Karma Yoga: Enlightenment Through Service to Others

By Wes Annac, Karma Yoga Daily

Karma Yoga is a path to enlightenment achieved through selfless service that often involves some form of work.

Anything that helps people can be considered service, which includes creative work. Even if your job prevents you from helping people on a regular basis, it can still be considered a form of service if it helps the world function.

If you want to wake people up, I recommend either starting on the internet or somewhere in your community.

Karma Yoga traditionally involves guiding people to enlightenment – spiritual education is considered by many to be the best form of selfless service – but there are countless good things you can do for others and there’s no need to limit your service.

None of them compare to helping people discover higher consciousness, but this doesn’t mean they’re worthless.

Start in Your Community

If you do want to wake people up, I recommend either starting on the internet or somewhere in your community.

You don’t have to overwhelm people with your truth, but you can drop little hints about higher consciousness or our potential to attain this state of being naturally.

You might help some people wake up, and they can share the wealth with those who are still in the dark.

According to Zarathustra, a little knowledge shared with others is better than none at all.

“One who gives of the little he knows to those who are fit for it, is more acceptable than the one who knows but neither helps nor benefits deserving persons.” (1)

Lao-Tzu tells us that the archetypical ‘good man’ should appreciate the opportunity to help the ‘bad man’.

“Surely the good man is the bad man’s teacher; and the bad man is the good man’s business. If the one does not respect his teacher, or the other doesn’t love his business, his error is very great. This is indeed an important secret.” (2)

Remembering we’re here to serve humanity makes it easier to deal with challenging people.

Sadly, the world doesn’t yet reflect the enlightened state of consciousness strived for by seekers everywhere and there’s still a lot of negativity and trauma in the collective consciousness.

It can be difficult to deal with a world that resists love and higher vibrations, but we aren’t here to change everything overnight. We’re here to do our best, and no matter how big or small your impact is, you will make a difference if you try.

Feed the Soul

According to Krishnamurti, the most effective way to serve people is to lead them to enlightenment.

“You must distinguish not only the useful from the useless, but the more useful from the less useful. To feed the poor is a good and noble and useful work; yet to feed their souls is nobler and more useful than to feed their bodies.

“Any rich man can feed the body, but only those who know can feed the soul. If you know, it is your duty to help others to know.” (3)

Blessed Henry SUSO tells us that our actions determine our ‘blessedness’ more than our words.

“True blessedness does not consist in fine phrases. It consists in good actions.” (4)

Love Grows Through Selfless Service

Paramahansa Ramakrishna encourages us to “Perform [our] duties in an unselfish spirit … without desiring any result.” (5)

Through the path of selfless service, he tells us, “love of God grows in the heart. Then, through His grace, one realizes Him in the course of time.” (6)

Our reason for doing all of this, Ramakrishna tells us, “should be to set others, by your example, on the path of duty. By these philanthropic activities you are really doing good to yourself. If you can do them disinterestedly, your mind will become pure and you will develop love of God. As soon as you have that love you will realize Him.” (7)

Creativity and Higher Consciousness

I’m passionate about Karma Yoga because I’m passionate about creative work, which brings the artist as well as those who enjoy their art closer with their soul.

The soul is slowly drained from us through conditions set up by the powers that be to make sure our life force energy is given to them instead of invested in our passions.

Art is a reflection of the artist’s reality.

Fortunately, creative work like art, writing and music brings us back into contact with this long-lost part of ourselves.

To help a person reconnect with their soul is noble regardless of how it’s done, and if you consider yourself a lightworker, wanderer, etc. on a mission, the best way to awaken people is to share what you know and feel.

Art is a reflection of the artist’s reality, and if you want to create art that uplifts people and inspires higher consciousness, I recommend tapping in to the silent, sacred part of yourself that can answer any question, solve any problem and create any kind of masterpiece.

It’ll provide what you need to awaken others to the existence of their silent higher self, and when this life is finished, you’ll be satisfied knowing you made a sufficient effort to illuminate the other side of the veil.

Footnotes:

(1) Duncan Greenlees,  trans. The Gospel of Zarathushtra. Adyar: Theosophical Publishing House, 1978, 10.

(2) Lao Tzu, The Way of Life. The Tao Te Ching. trans. R.B. Blakney. New York, etc.: Avon, 1975, 79.

(3) J. Krishnamurti, At the Feet of the Master. Adyar: Theosophical Publishing House, 1974; c1910, 26-7.

(4) Frank Tobin, trans. Henry Suso. The Exemplar, with Two German Sermons. New York and Mahwah: Paulist Press, 1989, 133.

(5) Swami Nikhilananda, trans., The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1978; c1942, 113.

(6) Ibid., 109.

(7) Ibid., 108.

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