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Karma Yoga Explained Through a Story

Once in Varanasi, two young men were walking through the Hanuman Square. They saw two young women drowning. Seeing this, they jumped into the water. They rescued and brought to shore those two women, who were about to drown. The rescued women thanked the young men.

One young man asked the young woman he had rescued to marry him. He believed that this world was the only truth.

The other young man looked upon women elder to him as his mother, those of his age as sisters, and women younger to him as his daughters. Hence, he said to the young woman he had rescued: ‘Sister, God has provided me the opportunity to do a good deed. I have done my duty.’ He believed that God alone was true.

Externally, both the men did the same act of rescuing a life, but they differed in their attitudes. Hence, they got different results of the same work. Work that is done expecting results leads to bondage. Work that is done with the idea that one is the instrument of God and with an attitude of surrendering the fruits of the work to God, leads to liberation. Moreover, only one who is leading a spiritual life can serve the world with purity. Else, one cannot prevent the influence of selfish interests.