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Advanced Yoga Study ( By Swami Dharmananda
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Karma Yoga

Lord Krishna begins the subject of Karma Yoga. So far I have told you the method to be adopted in the Yoga of wisdom. Now I will declare to you the Yoga of action performing which you will be able to release yourself from the bondage to Karma (BG Ch 2, Sl-39). What is action and what is non action even the wise are often bewildered. I will therefore reveal to you the understanding knowing which you will be free from all misfortune (BG Ch 4, Sl-16). What is right action, what is wrong action and what is non-action the intricacies of these has to be rightly understood (BG Ch 4, Sl-17). 

Law of Karma 

The law of karma is a universal law. The effect of this law on human activities is such, as to keep the human soul bound to the chain of repeated births and deaths and tied to the world of matter. The world of matter means the universe that God has created and this universe has diverse planes of existences and three distinct levels — the physical, the astral and the causal. The world of matter also means the three bodies — physical, astral and causal in which the human soul is encased. We as human beings are presently existing in a physical body in the physical universe. In this body and in this universe we find ourselves in the midst of much pain, suffering, evil, injustice, sickness, old age etc. In the astral and causal universes where we go at physical death, life is much more beautiful, blissful and of much longer duration. Nevertheless these higher levels of the universe are still temporary and impermanent. 

We as souls are individualized, eternal parts of God and our real home is in the transcendental realm beyond the created universe. There in the transcendental realm we remain in union with God and exist in an eternal blissful state. God creates the universe and sends us in the universe for the sake of entertainment for Himself and us His children. It is a colossal, infinite, entertainment programme. Within this universe at its lowest physical level for a relatively very short time we as human beings or animals experience intense pain and suffering. At the higher levels, the pain and suffering known to us humans do not exist. 

At the death of the physical body, the soul finds itself in an astral body and experiences the astral universe. On the death of the astral body the soul depending on the karma either come down back into a physical body and the physical universe or may go up and find itself in its causal body and experience the causal universe. This causal universe is even more beautiful and blissful than the astral universe. However, compared to the bliss of the transcendental state the bliss here is relatively less, and although life here is of a very long duration compared to life on earth, yet compared to the eternal life in the transcendental state life is temporary and impermanent From the causal universe and the causal body the soul has to release itself to get back to the transcendental realm. The soul for a pretty long time remains confined and keeps rotating between the physical and the astral and then between the astral and the causal universes. 

The purpose of the Law of Karma is to keep the soul confined to its bodies the physical, astral or the causal, which means to keep it confined to the physical, astral and the causal universes. The purpose of the Science of Yoga is to release the soul from its confinement to the three bodies, physical, astral and causal and thus its confinement to the physical, astral 


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