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The Path of Discipleship

( Four Lectures )


  The object of Karma-Yoga is to substitute duty for self-gratification; man acts to gratify his lower nature; he acts because he wants to get something; he acts for fruit; he acts for desire, for reward. He works because he wants money in order that he may enjoy. He works because he wants power in order that the lower self may be gratified. All these activities, these rajasic qualities, are set going with the purpose of ministering to his lower nature. In order that these activities may be trained and regulated to serve the purpose of the Higher Self, he is to be taught to substitute duty for self-gratification, to carry on work as work because it is his duty, to turn the wheel of life because it is his function to turn it, that he may do as Shri Krishna said He does Himself. He does not act because there is anything for Him to gain either in this world or in any other; but He acts because without his action the world would cease, He acts because without His action the wheel would no longer revolve.  




  All your past, all the experience that you have gained, is garnered in consciousness. All the knowledge that you have acquired is treasured in the consciousness that is really you. You put out at your birth a little part of yourself to gather new experience and to increase this; consciousness still more; this the soul takes for its own growth, and in each life out of its wider consciousness it tries to influence that out-put portion of itself; what we call the voice of conscience is nothing but this greater Self speaking to the lower self, and trying to guide the lower self in its ignorance by the wisdom which the Higher Self has acquired life after life.