Physical actions are neutral. What matters is intention. What matters is not what we do, but how we do, i.e. the attitude we hold within.
Motive matters supremely.
The Yoga of Selfless Service means the Path to Union with God by giving up all attachments and interests in the outcome of the service you render and instead dedicating every moment of service to the Highest Good of All, to God and to all Humanity. The language of the Bhagavad Gita describes this process as “renouncing the fruits of your labor.”
We can peel potatoes with love or with anger. Potatoes peeled with love serve all humanity, far beyond just feeding people physically, the love present in the act radiates outward to uplift the entire sea of consciousness. Likewise, potatoes peeled with anger may legitimately make the people sick who eat them, and also that anger does anything but uplift the sea of consciousness. The real service, regardless of the action, is on the invisible and unseen level.
Being in an attitude of Karma Yoga / Selfless Service is an incredibly powerful energy. It is a pure space of being beyond selfish desires for pleasure and gain. Instead of focusing on what one is gaining from the service, one is focused on giving for the sake of giving, not concerned at all with the return one receives for the service rendered.
When Karma Yoga is performed to the fullest, totally selfless and free from any notion of selfish gain, it might look and feel like this:
- Joyful; lots of smiling and feeling great
- Total Presence; no thoughts of past or future; Just Being
- Oneness; seeing beyond the illusion of duality, and realizing that in serving, one is served. Giving and receiving go hand-in-hand. There is no separation.
- Beauty. The exquisite essence of all creation shines forth. There is a radiance and majesty about everything.
- Peace and Gratitude. Every moment, you realize you are receiving equally if not much, much, more than you are giving. You realize that you are really giving to yourself, and you receive from the wholeness of Creation. You realize the great value in life in any moment is a matter of awareness and is within.
- An Expansion of Identity. Instead of identify with the small, separate, physical, human animal self, one realizes that one is a part of the whole, if not the Whole Itself. Engaged in selfless service, the sense of a separate self dissolves and one simply becomes the witness to the natural flow of creation. One witnesses Truth.
- Fearlessness. One realizes that service is joyful, and remaining a service-oriented space, one can live peacefully, forever. A master would be a fool to not care good care of the servants. With the humility to serve, safety is guaranteed.
- Freedom. Awareness arises that nothing needs to be done and there is nowhere to go. Reality is perfect and complete as is.
As you can see, there are many benefits to entering on the path of Karma Yoga. Whatever actions are performed, even eating and sleeping and using the bathroom, are performed as a dedication to serve the Highest Good of All Creation, All Life, All Humanity, All That Is. One loses concern and fear associated with the small animal self, and expands into the freedom and beauty of living for the benefit of all of life in all of its expression.
Liberation from selfishness is so refreshing.
Gloria in Excelsis Deo!