Open Heart Extra – Karma Yoga

Question: Our first question is, we would like for you to define the term Karma Yoga and the second part to that would be how would you suggest that we, as lay people, manifest that form of yoga in our lives?

Ram Dass: Well in the simplest sense you could say that Karma Yoga is using your Karma as a way of coming into union with God. It’s using the stuff of your life. It is usually used as the way in which you do work in the world. And whether or not that work in the world is a vehicle for spiritual awakening. In books like the Bhagavad Gita Karma Yoga is specified as Krishna saying to Arjuna “Do what you do, but offer the fruits of it to me.” That’s what Karma Yoga is. So in that sense, it has a devotional quality to it. And it’s interesting that in Vivekanada’s book on Karma Yoga, Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga are usually put together in the little volumes. They are published together because there is such a relationship. Because Karma Yoga really has that you serve others as a way of serving God. You serve others as a way of putting flowers at the feet of God, of honoring God. And you do seva or service as a technique of doing that.

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