Last week, I sent you 3 secrets from the teachings of Karma Yoga to help you achieve meaningful success in your life.
Today I’m sharing with you last the last 2.
Many of these secrets I’m sharing with you come from the epic poem the Bhagavad Gita.
In the poem, Arjuna, a brave warrior, is on the brink of battle against his clansman, yet finds himself distraught at the prospect of having to fight and kill his evil relatives.
His charioteer, Krishna, a divine avatar, wisely councils Arjuna on how to approach the epic battle before him, and in doing so explains the philosophy and practice of Yoga.
The battle depicted in the Bhagavad Gita is metaphorical for life. This battle between good and evil wages daily within you.
Every day you are faced with decisions that align you on either the side of good and right action, or ignorant and ego driven action.
You know these moments well, and often you may find yourself ill equipped to handle them. Not anymore.
Karma yoga is the science of perfecting your actions to win this battle.
By becoming aware of the principles Karma Yoga shares you have new tools at your disposal to help you act for your highest good.
Let’s dive into the final 2 secrets, [FIRST NAME GOES HERE], and arm yourself with the powerful weapons of wisdom and right action!
P.S. Don’t forget to download the awesome resource I made for you at the end of this newsletter!
4. The Wisdom of Letting Go 🌌
The essence Karma yoga is letting go of the results, or ‘fruits’ of our actions, and acting in service of the highest good.
This can be difficult for us to accept, especially given the conditioning we’ve acquired throughout our lives.
But there is deep wisdom in surrendering the results of your actions.
If we contemplate this, we can see why.
A famous quote in the Bhagavad Gita summarizes this truth perfectly:
You have a right to perform your prescribed duties, but you are not entitled to the fruits of your actions. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, nor be attached to inaction.
What this means is that you have a right to do the actions natural to you, but you cannot ultimately control the universal field where all the complex interactions of your actions take place.
Neither should you be drawn to inaction in the face of this complexity, since action is natural to us as human beings, even though we don’t control outcomes.
If you could control the universal field of action, then you would be entitled to the results of your action, but you don’t!
In this sense, you are not “entitled” to the fruits of what you do.
We are not gods. All our actions are susceptible to circumstances and effects that aren’t in our control.
The best laid plans often go to waste, as they say.
No matter how well you prepare, train or try to control a situation, you are ultimately not in control of the entire field of creation.
You can’t control outcomes. So, why become attached to results that are ultimately beyond your ability to control?
We must learn an aspect of surrender when we act.
This state of surrender is actually a state of profound wisdom, which aligns with the universal truth stated in the Bhagavad Gita.
To attach ourselves to a specific result is actually a subtle form of ignorance about our place in the world, and how it functions.
Another important thing to consider, is that the Divine Intelligence that governs creation knows best how to assign the results of our actions.
It’s this power that is behind all life, and dreamed the universe into existence.
The Divine Intelligence that governs the universe guides our actions and their results for the highest good.
We can only envision a limited set of outcomes, which are usually based on fears or basic desires.
Why desire an outcome, when you can be open to the unlimited potential that exists when you act without expectation?
Why fear a result when all that happens aligns with the highest good?
Even if you don’t believe in a divine principle, results are still not in your control. Be wise about your actions. Do not fear or attach yourself to outcomes.
When you act from this place of surrender you become favorable to everything that happens as a result of your actions.
You understand from this awakened perspective that all the fruits you reap are part of the greater good.
Summary: You should neither become attached or fear any outcome, since you cannot control the universal field your actions play out in. Acting from a place of surrender, and being favorable to all outcomes, is acting with the highest wisdom.
5. Your Duties & You 👩🏭
You know that feeling you get in your chest when you’re not doing something you should be doing?
That slow burning, anxious feeling?
That’s the feeling you get when you ignore your duties.
Performing your duties is an essential part of success.
Contrary to what the modern world says, lasting fulfillment doesn’t come from fame or money, it comes from fulfilling your duties.
Duties are a form of sacrifice that you must make. The more you try to avoid your duties, the more anxiety you feel.
Think about how much your mother and father sacrificed for you, so that you could have a good life.
Or the people who worked to provide the food on your table, the clothes you wear, the technology you use, and the content you consume.
How much blood, sweat and tears went into that?
We must perform our duties, since the performance of duties is what allows the world to exist for the benefit of all.
The sun rises, the moon orbits the Earth, tides rise and fall, birds chirp, animals hunt for food, and human beings attend to their duties.
The order of nature sustains the well-being of all life according to the duties each living thing performs.
Of course, the ego has its own desires and ambitions that often go contrary to the duties natural to us.
One of the most common problems of modern humans is the conflict between what we know we should – the duties we know we need to perform – and what we actually do.
Martin Luther King Jr., another perfect example of a Karma Yogi, explains this conflict in his brilliant book of sermons Strength to Love:
One of the greatest tragedies of life is that men seldom bridge the gulf between practice and profession, between doing and saying. A persistent schizophrenia leaves so many of us tragically divided against ourselves… This strange dichotomy, this agonizing gulf between the ought and the is, represents the tragic theme of man’s earthly pilgrimage.
How often you know what you should do, but don’t do it?! This maddening state of affairs causes so much conflict in ourselves.
If we neglect our duties in favor of other actions, even if we become wildly rich and famous from them, we will not get the contentment and satisfaction that comes from fulling them.
The example of a miserable yet successful businessman who’s too busy with work to attend to family duties comes to mind.
The Bhagavad Gita has another great quote on this:
So, what are these duties that you’re prescribed to do? How do you know what they are?
Your duties are prescribed to you based on the relationships that you have to yourself, the world, and others.
You may be a father, mother, boss, coworker, or daughter.
All of these relationships have their own set of duties associated with them.
We are all citizens of this world, and that requires its own set of duties like caring for nature and the environment.
We also have duties to ourselves.
To take care of our bodies, to serve our self-interest in a harmonious way, and to learn, create, grow and evolve.
If you love painting, then you have a duty to yourself to paint even if you have other seemingly more important work to do.
We also have a relationship to God, Divine Intelligence, and it’s our duty to cultivate that relationship too.
This is perhaps our most important, yet overlooked duty in life.
Duties are the compass for your actions, and give you constant guidance on what you should or should not do.
By performing your duties you gain satisfaction, contentment and peace of mind more precious than any amount of wealth.
Summary: Your relationship to yourself, others, and Divine Intelligence defines your duties and guides your actions. Acting in accordance to your duties brings you lasting contentment and success, ignoring them creates suffering.
So, there you go.
The 5 secrets I’ve shared with you are a summary of Karma Yoga, and how to become victorious in everything you do.
If I had to boil the secrets of Karma yoga down into a few quick points, they would be these:
- Successful actions are done without attachment
- Don’t fear or attach yourself to outcomes you don’t control
- Develop an attitude of favorableness to all outcomes
- Serving others is really serving yourself
- Follow your natural inclinations, don’t become inactive or neglect them
- Doing your duties brings lasting fulfillment
- Flow states happen naturally when you let go, and focus on the moment
- The universe makes sacrifices for all life, so we must make sacrifices in our life
Apply these principles and practices in your daily life today.
Go over the PDF I’ve provided for you below and incorporate the knowledge into your life steadily.
Take one step at a time.
Try incorporating small but significant steps to attaining equanimity through your actions by using Karma Yoga. You won’t regret it.
Win the battle of good and evil that wages within you. There is no greater success in life.
And when you lose, don’t get down on yourself.
You may lose battles, but with persistent effort you will surely win the war, and like Arjuna attain victory in all that you do!
Victory to You!
💥 FREE DOWNLOAD 💥 I know I’ve included a lot for you to digest in this two-part email series on Karma Yoga.
To help you get the full benefit of this timeless wisdom, I’ve combined Part 1 and Part 2 together into a PDF for you.