Vedic Karmic yoga or Karma yoga focuses on enabling you to regulate your mind, and through the mind to regulate all the actions you take in your daily life. This may sound mundane to many, but there is deep veracity and validity that is an undercurrent to this statement.
The mind is like the driver of a vehicle and the vehicle itself is like our life.
What we see is the vehicle moving, but without the driver, the vehicle would not move, and if at all the driver relinquishes charge, the vehicle will crash. So also is the case with our life. If our mind is in control of our life, we shall move in the proper direction depending on the context and if there is no control, our journey of life will go wayward and our life will be wasted.
All this may sound too generic and too much of a motherhood statement. So to come to specifics we can talk of what Karma Yoga is all about.
Karma Yoga literally translates ‘Action Control’, if we loosely render Yoga to mean yoke or control.
Karma yoga centers around yoking your actions to a sense of duty and not to seek the fruits of those actions.
In our modern-day life we are all programmed, brainwashed with the idea of being result-oriented being drummed into our minds. We all chase targets in all spheres starting from school where we chase grades, in our career we chase sales, production or some such other targets, we have promotion, raises, and designations as also money, power, prestige, name, and fame as targets and a person who constantly moves from one achievement to another higher achievement is looked upon as a successful person.
In this rat race that we build around us and in which we want to be way ahead of our rivals, builds within us a perennially dissatisfied temperament.
If we meet one target we are happy, and we immediately set the next target, if we meet that too, comes in the third target. So we keep moving from target to target, until some time we miss a target and then sit back and brood, become the target of ire and ridicule and in extreme cases suffer a nervous breakdown in the process of sulking.
Karma Yoga gives an alternate path of de-linking actions from results and seeking to do the action for the love of action itself, as a traveler has said it is the journey that is interesting and not the destination. Similarly, Karma yoga makes you focus on your actions and enjoy making yourself a part of that action while not focusing on the fruits of that action.
Nurture the psyche within you
By nurturing this psyche within you, you build a defense system within yourself that keeps away frustration, dejection, exasperation when you miss a target because you are not chasing one in the first place. Instead, the thing that you are enamored with is your action. You do it properly and diligently and in 9 out of 10 cases, you would also be considered successful in the eyes of the world. But if in case that is not the outcome, you have anyway enjoyed doing your duty and the fruit of your effort is not the actual fruit (result) itself, but the process of making that effort.
Such a mindset insulates you largely from the many downsides of modern-day life that find expression in people becoming nervous wrecks, mental delinquents, or at best being ever frustrated with themselves, as also quite temperamental, and boorish because they perceive themselves to have been failures.
Karma yoga, by the way, is no escapism from making effort at all, but in simple terms, Karma yoga is “Do your best and leave to god to do the rest.”
Karma Yoga : The Inner Alchemy of Action