Сообщение от Yoga in the Light of Esoterics by Henry T. Laurency
7.20 Karma Yoga
1Karma yoga can best be described as “the yoga of action”; knowledge, understanding, and insight put into a life of service. What of old has been called karma yoga ought properly to be called dharma yoga, the way of the fulfilment of duty. It ought to be made known that to serve self-forgetfully is the way to acquire all necessary knowledge.
2Some authorities consider that karma yoga used to include hatha yoga and laya yoga (the science of the chakras). Divergent views as usual.
3According to the planetary hierarchy, the serving attitude to life is the easiest, safest, quickest path to the fifth natural kingdom. All kingdoms capable of it have as their foremost task of life serving those at lower stages of development, so that they will be able to reach higher ones. Without such help there would be no evolution, or evolution would take tremendously longer time. “He who gives shall receive.” Those who serve mankind unselfishly are given more and more opportunities of doing so. Service itself develops all requisite qualities and abilities, liberates from emotional illusions and mental fictions.
4The karma yogi does not amass money, as the greedy do, just in order to will it away to more or less “charitable causes” when he can no longer enjoy his fortune. But he does not despise wealth and power, however. On the contrary, he recognizes their importance as long as mankind is ruled by such illusions. He will use those power factors in order to serve evolution in the most efficient way.
5Karma yoga is probably the yoga that has the least appeal to Indians, who largely have a passive attitude to life, but the one best suited to Westerners.
6Karma yoga, then, is the yoga of action, action as expression of the will. Action includes everything that the individual sets about, every visible expression of thought and feeling. Thought and feeling that are not put into action become obstacles on the path. The example is the most powerful teaching.
7To the gnana yogi, knowledge is good and ignorance evil. To the bhakti yogi, love is good and hatred evil. To the karma yogi, the problem of good and evil coincides with that of freedom and bondage. To the deity everything is good. Before that stage, such absolutifying all too easily entails a confusion of concepts resulting in a chaos of right and wrong, and would be used by ignorance as a defence for its own imperfection. Evil is what is inferior and it entails suffering. Good is what is superior to us, what we unconsciously grope towards and what we become aware of only when we try to realize it, more or less unwittingly. Then we recognize it immediately in that it fills us with happiness. Man is continually discovering anew that what he has now seen to be evil was then a means for him of finding good, that the experience of evil explained to him what was good. Finally he sees that everything that he desired for himself separated him from unity. Ignorant people see evil in matter and think that man has fallen into sin, become evil and incapable of doing good through having been born into this world. To the yogi this is almost blasphemy, the perversity of hatred of life. To him the whole of existence, visible and invisible, is a revelation of the divine with innumerable opportunities of carrying out the will of the deity in acts of service.
8Everything makes up a unity. The seemingly isolated parts are all manifestations of the one, indivisible unity. Those who live in appearance see only the parts and think that they are independent selves, while those who live in reality know that they are parts of unity, are one with everything. The yogi strives after unity and thereby raises himself above good and evil and life’s perpetual changes.
9The power that we all take to be our will manifests itself to the yogi so strongly in the whole of his nature, when he follows the Law as far as he can see, that he understands that this is not his own power but something that has been put as his disposal and which will become his property when he enters into unity. Thereby he becomes a tool for the deity and his will coincides with the will of destiny. Anyone who sees the divine in everything must recognize, love, and worship the presence of this divine will in himself and, in so doing, give up all his own motives in favour of the will of unity in himself.
10This means that the yogi offers himself up as a sacrifice to the deity. In so doing, he does away with all thoughts of reward, all fear or apprehensions as to the results of action as well as every egoistic interest, even the satisfaction of having acted disinterestedly. He also refrains from every attempt at valuing his action, whether it was good or evil. Everything is sacrificed, yet the sacrifice is no self-effacement, not negative, but positive. It has nothing in common with the fatalist’s resignation, which easily will degenerate into quietism, not acting at all. The sacrifice embraces everything, every action, nay, every breath; everything becomes an offering to unity divine. He acts to make an outlet for the powers of the deity that flow through him. The result itself is an offering which is made perfect in the work being perfectly done. The proof that the yogi has sacrificed everything is his indifference (“divine indifference”) to whatever happens to him. He never asks what the result will be, whether happiness or misfortune, honour or disgrace, life or death.
11In the Bhagavad-Gita, which can be called the gospel of karma yoga, the necessity of action is given the strongest possible symbolic expression in the description of inner life as a struggle between two armies drawn up and prepared for battle. The poem was a reaction against the tendency to slackness, idleness, quietism, a protest against indolence and passivity. This apathy has also been fostered by the superstition that one can “go in the way of karma” (rather like going in the way of the law of gravity).
12The yoga of action has always been regarded by the planetary hierarchy as the essential one, because insight that is not put into action becomes an obstacle in the future, according to the law of karma. Therefore, one can say that karma yoga is as old as hatha. It is only that it presupposes the insight of the necessity of action. As self-initiated and purposeful activity, it will perhaps become general only when mankind has reached the stage of culture. At lower stages, the incitements of compulsion are sometimes needed, for example in emergencies or, in the case of apathetic nations, now and then a so-called dictatorship.
The above text constitutes the essay Yoga in the Light of Esoterics by Henry T. Laurency. The essay is part of the book The Knowledge of Reality by Henry T. Laurency. Copyright © 1979 by the Henry T. Laurency Publishing Foundation.