Seven Principles of Right Karma Yoga

Introduction

The foremost of the Essential Teachings of the SSG is the Seven Principles of Right Surrender. All genuine seekers who want to grow to know God will be able to progress on their spiritual journey if they use these Seven Principles of Right Surrender to empty their mind of all the thoughts to which they are attached which are usually linked to matter. And while the Seven Principles of Right Surrender is the most fundamental teaching of the SSG, there are other principles that need to be followed if one is to live a God guided way of life and free oneself from the cycles of birth, life and death which is also referred to as the ‘Wheel of Karma’.

 

Teaching Explanation

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Karma Yoga is that action which is in keeping with the Will of God. There are three ways one can receive guidance from God. Those who are in touch with God, receive direct guidance from God about what it is that He wants them to do. Only true Spiritual Masters receive direct guidance from God. These Spiritual Masters also receive guidance from God for others through whom God wants His Will to be fulfilled. So, although these other people are not themselves in direct contact with God, they receive indirect guidance from God, through a Spiritual Master. Those who are not fortunate to be in contact with a Spiritual Master can also live a life based upon God Guidance, provided they follow the “Seven Principles of God Guidance through Force of Circumstances.

The set of Seven Principles of Right Karma Yoga is for those seekers who have the rare opportunity to receive guidance from God either indirectly through instructions received for them by a true Spiritual Master who is in direct contact with God or by following the Seven Principles of God Guidance Through Force of Circumstances. Karma means action and includes the results of the action as well. Karma can be broadly divided into two groups. Karma Bhoga and Karma Yoga. Karma Bhoga binds one to the cycles of birth, life and death which is also described as the ‘Wheel of Karmais often Karma Bhoga results from thoughts about material objects and people that one is attached to even if one does not express the thoughts in words and deeds. Karma Yoga, on the other hand, does not bind one to the ‘Wheel of Karma’. Karma Yoga involves actions that are in keeping with the Divine Will and are performed in keeping with the spiritual principles and laws that govern Karma Yoga and not according to one’s own ideas. Therefore Karma Yoga allows us to fulfill the Divine Will and prevents us from drifting away from God.

Actions or Karmas that are not performed in keeping with the Divine Will create a barrier between us and the aspect of God within us which is commonly called soul or atma.

This is because we are attached to the thoughts linked to matter and these thoughts become part of the veil that separates our conscious human mind from the mind of the soul. One can simply say that it is the principle of attachment that determines whether one is performing Karma Bhoga or Karma Yoga.

What actuates one to do something is more important than the deed. If the basis of one’s actions are thoughts which attaches the mind to matter, then such actions create Karma Bhoga.

But if the basis of one’s thoughts is the attachment to the Divine Will and if one performs such actions in keeping with the laws governing Karma Yoga, then such actions do not bind one to the ‘Wheel of Karma’ or the cycles of birth, life and death.

Karma Bhoga is simply the result of the Law of Causation in operation which is often expressed as  “As ye sow, so shall ye reap”.

The purpose of Karma Yoga is to help individuals to fulfill the Divine Will without getting trapped in the ‘Wheel of Karma’ and through that to grow to know God by emptying one’s mind of matter-based thoughts things and people one is attached to.

Since most of us are not in direct contact with God we are incapable of understanding what the Divine Will is for us and therefore incapable of performing Karma Yoga.

In some rare circumstances, a true Spiritual Master comes into our lives, if we deserve. In cases where we are in contact with a true Spiritual Master, we have the opportunity to perform Karma Yoga. The Seven Principles of Right Karma Yoga are intended to guide Karma yogis in performing God guided activities.

Seven Principles of Right Karma Yoga and the Bridge Between Karma Yoga and Karma Bhoga

Dr. Dinshah K. Mehta
Servant of Servants of God

KARMA

“Karma as we ordinarily understand it, is action, deeds, things. What actuates one to do something is more important than the deed. On that depends whether the Karma binds us or does not bind us – us, in the sense our soul, the deepest part of our personality – to the condition which makes us do things. Does Karma liberate our soul, is another aspect of Karma that needs consideration.  

KARMA BHOGA

The Karma or deeds that bind us are termed Karma Bhoga. Those Karmas the very doing of which, as well as the fruits of which, bind us down, bind our soul to the states of Karma, however good or seemingly godly they may be, constitute what is termed Karma Bhoga. If a Karma binds our soul, it is Kama Bhoga.

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