Karma Yoga and Dharma Yoga

Karma versus Dharma.

“If we continue to be self-reflective, acting with integrity, study and learn then we are much better placed to understand what our dharma is”

For every action, there is a reaction. The key is to accept where we find ourselves at this moment and accept the consequences of our past actions. It is of no use us complaining of our bad luck, or to blame the system or others for where we find ourselves.

Arjuna is faced with the prospect of going to war with his family and friends but finds himself unable to go through with it. He steps down from his chariot and declares himself a renunciate. It would seem a natural thing to do this, for who would want to kill his family and friends for land and power. The issue is though Arjuna is a Prince, and regarded as the finest warrior of his time. He has always accepted his role as Prince, so when things don’t appear to be going so well he decides it’s time to get off and not face his Karma. Unfortunately, we can’t do that, once we have acted we must accept there is a reaction, we can’t just decide we don’t have to deal with the consequences of our actions.

We all must face the results of our actions. On the face of it might appear to be the wrong thing to do, but It is now we need to remind ourselves there is no right or wrong, there just is.

We all have our karma and dharma to play out, and as our karma is the result of our past actions we have no choice but to pay the price for those actions. The key is to accept our responsibilities and duties even though they sometimes feel overwhelming. Whatever our dharma is we have created it, and we must carry it out to the best of our ability. Once we have played out our role we can move on, and not before.

I am often asked how do we know when we have played out our dharma, or what our dharma is. I think that firstly we need a clear vision of where we want to go. My experience is that most people don’t have a clue as to what they should or want to do. So how do we decide what we should be doing with our lives, we need to act at all time with awareness. If we find ourselves in situations we don’t like we need to remember it’s our karma, and to act accordingly. If we blame others we stay in our patterns and no change is allowed. If we step back from situations we don’t like and act with integrity and awareness before we react, then change happens. This then allows us to become more In tune with our true calling, and then we make decisions based on truth.

We then need to take action to make our new dreams a reality. This takes hard work and dedication, and we need to study and train for what we want to achieve. We must not put time limits on ourselves, but continue to be open and to keep faith always.

If we continue to be self-reflective, acting with integrity, study and learn then we are much better placed to understand what our dharma is.

Martin Thompson