SIVANANDA DAILY READING
ALL WORK IS YOGA
Every bit of work is yoga for you when you are sincere. Think that
the Lord is working through your hands, eating through your mouth.
In the beginning some of your actions may be unselfish. But in the
long run you can do all actions in an unselfish manner.
Always scrutinise your motives. Every act can be spiritualised when
the motive is pure. Work is meditation. Serve everyone with intense
love, without the idea of agency, without expectation of reward or
It is selfishness that has deplorably contracted your heart.
Selfishness is the bane of society. Selfishness clouds
understanding. Selfishness is petty-mindedness. Pursuit of pleasure
increases selfishness. Selfishness is the root cause for human
sufferings. Real spiritual progress starts from selfless service.
Serve the sadhus and sanyasins (holy ones), the bhaktas (devotees)
and the poor and sick. Serve them with bhava, prem and bhakti (inner
feeling, love and devotion).
The spirit of service must enter deeply into your very nerves and
tissues. The reward is invaluable. Practise and feel the cosmic
expansion and infinite ananda (bliss). Tall talk and idle gossip
will not do, dear friends. Evince intense zeal and enthusiasm in
work. Be fiery in the spirit of service!
Have nista (firm devotion) with God and cesta (activity) with hands.
You will be able to do both these simultaneously. by practice. The
manual work will become automatic, or intuitive. You will have two
minds. One portion will be at work and three quarters of the mind
will be in the service of the Lord – in kirtan, in meditation, in
A raw, untrained aspirant feels, “My preceptor is treating me like a
servant. He is using me for petty jobs.” He who has understood the
right significance of karma yoga will take every work as yogic
activity or worship of the Lord. In his vision there is no menial
work. In the light of karma yoga all work is sacred.
Is there a greater karma yogi than Lord Buddha? He still lives in
our hearts because of the spirit of service ingrained in him. He
spent his whole life serving others.