Karma Yoga & The Goal of Life (Swami Vivekananda)

August 9, 2016
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Listen to episode 83 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Karma Yoga & The Goal of Life. Edited and adapted from a lecture by Swami Vivekananda.

Spirituality Podcast Excerpt: The word Karma is derived from the Sanskrit "Kri”, meaning to do. Everything that is done is Karma. Technically, the word Karma also means the effects of actions. In connection with metaphysics, it sometimes means the effects of which our past actions were the causes. But in Karma Yoga, the word ''Karma" simply means work.

The goal of all human-kind is knowledge. That is the one ideal placed before us by Eastern philosophy. Pleasure is not the ultimate goal, but knowledge. Pleasure and happiness come to an end. The cause of all the miseries we have in the world is that we foolishly think pleasure to be the ideal — but after a time, we find that it is not happiness but knowledge towards where we are going, and that both pleasure and pain are great teachers, that we learn as much from evil as from good.

As pleasure and pain pass before our soul, they leave upon it different pictures, and the result of these combined impressions is what is called our ''character." If you study the character of any person, what is it really but the tendencies, the sum total of the bent of his or her mind?

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