone.

  3. What is Right Action, by definition of Karma Yoga?

    Please explain in your own words what is “Right Action”, and provide 3 examples.

  4. Basic tool for discriminating Real (Satya) from Unreal (Mithyā)

    There's only 2 things in existence. Subject and Object.

    Subject is the Knower.

    Object is the Known. Meaning it's everything OTHER then the Subject.

    The Subject (Knower) knows the Object (Known). But the Object (Known) can not know about the Subject (Knower).

    For example…

    Do you know when you're hungry? Thus, hunger is Object. And the knower of hunger is Subject.

    Do you know when you're happy/skeptical? Thus, happiness/skepticism is Object. And the knower of happiness/skepticism is the Subject.

    This is fundamental practice for discriminating Satya (unchanging, SUBJECT) and Mithyā (changing, OBJECT).

    SUMMARY: If it's KNOWN to you, it's NOT You (Satya).

  5. What is a jivanmukta?

    What are 3 attributes of a jīvanmuktaḥ (wise person)?

Download visual mind map of this session.

16 Oct


  1. Trying to “verbalize” the “I” as consciousness seems impossible. Its like trying to play tennis by discussing it. It feels like engaging with ishvara (life) in the present moment watching Satya and Mithyā “playout” in each scene you are in is a “cleaner” way of looking at this. Does this sound right? Vedanta feels like a Verb a way of being (with no safe haven of a fixed position) NOT a Noun (a definition) that can be understood?

    1. “…watching Satya and Mithyā playout” > Satyam means unchanging sākṣī (witness) in whose presence mithyā (changing world, including own thoughts, emotions, memories, meditations, contemplation) is illuminated. Just like unchanging light, illumines all people in room. Light isn’t touched by a saintly person or sinner walking into room. It simply illumines, thus “validates” all activity in room. In same way, unchanging satyam validates changing mithyā.

  2. How is it that freewill isn’t also Ishvara, if we are the eternal, unchanging Self, as opposed to the body, mind, intellect, feelings, thoughts, which are subject to constant change?

    How is it that we, the Self without any attributes as you say have a “freewill”, when the body-mind-intellect is actually only superimposed upon us?

    Isn’t almost EVERYTHING, or better said, everything that’s vikaraha, in the grand scheme of things only a big theater play then, where “freewill” is only an illusion, part of mityah?

    I get most of Vedanta very well by now I think, but being inclined to jnana yoga, this is a big stumbling stone I still have.
    I feel like I’m grasping the truth of being infinite beingness without any attributes very well, it’s just that free will doesn’t fit into this theory, up until now. Also kind of relates to my comment on an older video.

    Thanks in advance for the answer, Andre!

    1. Human being’s buddhi is sophisticated. It can choose. Ability to choose based on environment is called “freedom to choose (or) freedom to will”.

      Nothing mystical about it.

      Free will = choosing capacity.

      How is it that we, the Self without any attributes as you say have a “freewill”,

      Question arises because mixing up satya and mithya. You’re trying to mix in satya (consciousness) into mithya (modifications of consciousness in form of free will, person Felix, person Andre, world, universe, atom, etc).

      Thus haven’t gotten Vedanta very well by now, as this is the most crucial understanding.

      Full understanding = seeing there is no contradiction between satya and mithya, despite the (apparent) differences.

      It’s expected this video course is being watched consecutively. 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. Not a single video should be missed.

      1. Hey Andre!
        thank you for the answer. I actually did watch all the videos from lesson 1 up to lesson 28 carefully, where I’m at right now, that’s why it’s important to me that I understand this difference and where free will fits in there. I was not sure free will is in the end also counted to mithya.
        Do you recommend that I should watch some specific videos again, or will possible unclarities be further explained later in the series?

        1. Well done for sticking through. For now, don’t get caught up on some topics initially resisted. As we go along, our perception changes the more we know. Keep going. 🙂

  3. Hi Andre, thank you for all you do!

    What could be right thought regarding pleasure? It seems contradictory to negate the sensations I receive from some specific actions I do.

    I have a very hot bath most mornings. As my body sinks into the warm bubbly water it lets out a verbal ‘ahhhhh’! A good long soak gets the warmth inside where it relaxes and moves my awareness of arthritis body ache. This seems to be rewarded throughout a long part of the days I have soaks.

    I have struggled in other ways to allow receive pleasure as well and put the needs of others before my own. Although in hindsight I can say as my body has matured and my mind become less focused my tendency towards this behaviour has lessened. Deeply programmed I have been!

    So I guess my conundrum is with receiving pleasure! To receive or not to receive…. And How to navigate the objective world with this in mind. If my understanding is in line with your teaching Ishvara is not the receiver of pleasure in the same way as I ‘Kathy’ knows pleasure. Although as ‘Kathy’ is a bubble within a bubble, within a bubble etc the energetic frequency of ‘Kathy’ would be layered throughout these other ‘bubbles’ contributing to their perceived boundaries as well.
    I guess I am looking for some clarity regarding the sensations we constantly are aware of…. Specifically body related as these sensations never go away. They subside and peak! A whole pharmaceutical industry has been fashioned around these sensations.
    I recognize and regularly use techniques like focusing on say my big right toe . While I am doing this like when having a headache I am not aware of the headache but can not sustain my focus on my big toe and work effectively. I imagine if focus was on Ishvara I would not be aware of my senses in the way I am now but wonder what I would do as it seems my senses drive my decisions of desire. Perhaps I could sit in the passenger seat for awhile and see what happens, but then I would not have any desire to care. Would I then be caught in a trap I couldn’t get out of? You see this is my fear!

    As I contemplated this the thought I became aware of was ‘ sit back and enjoy it’ ….

    1. Hi Kathleen,

      Sensations are byproduct of being alive. So impossible and get rid of pleasures/pains. In reference to pleasures which come by our innocent engagement with world, there is nothing to be done about that.

      In fact, there’s nothing wrong with actively seeking delightful moments, like movies, massage, intimacy.

      What’s more, delights of life keeps us sane (mentally healthy).

      Unfortunately some take it to extreme and literally deny oneself delights that life offers. This only generates inner dissatisfaction, pressure and psychological complications (for example denial turns into sadistic imagination of pleasure).

      Knowing this, what is one’s attitude towards delights that come our way (whether accidentally or actively sought out)? Appreciate it while it’s there. When it leaves, as it will, there’s no pondering or brooding for it’s return. In other words, one doesn’t let past pleasures become a reference point of “how I should feel in the present”. Otherwise one hands over the mind to memories of the “good old times”.

      In summary: Delights (whether received or pursued) are only UNHEALTHY when one continues to entertain them in the present, long after their expiration. Thus they becomes thief’s of one’s happiness and concentration.

      This is why it’s so important to have a bigger vision of life to fall back on.

      Let me know if any observations.

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