Karma Yoga (yoga of work).
Rest. Sabbath.

In the morning sow your seed, do not let your hands lie idle in the evening. Ecclesiastes. 11:6

Jesus answered them, "My Father is always working, and I too must work." John 5:17

Never leave your time quite unoccupied; always be either reading, or writing, or praying, or meditating, or doing work of some kind for the benefit of the community. Thomas A Kempis, I.19.4

Go on with what you are doing; work faithfully in my vineyard; the reward you will have is myself. Thomas A Kempis, III.47.2

If you cannot practice the regulations of bhakti-yoga, then just try to work for Me, because by working for Me you will come to the perfect stage. Gita 12:10

Work which is regulated and which is performed without attachment, love or hatred and with no desire for fruitive results is said to be in the mode of goodness. Work performed with a desire for its fruits, with great labor and under a false conception of the ego is said to be in the mode of passion. Work performed in illusion, without consideration of future bondage and without dependence on scriptual injunctions, work which is violent and distressing to others, is said to be in the mode of ignorance. Gita 18:23-25

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: One who is unattached to the fruits of his work and who works as he is obligated is in the renounced order of life, and he is the true mystic, not he who lights no fire and performs no work. Gita 6:1

The fact that you get restless and become sad so easily shows that you are still weak and your mind is more powerful. Do not lose your heart, but keep working hard. Pray to the Lord to bestow strength upon you to be able to face these hardships with confidence and faith. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 430.

Indolence or unemployment is the cause of ailments. Always engross your mind in some work and selfless service. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 544.

One who desires reward for his work is nothing more than a labourer. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1007.

Whatever you do, do it for the Lord. In turn the Lord shall become yours and His unlimited favours shall knock at your door. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1172.

He who clings to his work will create nothing that endures. If you want to accord with the Tao, just do your job, then let go. Tao Te Ching 24, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World Wisdom, P.154.

To remain idle is to invite illness. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1405.

Wherever there is firm faith and regular hard labour, pain and suffering cannot stay for long. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1434.

Even if you have to work without fruition, it is better than sitting idle. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1456.

Hard work helps gain health, self-esteem and strength. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1758.

This work will go with you wherever you go; even after you leave the body and go to the other world, this work will go with you. You will be benefitted by it.(...) This is spiritual work, not material.(...) See the ant. How small is the ant, yet how big a load she carries. You should not be dejected or disheartened.(...) Don't lose your heart in this small work.(...) You can move the mountain. Teachings of Babaji, P.2-3.

"Work is worship." (...) Babaji stressed the importance of Karma Yoga (yoga of hard work - Pritam). "Karma Yoga is what will make you like lions; it will make you strong in this life." Teachings of Babaji, P.9.

May your life be prayer, may your work be offered as a prayer and may everything that you do bring you towards me. Our Lady of Medjugorie, November 20, 1988. Words from Heaven, P.13.

This is the Karma Yuga (the Age of Work). Only he who acts is considered to be alive; without action, one is like a dead person. (...) A new kingdom is coming very soon. When the new kingdom is established, only the person who does karma (i.e. works) will survive. (...) One should not lose courage; one should always be enterprising, trying to do something more than what he is doing. (...) A person might argue that when destruction is going to take place, why should I work? Why shoud I do any karma? But that is not right. One should work to his last breath.(...) Teachings of Babaji, P.16.

(...) Those who live in this world, which is a field for work, lose a great deal if they don't work, don't progress, remain idle. In every atom of this earth, Brahman is all-pervasive.Therefore, knowing this, if one tries to work day and night in this world, they find God easily. Teachings of Babaji, P.19.

Everyone who comes here should be prepared to do any kind of work. In this Age, work purifies and is the best spiritual practice (sadhana). (...) Work is so good that it prevents disease and gives you mental ease. Work is such a good thing that it relieves man of all ailments. Teachings of Babaji, P.24.

Learn to talk less and work more. This is the field of spiritual practice. Karma is the highest way of perfection. It is a great thing to take a human body. Whoever comes to the earth must do work.(...) All who have taken birth must work to be successful. Teachings of Babaji, P.25

(...) You should not hesitate to do the lowest kind of service, if it is needed. If a man of high position is prepared to perform any service - even the lowest service - he sets an example for others. Teachings of Babaji, P.33.

By working hard, a man can achieve peace within himself and in the world around him. If everyone works diligently and with love, there will be peace throughout the world. Teachings of Babaji, P.33.

The creation is vast and there are many doctrines. Adhere to one principle - that of truth, simplicity and love. Live in truth, simplicity and love and practise Karma yoga. Teachings of Babaji, P.34.

I want a world of brave and courageous people. Indeed, those who work hard and are agnostics are more acceptable, for a time, than lazy spiritual hypocrites. Teachings of Babaji, P.35.

Karma yoga is the highest religious practice of this time and will liberate you.(...) Teachings of Babaji, P.43.

(...) You have taken this birth on Earth to work. Work hard! After death, what will you show to God? (...) Teachings of Babaji, P.44.

(...) In every Age people have reached salvation through different types of action and sadhana (spiritual discipline), but in this Age one can reach lieberation only through hard work. I want real, practical human beings and only he is true human being who lives in accordance with this Age. We need not consider religion or caste, but look only to hard work. (...) Teachings of Babaji, P.50.

(...) Idleness is death for a human being. Due to man's idleness, the world has reached a point of total despair. To do karma is the true path and in that only is there happiness and peace. Teachings of Babaji, P.51.

Jesus said, "Fortunate is the person who has worked hard and has found life." Gospel of Thomas, 58.

(...) When laziness is rooted out from this world, all the world's sorrows and troubles will come to an end. Only hard work can make a person powerful and energetic. Karma if of first and foremost importance in your life. Many times I have told you that only through karma yoga will I give you liberation. In this age it is the only type of yoga one can do, it is the only way to realisation and progress. Teachings of Babaji, P.52.

(...) Man must live and improve through work. Work is the highest form of worship. You can evolve in all ways by doing work. Teachings of Babaji, P.56.

Man's mind is very fast, faster than the wind. By doing work while repeating God's name, your mind becomes cleansed of thoughts and useless, negative thoughts cannot enter it. To uplift man, for the progress of the whole of humanity, karma is a great sadhana. All of you, therefore, continue to make progress through karma. Teachings of Babaji, P. 66.

By karma yoga great things can be achieved. You can bring heaven down to earth. You can change the whole of creation. Teachings of Babaji, P.67.

What everyone should do is spread my message of Karma Yoga throughout the world. I want karma yoga. Karma Yoga has stagnated. I want it to come to the forefront. Teachings of Babaji, P.68.

(...) Only through Karma Yoga can you advance in your life; your heart becomes purified, your thinking will be good. Karma Yoga is also beneficial for your health; you will sleep well and have a good appetite. A man with good appetite and sound sleep is always a healthy man and with good health he can achieve anything in life. Teachings of Babaji, P.79.

(...) there are many kinds of Yogas, but Karma Yoga is of supreme importance. Karma Yoga must come first, then other types of Yoga can be added. (...) All the Great Ones who have come advanced through Karma Yoga. (...) Only Karma Yoga is able to transform the world. Inaction is the cause of pain and all troubles. Teachings of Babaji, P.79.

Train your children in karma yoga, that they may become people of good and strong character. Teachings of Babaji, P.87.

I want a creation where there is no dependence of any kind. Everyone should be able to stand on his/her own feet. The problems of all countries can be solved when everyone becomes hard working. As long as there is laziness in the world, people cannot attain happiness. (...) Karma Yoga is the only type of yoga that gives immediate results. Whatever you do in the morning, you can see the results in the evening, standing before you like a picture. The seeds sown in the morning sprout by the evening. The farmer harvests the results of his Karma Yoga after six months. Everyone does karma naturally, no one can remain without it. We must perform those actions which will benefit others - and not only other people but the whole of Creation. Teachings of Babaji, P.93.

(...) You must generate energy in order to exist. Everyone must always be working hard. You should never cultivate inaction here. There is no use to be dead weight to the Earth. Whatever wars were fought during the past centuries were only to relieve the world of the dead weight of idleness. You must be hard workers.

If you are engaged in doing good deeds and go on doing good acts, you will have good sleep, good appetite and bad thoughts will not cross your mind. Otherwise, you will always be criticizing others. In inaction, your minds will always be engaged in thinking critically of others. Karma - activity - is the only thing which can drive out all evils. Teachings of Babaji, P.104.

At this present time in this world, Karma Yoga is greatly needed. The fact is, due to the progress of science and technology, people are becoming lazy. For example, computers have been invented and all calculations is done by computers and many people are not using their minds and bodies.(...) Science has made great progress in this world. Where we used to engage a thousand men to work, now a bulldozer does the work in seconds. But that makes a thousand people useless and unemployed. While unemployment is increasing in this world, people have lost their peace of mind. The reason for this is because man has ceased to work. Due to this inaction, all kinds of pains and sicknesses are increasing in the world. I want you to take the enrgy of the machines into yourselves and work like machines! In one respect, if you correctly observe, you see that science is weakening human beings. How can you test your own talents and faculties if you do not use them?(...) We must follow a Path which will strengthen us, so we must not be dependent on machines. (...) That is why it is very essential to be active and hard-working. (...) This is the best Path for all.(...) This is the eternal, unshakable way. (...) Teachings of Babaji, P.105.

You should not do anything which will do harm to others. You should do those deeds which benefit the majority of the people.(...) This Yoga is so powerful that even a little practice of it relieves a person from sorrow and sickness. Only that work which benefits the majority of people is truly called "Karma Yoga". Teachings of Babaji, P.106.

(...) If you go anywhere, go for some purpose. If you do anything, do it for a good purpose. (...) Teachings of Babaji, P.107.

(...) You must know what you should do and be busy doing it. By Karma one will not fall but will always rise higher. (...) We must do everything according to the need of the times. No work is low or bad in this world if it is done in the right spirit. (...) That is why a man should never hesitate to do any work. Whether it is high or low, big or small, no work is bad. Work is work. Teachings of Babaji, P.120.

(...) The battle you have waged with your hard work and devotion is a battle with Nature (...) This is a great teaching for the whole world because Karma Yoga is capable of achieving everything. (...) You can even change your fate or destiny by sheer hard work. All the great sages, saints, yogis and sanyasins that the world has seen and all the Messengers of God have achieved all that they did through hard work and Karma Yoga. Through Karma Yoga they changed Nature itself. Therefore, you must never be disappointed in life and you must remember that what even God cannot achieve, you can achieve through hard work. Karma is a thing which can even change the course laid down by God. Teachings of Babaji, P.121.

Only he progresses who makes efforts. By leaving all to destiny, one remains poor and penniless. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 2088.

You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth. For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life's procession (). Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet, P.25.

And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life's inmost secret. Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet, P.26.

Work is love made visible. Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet, P.28.

(...) There are no indifferent moments in my life, since every moment of my life is filled with prayer, suffering and work. If not in one way, then in another, I glorify God; and if God were to give me a second life, I do not know whether I would make better use of it... Faustina Kowalska, The Diary, 1545.

May your life be prayer. May your work be offered as a prayer and may everything that you do bring you toward me. Let everything that you do and everybody that you meet be an encounter with God.  Our Lady of Medjugorie, November 20, 1988. Words from Heaven, P.325-6.

You must however learn a species of prayer which may be exercised at all times, which doth not obstruct outward employments, and which may be equally practised by all ranks and conditions of men; by the poor as well as the rich, by the illiterate as well as the learned.  It cannot, therefore, be a prayer of the head, but of the heart.  It is a species of prayer which
nothing can interrupt but irregular and disorderly affections.  And though you may think yourselves ever so dull, and incapable of sublime attainments, yet, by prayer the possession and enjoyment of God is easily obtained; for he is more desirous to give himself to us than we can be to receive him. A Guide to True Peace, or The Excellency of Inward and Spiritual Prayer.PP. 14, 15. Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn

(...). Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench. Care about people's approval and you will be their prisoner. Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity. Tao Te Ching 9, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World Wisdom, P.153.

By desisting from all work on the seventh day, we testify that the world is not ours; that, not we, but God is the Lord and creator of the Universe (...). If the Sabbath on the one hand emphasizes our servitude to God, it also stresses our freedom from servitude to human masters (...). (For) slavery doesn't only consist of doing forced labor for which one doesn't get paid (...). (...) you yourself can be your own cruelest taskmaster (...). Abraham Joshua Heschel, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.222.

(...) "And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy." (...) To set apart one day a week for freedom, (...) a day of being with ourselves, a day of detachment from the vulgar, of independence of external obligation, a day on which we stop worshipping the idols of technical civilization, a day on which we use no money, a day of armistice in economical struggle with our fellow men and the forces of nature - is there any institution that holds out a greater hope for man's progress than the Sabbath? Abraham Joshua Heschel, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.223.

During Sabbath we disengage from what Abraham Heschel calls 'the nervousness and fury of acquisitiveness.' We surrender for a time our relentless desires. ... The antidote to craving is rest; we quench our thirst with Sabbath tranquillity. We invite a time in which we can taste what we have been given, take delight in what we already have, and see that it is good. We focus less on our lack and more on our abundance. As we do, our thirst and hunger for more than we need begins to fall away. In quiet
stillness we can identify genuine needs with more precision, and separate them more easily from our mindless wants and desires. We can feel the difference between happiness, which is often simple and easy, an inner shift towards appreciation and gratefulness for what is before us, and desire, which is often frantic and relentless, cutting the heart with its sharp and painful demands. Wayne Muller, Sabbath, PP. 123-127. Submitted to Merton-L Discussion Group by Norman King.

This is the reason why we have no ease of heart or soul, for we are seeking our rest in trivial things which cannot satisfy (...). He (alone) is true rest (...). Nothing less will satisfy us. Julian of Norwich, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.271.

I test myself: even when I am working I whisper within, "Where are You, Lord?" and the whole world changes. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.50.

Work of any kind, if done in the right spirit, gives you victory over yourself. You may clean bathrooms, but if you do it with the thought of serving and helping people, you are showing the right spirit of a man of God. The attitude with which you work is what counts. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.187.

Be busy working, with your mind fixed in the divine consciousness that is cultivated by meditation, for then you will be really happy and you will be really living. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.197.

Don't be afraid of hard work; it has never hurt anyone. When you are calmly active you can accomplish anything you set out to do, for the mind is clear. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.205.

If we take a day and rest, we cultivate Sabbath Mind. We let go of knowing what will happen next, and fine the courage to wait for the teaching that has not yet emerged. The presumption of the Sabbath is that it is good, and that the wisdom, courage, and clarity we need are already embedded in creation. The solution is already alive in the problem. Our work is not always to push and strive and struggle. Sometimes we have only to be still, says the Psalmist, and we will know. Wayne Muller, Sabbath, P.190. Submitted to Merton-L Discussion Group by Norman King.

One of the astonishing attributes of Sabbath time is its unflinching uselessness. Nothing will get done, not a single item will be checked off any list. Nothing of significance will be accomplished, no goal realized. It is thoroughly without measurable value. Many of us are reluctant to slow our pace because we feel a driving need to be useful. (...) But Sabbath time offers the gift of deep balance; in Sabbath time, we are valued not for what we have done or accomplished, but simply because we have received the gentle blessing of being miraculously alive. Wayne Muller, Sabbath, PP.210-212. Submitted to Merton-L Discussion Group by Norman King.

To recite the Lord's Name with every breath is the way to work properly; it creates a divine atmosphere. Vishnu Dutt Shastriji, Shrisadashiv Charitamrit, quoted in: Radhe Shyam, I Am Harmony, P.90.

Often the Swami (Vivekananda) said that the West was the karma-bhumi, the land of action, where through selfless work a man purified his heart; and India was the punya-bhumi, the land of holiness, where the pure in heart communed with God. Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.110.

Svami Vivekananda often used to say that different forms of spiritual discipline were especially efficacious for different ages. (...) in modern times, he emphasized, unselfish service of others, karma-yoga, would quickly bring spiritual results. Therefore he advocated the discipline of selfless action. Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.122.

I will go into a thousand hells cheerfully if I can rouse my countrymen, immersed in tamas (inertia, inaction -P.R.), to stand on their own feet and be men inspired with the spirit of karma-yoga. (...) Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.128.

No rest for me! I shall die in harness! I love action! Life is a battle, and one must always be in action, to use a military phrase. Let me live and die in action! Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.148-9.

What is Karma-Yoga? It is the knowledge of the secret of work. (...) Karma-yoga makes a science of work; you learn by it how best to utilize all the activities of this world. Work is inevitable; it must be so. But we should work for the highest purpose. Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.191

The karma-yogi works because it is his nature, because he feels it is good for him to do so, and he has no object beyond that. His position in the world is that of a giver, and he never cares to receive anything. (...). Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.192.

The third companion, what you do, your work,
goes down into death to be there with you,
to help. Take deep refuge
with that companion, beforehand.

Rumi, Mathnawi V, 1026-1050, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.34.

It was tolf of Abbot John the Dwarf that once he said to his elder brother: I want to live in the same security as the angels have, doing no work, but serving God without intermission. And casting off everything he had on, he started out into the desert. When a week had gone by he returned to his brother. And while he was knocking on the door, his brother called out before opening, and asked: Who are you? He replied: I am John. Then his brother answered and said: John has become an angel and is no longer among men. (...) Finally, opening the door, he said: If you are a man, you are going to have to start working again in order to live. But if you are an angel, why do you want to come into a cell? So John did penance and said: Forgive me, brother, for I have sinned. Thomas Merton. The Wisdom of the Desert, P.42.

If a man settles in a certain place and does not bring forth the fruit of that place, the place itself casts him out, as one who has not borne its fruit. Thomas Merton. The Wisdom of the Desert, P.45.

As i sit on the balcony over the sea, it seems like a dream come true. I realize now what an audacious thing I have done in abruptly dropping a very busy life and putting myself in a position of complete inactivity, quiet, solitude, isolation - in a sense - and rest for a prolonged period, with little escape. I have to be careful not to seek or find escapes, even such as writing this journal or sharing with the monks. (...) I frequently catch myself racing ahead in thought, planning next week's trip or going home, etc., escaping from the glory of the "now," seeking security of plans and mastering my own destiny. Help me, Lord, to live free, with you, in the "now," safe in the confident knowledge that all is in your hands and it will unfold far better than I can plan. Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.18, 19.

(...) more is effected by just working together, doing and being together, than by discussion. Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.138.

It helps, putting my hands on a pot, on a broom, in a wash pail. I tried painting but it was easier to fly slicing potatoes.  Rabia (c.717-801), quoted in: Ladinsky Daniel (2002). Love Poems from God. Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West. P.10.

Do you deserve what you desire? In some way or other you have to work for the fulfillment of your desires. Put in energy and wait for the results. () The desire itself is energy. Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. P.25.

Last modified: 2013/05/20

See the related subjects: Charity, Service.