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The Path of Selfless Service (Karma Yoga)

“When you make service your sole purpose in life, it eliminates fear, focuses your mind and gives you meaning.”—Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Karma yoga is the path of ‘action’—of putting in 100 percent effort without being attached to the outcome. Karma yoga can be applied to everything you do: from the most trivial, ordinary tasks to greater, more challenging works. When action is performed selflessly, with full focus and attention, it brings fulfillment and freedom. Acting without being attached to the fruits of one’s deeds—this alone can lead to union with the self, which is the goal of yoga.

What is known as seva, or service, is nothing other than karma yoga—it is the selfless giving of oneself through the medium of work and stems from love which finds fulfillment in pure giving without thought of self-gain or acknowledgement. Karma yoga is closely linked to bhakti yoga, for without love and devotion, it would be impossible to serve others selflessly. Performing one’s duties and serving humanity without any selfish motives purifies the heart and brings satisfaction.

“Thy right is to work only, but never with its fruits; let not the fruits of action be thy motive, nor let thy attachment be to inaction. As the ignorant men act from attachment to action, so should the wise act without attachment, wishing the welfare of the world.” —The Bhagavad Gita

Full article originally published on artofliving.org.

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