YOGA-ARTICLE: Tomorrow is born today

Every day gives us the opportunity to change something in our lives. However, sometimes we consider ourselves hostages of the circumstances and think that nothing depends on us. How are the situations in which we find ourselves born? How to get out of the cycle of events that affect us? How can the right attitude towards work activity help with it?

What is Karma?

The word «karma» comes from the Sanskrit word «karman», which means «deed, action, work», and from the verb «kar» — «to do». Karma is a simple and logical law of Cause and Effect, which says: «We have created everything that we see around us by our own actions». Each effect has its own cause; each result had prerequisites that led to it. As the proverb says, «As you sow, so shall you reap». By our actions, we constantly generate Karma. Everything that happens in various areas of our life: in the family, in social life, in our work, is the result of our previous actions, the consequences of which return to us like an echo.

What is bad and good karma?

There is no list of bad and good deeds in the absolute sense of the word. Any action can lead us to both positive and negative Karma. If we commit acts by our actions, because of which we later suffer, this is bad Karma for us. If, as a result of our actions, happiness and pleasure come to us, we perceive this as good Karma. The point is not WHAT we do, but HOW we do it, whether it is appropriate or not. Even a good deed can harm someone under certain circumstances. Understanding this, we gain the realization that there is no single act that is completely positive or negative. Thus, our motivation becomes to reduce harm and increase good in this world.

How can you change your tomorrow today?

It is pointless to worry about what was done in the past, or about what is happening now, you cannot fix it. Yoga advises to track the logic of cause-and-effect relationships and draw conclusions on how to behave today so that tomorrow becomes better than yesterday. It is also important to consider the emotional component. We must learn to analyze and control emotions in such a way that they do not poison our lives, but rather help on the spiritual path, making our life brighter.

What is the meaning of Karma Yoga?

We can forever be in the plane of Karma: we do good — we get good, we do bad — we get bad. Karma yoga offers to accumulate as much positive Karma as possible so that it neutralizes the negative one, and then goes beyond Karma in general. We must develop such a way of life that our state and actions are not conditioned by either negative or positive Karma. The meaning of Karma yoga is to help us get out of the plane of Karma conditioning.

What opportunities does work give us?

Yoga says that all knowledge is hidden within each person, and does not come from outside. Karma yoga allows us to reveal this knowledge through various types of labor activity. This direction in Yoga teaches us a skillful and correct attitude to our work, whatever it may be. Any work that we have at this moment in time is not a punishment, but the greatest chance for our spiritual growth. If we are conscientious about our duties and honestly try to fulfill them, then no matter what we do, we will not receive negative karma. Positive Karma neutralizes the already accumulated negative one and allows us to go beyond it.

Is it possible not to work at all?

The nature and conditions of our work are determined by our Karma. Many people treat work as something slavish, which should be avoided by all means, and this makes them perform their duties poorly. There is an eternal question: «How not to work, but still earn money?» But the bottom line is that hardworking people achieve success. The main task is to find the activity that will not be a burden for us, but will inspire new achievements. Now a stick or a carrot is driving us to an unloved job, but it is precisely this job that is a chance for us, using which we can find the work of a lifetime.

Whatever the work is, it makes us move forward, allows us to develop and master various skills. By acquiring more and more new skills, we expand our freedom. We have the opportunity to apply the acquired skills in various areas of life where they occur, and to master additional skills in other activities. Thus, a job we hate can lead us to the work we want to do in life. If we do nothing, then we begin to degrade and lose the opportunity to find an occupation that will please us.

How to work?

Wherever we work, we must work not because of fear of punishment or for reward, but simply because the work must be done and done well. Working without conditioning, we get a very serious and deep inner attitude, which is the main method of Karma yoga. If such an attitude to work becomes a habit, then negative Karma will be «grinded» at any work, and we will not be guided by either positive or negative emotions, neither praise nor abuse. By overcoming the law of Cause and Effect, we discover our true freedom, which is inherent in us.

How to form a new attitude to work?

  • Work honestly, giving ourselves entirely to the process of work.
  • Do not become attached to the results of our work. That is, calmly accept any result of the work.
  • Use our work as an opportunity to change the world for the better, whatever it may be. 
  • Be involved in the process of work, no matter how routine it may seem, find interest in our work. Focusing on the process of work will help us to do this. 
  • Be honest with ourselves, set realistically achievable goals. 
  • Remember that the process of work implies not only its implementation, but also rest. Be sure to switch from work activities to something else: hobbies, family, sports, and the like. 
  • Apply the principle of mindfulness: remember the principles of Karma Yoga every day and develop the habit of working in accordance with them.

We are responsible for who we are and we have the ability to make ourselves who we want to be, including professionally. Our future position depends on our present actions. If we do nothing, then there is a high probability that we will degrade due to lack of motivation. If we work in accordance with the principles of Karma Yoga, that is, with the utmost honesty, creativity and involvement, without attachment to the result and without fear of punishment, then we will rise to a new higher level of development.

Love your job, work honestly and with pleasure and be happy!

Article author: Eva Rati 

In the photo: students of the International Open Yoga University 

Editing: Mirra, Olga Belous, Yulia Volyevskaya, Evgeniya Agni, Evgeniya Lakshmi, Inna Shakti 

Project curator: Kerigona 

Translator: Anya Vayu, Elena Lakshmi