Performing that karma which will result in spiritual growth and, ultimately, God-realization, denotes Karma-yoga. This article explains the characteristics of true karmayogi and individuals who do not deserve Karma-yoga and are fake karmayogi.
1. Never ask an ignorant person to refrain from worldly duties
– Shrimadbhagwadgeeta, 3.29
Meaning : Men of perfect knowledge should not unsettle the mind of people of dull wit and imperfect knowledge, who deluded by the gunas (Components) of Prakruti remain attached to those gunas and actions.
Explanation : An ignorant is generally an individual with 20% spiritual level. Wise men should not ask such individuals to abstain from karmas in Maya (The Great Illusion) that they indulge in; because, preaching Karma-yoga to them is futile.
2. Karma-yoga is for those with supreme spiritual ability
Karma-yoga is for those with supreme spiritual ability. Without this prerequisite, Karma-yoga cannot be practiced.
3. Pseudo karmayogi
– Shrimadbhagwadgeeta, 3.6
Meaning : He, who restraining the organs of karma, sits revolving in the mind, thinks regarding objects of sense, he, of deluded understanding, is called a hypocrite.
When compared with such a hypocrite, an individual performing even sakam (With expectations) karma is at a superior level. A person who performs prescribed sakam karma is at a more superior level.
4. A righteous person who does not
believe in God is, in reality, a so-called karmayogi
Accepting the scriptures that specify what is karma and akarma as an authority and performing karma is in itself Karma-yoga. Activity just for its sake is karma, not Yoga. Even karma performed selflessly without the science mentioned in the scriptures as base is not Karma-yoga. This meaningless loyalty to the Truth is itself a bondage. Activity of noble men who are atheists is mere activity and not karma.
5. The true and fake karmayogi
Nowadays, a lot many are referred to as Karmayogi; but this is incorrect. As the power is in the hands of the unrighteous, anybody is referred to as a karmayogi. Performing karma prescribed by the scriptures with a nishkam (Without expectations) intellect is truly Karma-yoga. What is amusing is that karmas of the so-called famous Karmayogis of the day are contrary to those advised by the scriptures. Such unscientific karmas, due to lack of righteous intellect, can never be performed with a nishkam intellect; for there lies co-existence of insistence and stubbornness. Hence, this karma cannot be performed with an attitude of opposition to none.
Realisation of the soul-form with its characteristic blissful nature is the sole purpose of our human birth. Hence, every Hindu should devote himself to at least one constructive task. Such a task should be acceptable to the Hindu Dharma, that is, it must live up to the expectations of Dharma. A task living up to the expectations of Hindu Dharma amounts to performing karma as defined by the scriptures with a nishkam intellect. This precisely is termed as Karma-yoga.
6. Saints who lack faith in dharmik mission take to social work
Currently, there are many Saints in Bharat. They begin a mission in the name of Dharma, but later turn to social work. Such people lack faith in their own dharmik mission and hence, switch over to social work. They set up schools-colleges and establish many institutions. Ideally, they should be sticking to the dharmik mission alone; however, they do not confess that they lack faith in the dharmik mission. If funds are raised in the name of dharmik mission, they should be utilized to impart education only on Dharma from village to village. If these people are hell bent on taking up some mission, they should rather open Vedic universities. That way, it will turn into a dharmik mission.
Those who have not understood the basics of Dharma indulge in social work, instead of working towards God-realization.
Reference : Sanatan Sanstha’s Holy text ‘Introduction to Karma-yoga’