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Special Instructions for Karma Yogis

by Swami Sivananda

1. See God in every face, in everything.

2. Repeat mentally or silently or with the breath the Name of the Lord, such as 'Hari Om', 'Sri Ram' or your own Ishta Mantra or Guru Mantra, even while you work in the office. A strong habit of repetition of the Mantra will soon be formed.

3. Give up meat, hot curries, onions and garlic. Take Sattvic foods like milk, fruits, bread, pulses and vegetables, etc. Eat simple food. Wear simple clothing. Practise celibacy or moderation.

4. Feel that God is the inner Ruler who manipulates your mind, body and the Indriyas. Therefore give up the thought: 'I am the doer'. Feel: 'I am Nimitta or an instrument in His hands. God works through my hands, eats through my mouth and sees through my eyes.'

5. Do not expect any fruit for your actions, not even approbation, thanks, gratitude, appreciation, applause, return of salute or smile, etc.

6. Offer all actions, their fruit, body, mind, the Indriyas and the soul as flowers at the Lotus-feet of the Lord.

7. Never, never say: 'I have helped that man.' Feel and think: 'That man gave me an opportunity to serve. This piece of service has helped me to purify my mind. I am extremely grateful to him.'

8. Feel that the world is a manifestation of God. Harireva Jagat Jagadeva Harih. Sarvam Vishnumayam Jagat. Serve with Narayana Bhava. Feel that you are serving God in all beings.

9. Discipline the Indriyas. Control them. Develop alertness, decision, discrimination, mercy, tolerance, forgiveness, discernment, patience, cosmic love and equal vision. Have a balanced mind. Be calm, cool and serene always.

10. Combine Bhakti or Jnana with Karma Yoga.

11. Serve poor, sick people. There is no Yajna that is greater than this. Serve everyone with Bhava, Prem and full Shraddha. Serve the Lord in all. Serve your country and society. Serve your parents, brothers and sisters, the Sadhus, Sannyasins, Bhaktas, Mahatmas and your spiritual teachers with devotion and a full heart. Shampoo the legs of sick people. Feel that you are touching the body of the Lord (Virat). Feel that the energy of Hiranyagarbha (cosmic energy) is flowing through your hands. Tap the very source, the storehouse of cosmic energy.

12. Be good and do good. Become an embodiment of goodness. Keep the body strong and healthy. Note in your spiritual diary the number of good and evil actions that you do daily.


You cannot gather what you have not sown.
As you have planted the tree, so will it grow. IX-40.
Success in every undertaking depends on destiny and man combined.

The acts of destiny are out of control of man.
Think not of destiny but act thyself. VII-205.

Whatever work a man does, whatever his motive, of that the reward he should get in a corresponding body. XII-81.

Let all men reflect with care and attention, the passage of the soul through diverse forms of Brahma, Devas, men, beasts, plants and stones, in accordance with their good and evil deeds, and also let them apply their minds to virtue only. XIII-22, 42, 86.


Prepare a similar statement of daily spiritual diary as shown in the table every month and verify whether you are progressing or not. If you want quick spiritual progress, you should never neglect to record everything in your diary. To change the worldly nature it needs rigorous Sadhana. Apart from the questions in the Spiritual Diary you must also mention the remarks in the separate column:

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