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I think your friend has a long way to go.
What he is talking about is not Karmyoga at all.
He is talking about Sewa, and believe it or not, and it has nothing to do with spirituality.
Spirituality is about dissolving our Ego and merging in the vast consciousness – God-realization.
Gyanyog is where we make our mind ( Ego ) realize its own futility – via discourses, scriptures, arguments, questions, etc., and of course – meditation.
This suits more to people with well-developed intellectual and reasoning minds.
Karmyoga is for those who don’t have that and still want to reach Godliness.
In this case, Krishna says – make YOUR OWN DHARMA a field to find me.
Make YOUR KURUKSHETRA a DHARMAKSHETRA.
What does that mean?
First – what is DHARMA?
If you are a male – be the best possible son, best possible brother, best possible husband, best possible father, and lastly – be the best in the profession you have chosen in life. ( same thing for females ).
This is your Kurukshetra – your obligations to Godliness.
Keeping DHARMA in mind and living a righteous life – is turning Kurukshetra into Dharmakshetra.
This is Karmyog, and Krishna says – this is all I’m expecting from you, nothing more and nothing less – then I will take you in my arms.
He tells Arjun – “ Stay right here. You are the best archer there is. You are capable of winning this war and, that way, bringing peace to the lives of many in your kingdom. It is your dharma.
By performing your Dharma, you will become dear to me.
But by not performing your Dharma – I guarantee you that you will suffer the rest of your life – repenting that you didn’t do what you could and were capable of doing. “
He does not tell him to go and feed the hungry or take care of the sick people.
He also does not tell him to be compassionate for others because he is not Buddha.
He is an archer, and he has to do his righteous duty.
So, keeping Dharma first in life ( whatever you are doing ) is Karmayog – where you do what you need to, without expecting anything because the consciousness chose you to be what you are today.
This way Ego gets eliminated ( because Ego expects rewards ).
Sewa does not exist in Indian philosophy, but self-development does.
Jainism, Buddhism, or Hinduism never preached Sewa.
They believe that every person is filled with infinite potentialities.
Sewa is a Christian concept – imported from outside.
That concept is based on the thinking that by helping others, we can reach God.
This is a doership. ( And doership is Ego ).
Doership can never take you to God because doership is a product of the human mind, and the mind is always inferior to God himself because it is His product.
No, God is not that cheap.
A Picasso painting cannot claim to be superior to Picasso himself.
Before dying, Mother Teresa ( an emblem of Sewa ) wrote a letter to Pope and confessed that she had never experienced God.
Doing Sewa may help you feel good, but it can’t take you to God.
Realize that Sewa itself is dependent on someone else receiving that Sewa.
Unless the beggar accepts your dollar bill, you cannot become a giver.
So, that “ feeling good” is actually – Ego feeling good.
It is dependent on others, and it is not freedom.
But God is non-dual, so the joy of God- realization is non-dependent, totally free.
The reality is that this “helping others” mentality has actually created an exactly opposite class in society – “ a class of beggars “ – which grows up thinking that someone will come and help them.
Beggars are not just on the streets.
Anyone who expects help from others – is a beggar – a beggar mentality.
We like to help the poor, but we never ask why they are poor.
So, actually, by “helping others,” we are extinguishing the flame of the “self” within them.
We are taking away their chance of lighting up the flame of the strength, self-sustenance, freedom, and self-control hidden within them.
Imagine if only everyone meditated every day from their childhood and connected with their own true self – a source of infinite strength, then the world would become a beautiful place.
Being the biggest donor in the community may be easy if you have collected enough wealth, but not being able to be the best possible father, son, brother, husband, or the best doctor ( or engineer or postman or whatever ) – you are missing your Dharma, and your donation has no value.
You need to have a well-rounded personality to be able to fulfill all your true Dharma.
This well-rounded personality happens only by dropping your Ego and connecting with the consciousness – whichever spiritual path you choose ( but definitely not Sewa – that’s not a spiritual path at all. )