Chapter

Karma Yoga

Arvind Sharma

in Modern Hindu Thought

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780195676389
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081974 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195676389.003.0018
Karma Yoga

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Karma yoga can be explained by referring to the Bhagavadgītā. To attain moksa, one should give up egocentric action, simply because egocentricism results in karma. However, this involves a paradox: If an individual consciously acts to give up ego-actions, then that act in itself strengthens it. Hence, one can get rid of the ego by performing action for its own sake, not for the sake of discarding the ego. It is possible to determine what one's duty is based on his station in life. As a result, both personal and social ends are reconciled and secured. Karma could be combined with jhana, and action performed for ‘cleansing the heart’ (sattva-śuddki). By dedicating all action to God (īśvarārtha), karma may also be combined with bhakti. The modern saint, Ānandamayī Mā (1896–1982), opined that karma by itself may result in moksa.

Keywords: karma yoga; moksa; Bhagavadgītā; ego; jhana; bhakti; Ānandamayī Mā; sattva-śuddki; īśvarārtha; duty

Chapter.  1277 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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