1st Step Path of Service
1st Step Karma Yoga; Path of action.
The whole life is a process of performing actions. An action with love is service. It is an act of help or assistance. Performance of actions needs a disciplined approach and a proper attitude. There are two kinds of possible attitudes in the practice of actions, one with expectations of outcome and second with the outcome dedicated to God. When we perform these actions with no selfish attitude as a service to God without any expectation of results, it helps purify the mind. This system of rules discipline method of practice is called karma yoga.
In other sense, Any action can be of two types. Sakama Karma or Nishkama Karma. The word 'Kama' means desire. Sakama means with desire, with expectation. When an action is performed with an expectation of receiving certain result or an acknowledgement, it is Sakama Karma.Nishkama Karma is when an action is performed without expecting an appreciation, acknowledgement or without feverishness or attachments to the fruits of action. So Karma Yoga is an expression of joy and happiness rather than expectation.
The word "Karma" simply means action. The action here includes both, the physical and mental. It also includes the act in the outer world and its experience or impression in the inner world. The universal Law of Cause and Effect is synonymous with the doctrine of Karma, which describes the consequence of an action where each and every Karma begets a result called 'Karma Phala' and leaves behind a deep impression on the mind called Samskara.
In absolute agreement with the law of consequence, What ever we do, say and think of comes back to us in due course. Just as the destination of an arrow released from bow is fixed and predictable, our destiny to to a great extent is decided by our on Karmas. Every action has three stages. One is the latent action (The desire to act), the seed of an action. Action, as we see, is the the seed that has sprouted, become a tree (Action itself), and the third is the impression of action, the tree again becomes another seed is an impression of action.
Hence Karma is the latent impression in the consciousness that propels you towards an action. And present actions, in turn create impressions in the mind, the consciousness, which propels you towards yet another action. So in actual the impression of an action and its impact are collectively called as Karma. In Bhagawat gita Lord Krishna says "Yoga Karmasu Kaushalam". Skill in action is Yoga. Skill is to live in Karma, yet not to get affected by it.
This practice of karma yoga gradually shifts a person from the focus on wealth and pleasure to freedom and also helps increase the spiritual inclination a new great approach to life. Once the inclination keeps increasing and the effects of good deeds get accumulated, a tributary conducive situation is created where you will be bestowed with a competent Master to guide you in the next step. It is the beauty of the Nature that you will receive whatever you want as long as you entitled.
Master arouse the love and joy in us and service becomes the expression that inner joy. Karma yoga is closely yoked to Bhakti yoga which deemed as the second stepping stone for without love and devotion it would not be possible to serve others selflessly. Without love service is not possible and without love and service knowledge is impossible and without knowledge life becomes impossible. Thus Karma yoga becomes the first stepping stone towards self.