Yogi Bhajan on Karma Yoga

Yogi Bhajan spoke about some aspect of Seva/Karma Yoga in almost every class he taught. He encouraged his students to focus on giving rather than getting, to live with an attitude of gratitude for all blessings and all challenges, to act as a forklift and uplift others in need, and to serve humanity with love.

Love is seva. It’s offering yourself and helping to increase the vitality, the surroundings of somebody, giving somebody grace.  Yogi Bhajan 7/10/95

Everything should be considered as a gift of God. When anything wrong comes to you and you think it is a gift, it won’t stay with you. Do you know that? Try it sometime. Yogi Bhajan 7/5/84

We have chosen a way of life to welcome everybody, to love everybody, to inspire everybody and to uplift everybody. Yogi Bhajan 7/30/81

Seva means doing a service, a service with no return. That is how grace gets multiplied, when you are not seeking any return. Yogi Bhajan 7/20/81

There is something called seva, which is done with your heart and head both. It is done in the Name of God, in obedience to God, and for the sake of God. What that brings no man can give you. Yogi Bhajan 7/28/82

Service is when you totally don’t feel like serving; you’re tired, you’re jet-lagged, you’re obnoxious, you’re very, very angry; and still you go into the kitchen and you make a good dish and you say, “Are you hungry? I made this for you”–that’s called serving. Yogi Bhajan 7/30/81

Give, Serve and Be Grateful
Excerpts from lectures by Yogi Bhajan given on 3/5/95 and 9/4/01

You will never find a community leader who doesn’t know how to give. Giving is the only way. Don’t give only to those who ask. Give to those who don’t ask. Keep on giving. Become a giver. Your faculty and God’s faculty will become the same. That’s absolute divinity.

Daydaa day laiday thak paahi.
(You, Great Giver, keep giving to us and we grow tired of just taking.)
–Guru Naanak, Japji Sahib

You should be so conscious and so giving that people get tired of your hospitality. Some people have never had the chance to sit together with another person and eat. How often, out of joy, have you forced another person to break bread with you? How many times was somebody eating and you had the guts to sit with that person and start eating from the same plate?

God and divinity and all the yak-yak claims and yoga and standing on your head and everything—what is it? What have you learned? How many people have you hugged? How many children have you played with? You are looking for romance and you don’t have any romance with nature, the prakriti? What are you up to?

In this life, there are challenges. These challenges challenge how much sweetness is in you and how much sweetness you want to share. There is one God, one God – that idiot God who still takes care of you in spite of the fact you don’t deserve it. That one God. How many times have you become one with each other in the name of God? How much nearness have you created? How relaxed are you when somebody makes a mistake? Where is your kindness and compassion?

There is a university called the Universe. There is a great teacher in this university called nature. There is a great subject called the faculty of life. We want to give our children that freedom so it can become their choice. It’s very funny how people understand life – climatically, critically and complainingly. But there is one class of people who are complimenting. They have no attachment. They compliment their Creator. They are grateful.

Creative supplement is required for life to grow in peace and tranquility. And a consistent sense of radiance of the Tenth Body is required to protect us. The Subtle Body must give us our intuitive self so that we can understand what is coming to us. Every day we should socialize and be kind to each other to grow our ultimate aura. If somebody has fallen, we should raise that person up. If somebody is going down, we should lift him. If somebody is hungry, we should feed him. If somebody is unhappy, we should dance with him. There are things to do and those things are part of us.

© The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan