“Karma Yoga- We help ourselves not the World” – Swami Vivekanand

Swami Vivekanand in his book- “The complete Works of Swami Vivekananda”, explains how devotion to duty helps in one’s spiritual progress. Every religion has three major parts:

  1. Philosophy
  2. Mythology
  3. Rituals

Philosophy is the very essence of every religion. Mythology explains philosophy by illustrations and legends of great men, stories referring to them and how they acted best to the situations.

Ritual gives a concrete structure to philosophy, so that one may be able to grasp it. This ritual is nothing but Karma. As most of us cannot grasp abstract spirituality in its natural form until we gain in depth knowledge about it. Rituals and Mythology help us understand the philosophy and leads to spiritual growth. Most of the people think they know everything; but when they are in a situation of distress, they find out that abstract ideas are very hard to comprehend.

What is our duty to the world?

Our duty is to help others and do good to others. But why do we do good to the world?

Apparently by helping the world we are actually helping ourselves. We should always try to help the world, that should be our highest motive. But eventually we will find out that the world does not require our help. “This world was not created so that you and I can help it. “ Says Swami Vivekananda.

“All this beautiful world is beautiful because it gives us time and opportunity to help others.” There is so much misery in going out and helping other, so best thing you can do in the long run is to help yourself by helping others. If you keep three white mice in a box with a wheel, you will see that when the mice try to cross the wheel, the wheel keeps turning and the mice do not get anywhere. The same is the story of the world and we helping it.

Helping the world is a thankless job. If you have helped someone, it is foolish to expect that he should thank you. All foolish thoughts will bring you only misery.

So we should never expect anything in return for what we do. Be grateful to the person you help. Think of it as an opportunity to help others. Is it not a privilege to be allowed to help someone in need? If we are really unattached we should be able to do all work and escape from pain of unmet expectations. Moral of the story is the world will always go in loops if happiness and misery. You just have to play your role by doing your Karma.