Decisions, Choices, Promises, Vows – Br. Shankara

Sunday, February 12, 2017

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good DayDuring February we will study Karma Yoga, a spiritual path centered on the abandonment of selfishness, and service to others. Working in this spirit, your thoughts and actions are increasingly inspired by a recognition of the Divine Essence within every person or being that you serve.

Vedanta teaches that there is only One Reality (Brahman). Sri Ramakrishna said,“It is Satchidananda Itself that has become all — the Creator, māyā, the universe, and living beings.”

Each of us, to one degree or another, is a karma yogi. We all practice some selfless service to others. Yet many of us serve, primarily, only our family and friends.

Is that a “bad thing?” Surely not. Yet, when we think about it carefully, we realize that time and energy spent on this kind of service does not yield lasting peace of mind.

Why? When we limit those we serve wholeheartedly to the near and dear, it may mean that we are not serving them out of a sense of their Divine Presence. Rather, this service is likely to be done out of a sense of duty – morality – traditional values.

Again, is this inherently wrong? Of course not. Yet, if we are honest, we must admit that no matter how great our self-sacrifice or demonstration of love may be, the satisfaction of that action fades to insignificance within just a few days.

In this talk, we review and explore Karma Yoga principles and practices that can lead to lasting peace of mind, and strong spiritual progress.