I am trying to practice a path called Karma Yoga, but I have never felt that I really know anything about it. I am always a beginner. Bhagavan Krishna tells Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita that dedicating all of one’s actions to the Divine will free one from bondage. Krishna declares that to think of God amidst any action transforms simple work into worship. Lovingly, he declares that all actions done without attachment to the result will awaken us to our own true nature.
Amma says that serving society selflessly, regardless of any benefit we may or may not get, purifies our minds and souls of past actions done with selfish motives.
In the world today, we see massive systems of infrastructure and commerce, but seldom are they dedicated solely to the benefit of society regardless of cost or profit. In Amritapuri Ashram we have the opportunity to create this kind of a reality.
Before I came to this ashram, I longed to find a purpose in life and complete satisfaction in my work. Even after achieving extremely lucrative positions in amazing companies for which I loved working, I felt an emptiness at the end of my day. I could not find the truth I was looking for in my work. As I began doing seva at the ashram, I found that every one of my days, from the moment I woke up, to the moment I went to sleep, were somehow deeply fulfilling. Cleaning the floor, picking up trash, washing dishes, or doing someone else’s laundry was giving me the sense of the completion I longed for.
At first, none of this made any sense to me. My interests revolved more around healing work, yoga, massage, and dance. I kept wondering if I was missing something. But every time I checked in, I felt happier than ever before. Instead of focusing on myself all day, and how to make my own life better, I was focused on what might be pleasing to God.
I have been living in Amritapuri for seven years, and I continue to dedicate my days to seva. I am still certain that I am not any kind of adept at Karma Yoga. I only how fulfilling this most sacred of paths is. Every day I dedicate all my actions to the Divine. Every day I chant my guru mantra while I work, or I talk to Amma mentally and think of her while I work. I try to help others more than I help myself. I try not to be attached to the things I like or don’t like. I practice not getting too disappointed when things don’t go well, and not getting too elated when they do. I practice remembering that all successes and failures come from God and that it is my attitude that makes each and every situation a failure or a success.
My goal on the path of Karma Yoga is to feel gratitude and love flowing through every thought or action. Amma’s divine gift to her children is that each one of us has an opportunity to serve. Some days I feel I have a very long way to go before I am truly selfless, but I know that as long as I keep trying, Grace will unfold.