The Karmayogi’s Mindset

होइहि सोइ जो राम रचि राखा Whatever is the will of the lord will transpire, so say our scriptures. As a believer in determinism, my faith in this verse is unshakeable. A gripping story in the Siva Purana had first seeded this belief in my mind and over time as I watched life unfold I

होइहि सोइ जो राम रचि राखा

Whatever is the will of the lord will transpire, so say our scriptures. As a believer in determinism, my faith in this verse is unshakeable. A gripping story in the Siva Purana had first seeded this belief in my mind and over time as I watched life unfold I felt that we may have some notional free will, but the overarching reality is God’s will. Detractors of determinism would say its fatalistic, I feel it depends on how you look at it, in my view it could veritably be a pathway to a bliss. On a path etched out by God, if one invokes his grace and treads on it with faith and gratitude, it could only lead to Ananda, joy. At times I have wondered that if life is pre-ordered why must we make any effort? The answer comes in the Gita where lord Krsna says that the nature of man is such that he cannot stay an instant without action- even if we are seemingly inactive, breathe we must and that is action. The Gita exhorts lay seekers to walk on the path of karma yoga – the path of action. During the Vishwaroop Darshan in the Gita Lord Krsna tells Arjuna that the Kauravas have already been killed by him , but Arjuna should get up, do his duty, fight and be an instrument of their death . Therefore karma, or action is the path to walk on, especially for beginners on the spiritual path. Karma would include a plethora of activities, but the real meaning is in aligning actions to the direction provided by scriptures, not taking them as stringent injunctions, but seeing them as the voice of god, the guidance of the supreme benefactor . Karma would mean we discharge our duties – as a son, daughter, husband, wife , doctor, engineer , staying away from prohibited actions which would even include things like gossiping or even spending too much  time on social media . Just discharging duties is not sufficient, one must do one’s duties diligently and with the right mindset . In the Gita, the Lord says that one must dedicate all karma to him, thereby spiritualizing all action. However through my teacher I understood the true import and flowering of this instruction. According to my teacher’ s understanding one must conduct every action with Ishwar Arpan Buddhi  . It entails working with the conviction and feeling that:


  1. We are doing God’s work
  2. Using all energy, materials, ability and everything else given by Him only
  3. Whatever we are doing is only for His pleasure and not for fulfilment of our desires
  4. The fruits of all our actions also belong to Him only


Two very important points are to be noted here, the first is devoting every activity to god and seeing his hand in every action. The key is to understand that he is the underlying substratum behind every activity, every being, every pore of this universe and beyond. Hence it follows that every action that we do is also located in God and God alone. The second factor to be noted is that craving for fruits of action, expecting the results of karma  is turned around on its head by Lord Krsna in the Gita when he says do your duty do not be concerned with the results . While acts are to be dedicated to God, while his centricity in one’s karma is to be kept in mind at all times, one must concurrently renounce the desire for the fruits of action. The fruits too must be dedicated to the almighty. No desire, no expectations, just the discharge of duty selflessly.


Ishwar Arpan Buddhi purifies and  cleanses the mind and heart and reveal one’s intrinsic divinity . Divinizing work , not seeing one as individual egoic entities working in isolation but fathoming that we are like cotton yarn beads strung on the sutra (string) that is God-सूत्रे मणिगणा इव. Seeing ourselves as part of the divine whole, where everything we do is embedded in divinity because divinity is all pervasive, divinity is the only reality . The “I” does not exist , there is only Brahm, hence the feeling that “I am doing this/ I am straining myself” is a fallacy . All action has to be for God through his energy and potency, All results for him .


The other important aspect of the karma yogi mindset is that of Prasad Buddhi . In inculcating this trait we approach what we receive with this mindset:


  1. We feel blessed with whatever we get
  2. We dont reject what we get
  3. We dont compare (what prasad we got versus what others got)
  4. We dont try to improve it (we accept it as it is – we eat it as it is)


Life can throw curveballs, there can be intense sorrow and suffering but a person with prasad buddhi accepts it all as God’s beneficence. In the greatest of tribulations, one must accept that it is Hari Iksha, Gods will at play and accept it with a deep sense of gratitude. One may say that suffering is a teacher, that it is for one’s growth and evolution. Even if one does not reap any personal growth , even if there are no reconciliatory outcomes , one must simply submit that it is God’s wish and one must be satisfied and content in that thought. In periods of Joy and happiness, one must maintain the same mindset , not getting unnecessarily carried away and losing God from the radar. Nor must one hanker for the period of joy to be prolonged. One must leave everything to God and His designs and be in a spirit of calm acceptance


Om Tat Sat


The four points on IAB, and Prasad Buddhi kindly shared by Meenal Dutia

Supriya Sinha

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