A Simple Advice

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

It is easy to teach asana, pranayama and meditation, but how can we teach our students to do karma yoga or seva outside of an ashram environment?

I don’t think that karma yoga or seva should be taught outside the ashram. They are not components for society. They are part of the ashram routine, discipline and culture.

It is the gurukul environment which combines aspects of karma yoga, seva, jnana yoga, bhakti yoga and other yogas. Your home is not an ashram. It is your home, with a different culture, a different system and different priorities. In your home, you live accordingly and when you come to the ashram, you live according to the disciplines of the ashram.

Karma yoga is not something for people living in society, for they do not understand the concept of karma yoga. Even in the ashram, it is difficult to explain to people what karma yoga is.

Karma yoga is an aspect of the ashram culture and not of society. If you want to bring certain concepts of karma yoga to society, it should be the kartavya aspect, your obligation and duty. Recognize that and work to fulfil it at home, in society and in your family.

If you can follow your obligation and duty with happiness and creativity, then you understand the concept of karma yoga in your own environment. That is a simple advice.

—18 October 2015, Ganga Darshan, Munger