Serve Love Give Purify Meditate Realize – Swami Sivananda

The Dainik Jagran National Daily Newspaper – 25 March 2018

Karma Yoga

Karma (Sanskrit, also karman, Pāli: kamma) is a Sanskrit term that literally means “action” or “doing”. In the West’s never-ending quest for high-speed, user-friendly spiritual growth, an ancient solution to the problem, karma yoga, is usually overlooked. The Bhagavad Gita touts karma yoga—the Hindu path of service to others—as the fast lane to spiritual fulfillment.

 

The flooding of The Ganges River in June 2013 left the poor and homeless community of Rishikesh to face the harsh elements. Many ‘Babas’ (Sadhu – a religious ascetic or holy person) lost what little they had and what they received from begging was reduced to nothing.

With the help of donations Pamela was able to fulfill the same service she provides in the Western Cape’s retirement villages and healthcare centres on the streets of Rishikesh. Working on dirty streets surrounded by dogs, cows and monkeys, extra care had to be taken to ensure that equipment was clean and without any gloves that the necessary precautions were taken to avoid any transfer of bacteria. Pamela handed out food, clothing, shoes, towels, soap and other important first aid supplies to those in need.

Pamela continues to provide on site home based care; specialist foot treatments (Chiropody), first aid and personal hygiene education to those in need and through her actions hopes to inspire western yogis to do Karma Yoga, to expand on their current yoga practice towards a more holistic way of living.

One of the greatest Yoga masters of the 20th century, Swami Sivananda, is the inspiration behind the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres and the author of more than 300 books on yoga and health, including teachings on karma yoga. Swami Sivananda was a medical doctor before renouncing worldly life for the spiritual path.

Based on the teachings of Swami Sivananda and with the understanding that what we ‘do’ and who we ‘touch’ has a vital impact on everything around us and a rippling effect on society.

Jainism is an ancient religion from India that teaches that the way to liberation and bliss is to live a life of harmlessness and renunciation. The aim of Jain life is to achieve liberation of the soul. The Jain sadhus, on account of the mode of their life, are unique among all the monks. The entire life of Sadhus (monks) and Sadhvis (nuns) is dedicated to spiritual welfare of their souls; all their objectives, and all their activities are directed towards elevating their souls to the Paramatma-dasha, the state of the Supreme Soul.

They always walk with bare feet. When they travel from one place to another, whatever may be the distance they always go walking. Whether it is cold weather or scorching sun; whether the road is stony or thorny; whether it is the burning sand of a desert or a burning road, they do not wear any foot-wear at any time. They move about on bare foot all their life. The reason for not wearing shoes is while walking, they can avoid crushing the bugs or insects on the ground.