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Karma Yoga relieves stress

Nov 17, 2019 | Source : TheHindu

Stress management techniques available today advise practices, such as meditation, yoga and listening to music, to provide relief to stress. These are useful, no doubt; but at best they act as those medicines to bring down temperatures in case of sickness, while the ‘root cause’ is not addressed.

But more than 5,000 years ago, Krishna has precisely analysed and discussed the root cause of stress when explaining Karma yoga and shows how it is possible to live and cope with and not escape from ground realities, pointed out Swami Mukundananda in a discourse.

Arjuna is asked to put in his best efforts and fight the war with the sole aim that it is his duty, not get attached to outcomes. When the essence of this teaching is internalised, it becomes clear that stress in one’s life is not owing to engaging in hard work but owing to attachment to the outcomes of one’s hard work. On the eve of exam, the student gets unduly stressed if the thoughts are only on the result. The way out is to remain focussed on sincere and committed study effort alone. This will take away the stress. A soldier in the army can convert his state of life into one of devotion and pure intentions by working for the welfare of the nation.

The greatest of yogis are engaged in their duties, having given up all attachment. When a skilled surgeon hesitates to perform surgery on his own son, it is owing to his attachment. He cannot afford to get distracted and commit mistakes. It is an art to learn to live in the world without allowing the world to enter into oneself. As long as the boat is on water, it is safe. But the moment the water enters it, it spells danger. Devotion is being aware of the divine at all times, no matter what work one is engaged in.

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