A common space for harmonic peacemakers
Chapter 9, Verse 27
“Whatever you do, Arjuna,
Whatever you say or eat
Or pray or enjoy or suffer,
Do it as an offering to Me.”
Doing things for others without expecting anything back is the essence of worship. That’s Karma Yoga. Sometimes people ask me, “When I go to work and get my own salary, how can I call it Karma Yoga?” It can be. What are you going to do with your salary? You are eating. You have clothing. You have a house to live in. The real question is why do you want to eat? Why do you want to dress? Why do you want a house? Why do you want even to live?
To serve others. If you’re living to serve others, then you need to eat. How can you serve without eating? You have to fill up the tank so that the car will go. You have to keep the engine greased and the car fueled. Can you do that without a salary? With that money, you equip yourself with enough energy to give the energy back to others.
Then your eating, sleeping and drinking become Karma Yoga because you do them with the intention, “I’m only keeping myself fit to serve others.” [or, “…to serve Krishna who lives in the hearts of all.”] Live to serve others. Then your entire life becomes Karma Yoga. If you live for the sake of everybody, serving God and His creation every minute with every breath, you are worshiping constantly. Your life has become worship and every act is a part of that worship.
Here the Lord offers the sweetest solace and the highest hope to all of His children, even the erring and the bewildered. Through steadfast Yoga meditation, renunciation of desires by loving dedication of all actions to God, repentance and right resolution, not only can the righteous attain Liberation, but even the most wicked may speedily emerge from sin into sanctity, from ignorance into the healing light of Wisdom.
Srila Prabhupada used to talk about engaging the senses in Krishna's service, or using the senses for spiritual engagement…seeing the Guru, the Chelas (students/disciples), and the Murtis (statues) in the temple, hearing Kirtan, Japa and words of wisdom, smelling the incense offered in love, touching and tasting Prasad [blessed food], and so forth. SP said that we can't artificially stop the senses but can use them for service, working for God, and then they become spiritual senses, so that all day long, not just in meditation, we are “rightly situated."