Karma and Karma-yoga

karma

Sometime back one of our readers asked the question; “What is the difference between karma and karma-yoga?” I answered his question in some length, I recall, referring to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is as reference. But just this morning, I was reading from the Srimad Bhagavatam, and I read this very short and concise explaination.

“There is a difference between karma and karma-yoga. Karma is regulated action for the enjoyment of the fruit by the performer, but karma-yoga is action performed by the devotee for the satisfaction of the Lord. Karma-yoga is based on bhakti, or pleasing the Lord, whereas karma is based on pleasing the senses of the performer himself.” (from purport to SB 1.3.4)

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The Law of Karma

This begins a new series on Karma (cause and effect) which was compiled by Urdhvaga Prabhu, based on the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Urdhvaga Prabhu has kindly allowed us to reprint it here.

The Law of Karma – cause and effect 

Karma is the great law of “cause and effect”, of “action and reaction”, which controls the destiny of all living entities.

This great law functions on the principle, that any action performed produces an equal and opposite reaction, which directly influences our very existence.

Karma, like time and gravity, is a universal principle and every one is effected by its influence. While the law of physics applies to the interaction of material objects only, the law of karma however, applies to any action performed by living entities and governs the interrelations of all living beings. The state laws for example, are grossly observed; but the law of material nature [karma] being subtle to our gross understanding, cannot be experienced grossly or understood by mental speculation.

The law of karma states, that every action performed in life creates another reaction which in turn produces a new counter action. Thus an endless chain of actions and reactions is produced which binds the living entity to his good and bad deeds. This is the way how karma works. It creates an action and another reaction simultaneously and this increases the chain of material activities, keeping the performer in material bondage.

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