Karma Yoga: Snapping Cause and Effect Chain of Actions
Simply put, Karma Yoga is the path of actions. Not ordinary actions of course but actions that are dedicated to the Lord of all actions, all works being sacrifices to the Lord, with no play of ego.
Ordinary actions are dictated by ego and so they create their consequences-good or bad. There is no getting away from the fact that what we experience now in life is the result of the actions done in this life or in previous lives.
What we do today becomes our karma for tomorrow and the wheel of karma continues after death. The soul that is imperishable transmigrates after death while bringing the karmic consequences from the just-finished life into the new life. This is what we believe in; this is what the doctrine of karma in Hindu philosophy implies.
Karma and Karma Yoga are different. While karma is action and the consequences of actions Karma Yoga is the yogic path treading which we can free ourselves from the chain reactions of karma. It is chain reaction because it is the law of cause and effect. This law is irrevocable. This is a universal law that operates irrespective of individual selves; its operation is totally unbiased and impersonal. Under no circumstances can we go beyond the burden of our karma.
Yet, karma can be transcended. This is what Karma Yoga avers. We, of course, cannot transcend karma by interfering into the laws of karma. This is impossible, for karmic consequences are unchangeable. But we may break the chain of karma, stop the wheel of karma by transformation of our nature, spiritualisation of our nature.
This is the essence of Karma Yoga. Transformation or spiritualisation of nature involves discarding ego, cultivation of an attitude of complete detachment and surrender, living and acting for the Divine as detached instruments of the Divine, doing whatever the Divine dictates us to do, unmoved by the prodding of the ego.
This is the quintessence of Karma Yoga and through practising Karma Yoga we can do away with the chain reaction of karma, emancipate ourselves from the irrevocable cause and effect of karma and finally get freedom from the wheel of birth and death by securing freedom from the chain reaction of karma. And this is when we can settle down in our unchangeable, liberated Self that is the Supreme Self, the Divine Self, the Transcendental Self.