Karma Yoga

Gita bhashya by Sri Ramanujacharya:

Karma Yoga Long Live The Lord! divya prabandham 4000 prabhandam 4000
The Practice of Karma Yoga

Even a little of this practice (Karma Yoga) protects one from the great terror

Karma Yoga, for discussion:

A little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear.

Bhagavad Gita 2.40

nehābhikrama-nāśo ‘sti

pratyavāyo na vidyate

sv-alpam apy asya dharmasya

trāyate mahato bhayāt

In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear.

40. In this [practice], there is no wasted effort, nor any harm [transgression]. Even a little of this practice [Dharma ie. Karma Yoga] protects one from the great terror. 


In this practice of Karma Yoga there is no loss of initial effort. ‘Abhikrama’ means invested effort. ‘Nāśa’ means the loss of potential to succeed. In the practice of Karma Yoga, if some activity is begun and left unfinished, and the continuity is thus broken, it does not remain fruitless, as in the case of works undertaken expressly for their rewards. 

There is no negative result if the work is not continued. Even a little of this practice known as Karma Yoga or Niṣkāma Karma (actions done without desire for any reward) gives protection from the great fear, i.e., the fear of [the continuation of] transmigratory existence. 

The same purport is explained later thus:— ‘Neither in this world nor the next, O Arjuna, is one annihilated’. (6;40). But in other works, religious and secular, when there is interruption, not only do they fail to produce results, but actually produce demerit.

The most dangerous type of fear is “death”. some devotees would eagerly start their devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and may sometimes fall down or go away from the path of devotional service. Nevertheless whatever service done by them will not go in vain and Krishna will not forget even a small amount of devotional service rendered to Him or His devotees. They will further make progress in the next life.

As stated in the Bg as it is that such souls may take birth in a devotee family or in a rich mercantile family to continue their spiritual life. In rare cases, to remove the last vestiges of the enjoying spirit of the devotee, Krishna put that devotee in forlorn conditions so that the devotee will feel helpless all around and come back to the lotus feet of the Lord. Those devotees who undergo such turbulences under Lord’s personal hand are more fortunate than who takes next birth and continue to make progress. Hare Krishna..

Yes. People try to escape from devotional service saying that either they don’t have the time or the right attitude to do it properly. This is the answer for them. Even if they can not do devotional service properly or stop it after some time it doesn’t go waste as they get a suitable life in the next birth to continue from where they left.

Whereas if they don’t do the material work (which they hesitate to adjust for doing devotional service) properly or don’t complete it they are immediately penalised. 

Perialwar has told அப்போதைக்கு இப்போதே சொல்லி வைத்தேன் so that He will remember at our last stages.

Similar verse by Kulasekara Alwar in Mukunda Mala Stotra:

kṛṣṇa tvadīya-pada-paṅkaja-pañjarāntam

adyaiva me viśatu mānasa-rāja-haṁsaḥ

prāṇa-prayāṇa-samaye kapha-vāta-pittaiḥ

kaṇṭhāvarodhana-vidhau smaraṇaṁ kutas te

O Lord Krsna, at this moment let the royal swan of my mind enter the tangled stems of the lotus of Your feet. How will it be possible for me to remember You at the time of death, when my throat will be choked up with mucus, bile, and air?

Also see: https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/1/5/17/

Varaha Purana

A very beautiful slokam – there are two views in the authorship of this sthothra grantham. some say it is kulasekara azhwar and others say that it is by a descendant of kulasekara azhwar carrying the name “kulasekara”. periyazhwar’s pasuram is “appOdhaikku ippOdhE solli vaiththEn arangaththu aravaNaip paLLiyAnE” in periyazhwar thirumozhi.

Also, this is in context of those who surrender unto bhagavan – for such persons anthima smruthi (thinking about bhagavAn in the last moments to attain him) is not required. bhagavAn will think about such surrendered persons and he will carry them to his abode without fail. This is based on the varAha purANa verse where bhagavAn himself says “aham smarAmi madh bhakthami nayAmi SaraNAm gathim” – this is known as varAha charama SlOkam in srivaishnava sampradayam.

vatadi doshena mad bhakto mam na cha smaret

aham smarami mad bhaktah nayami parama gatim

“If my devotee is unable to remember Me at the time of death because of disturbances felt within the body at the time of death, then I shall remember My devotee and take him back to My Supreme Abode.”

– Varaha Purana

In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear.

Also see: https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/40/

Karma Yoga: Purport by Srila Prabhupada

Activity in Krsna consciousness, or acting for the benefit of Krsna without expectation of sense gratification, is the highest transcendental quality of work. Even a small beginning of such activity finds no impediment, nor can that small beginning be lost at any stage. Any work begun on the material plane has to be completed, otherwise the whole attempt becomes a failure. But any work begun in Krsna consciousness has a permanent effect, even though not finished.

The performer of such work is therefore not at a loss even if his work in Krsna consciousness is incomplete. One percent done in Krsna consciousness bears permanent results, so that the next beginning is from the point of two percent, whereas in material activity without a hundred percent success there is no profit. Ajamila performed his duty in some percentage of Krsna consciousness, but the result he enjoyed at the end was a hundred percent, by the grace of the Lord. There is a nice verse in this connection in Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.5.17):

tyaktva sva-dharmam caranambujam harer

bhajann apakvo ’tha patet tato yadi

yatra kva vabhadram abhud amusya kim

ko vartha apto ’bhajatam sva-dharmatah

“If someone gives up his occupational duties and works in Krsna consciousness and then falls down on account of not completing his work, what loss is there on his part? And what can one gain if one performs his material activities perfectly?” Or, as the Christians say, “What profiteth a man if he gain the whole world yet suffer the loss of his eternal soul?”

Material activities and their results end with the body. But work in Krsna consciousness carries a person again to Krsna consciousness, even after the loss of the body. At least one is sure to have a chance in the next life of being born again as a human being, either in the family of a great cultured brahmana or in a rich aristocratic family that will give one a further chance for elevation. That is the unique quality of work done in Krsna consciousness.

This is varaha charama slokam Sthethe manase suswasthe sareere  sadhiyo naraha thadu samye sthidhe  smartha viswaroopamcha mamaham thadhastham mriya manam thu kashta bhashana  sannibham aham smarami madh bhakthi nayamiparamam ghadhim.

When Varaha Perumal saved goddess Earth from the clutches of Hiranyaksha, Bhooma devi pleaded to Varaha on our behalf of earthy subjects ,to show the path for salvation in this bhooloka,He advocated that whenever  some person is remembering His name when he is conscious enough,that will be remembered   by Him ,even  if that person is unable to chant His name at the last stages. So that soul will be liberated.

http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org/index.php/2019/09/thiruvaimozhi-9-10-malainanni/ – please see this thiruvaimozhi pasuram commentary – detailed explanation of varaha charama slokam is provided in this commentary by nampiLLai in his eedu vyakyanam for thiruvaimozhi

Hare Krishna🙏

Read Long Live The Lord! – 4000 Divya Prabandham online for free here!

Leave a Reply