What is difference between Karmi and Karma Yogi?

Bhakta Sunil, 22nd November 2013

Hare Krishna everyone!

Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

Please tell what is the difference between karmi and karmayogi?


Shreyas, 22nd November 2013

Hare Krishna to all the devotees,
Dandavat Pranam!
Jaya Srila Gurudev!

This is my understanding:

Karmi is one who acts for his own sense gratification. One who is attached to the results

Karma yogi is one who acts with detachment to the results. This is the first step to the ladder of yoga which leads to Bhakti Yoga, the ultimate goal.

However Bhakta is one who acts for gratifying the senses of the Lord. This is Bhakti yoga, perfection of Karma yoga. Karma yoga as the ultimate. The actual destination.

I wish to be corrected if my understanding is incorrect.

your servant.

Hare Krishna 🙂

Jagannatha dasa, 23rd November 2013

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva!
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Karma is the execution of activites recommended in the sastra as pious.  The result of such action is pious reactions which can lead one to higher planets in this material world for a superior standard of material enjoyment.  If one neglects to act according to sastric injunctions and instead acts whimsically, that is known as vikarma, and it results in sinful reactions which can drive one down to lower births to experience severe restriction of enjoyment.

Akarma, or bhakti is when one engages in devotional service of the Lord.

When that devotional service is performed with ones activites directly, like walking to the temple, cooking for the Lord, embracing the devotees, or indirectly by offering the money one earns to Krishna for example, that manifestation of bhakti is called karma-yoga, or activity linking one to Krishna.  It is akarma.

Similarly when one who is eager to please Krishna, and therefore studies sastra to know what Krishna wants, under the guidance of the Lord’s devotees, such engagement of the intelligence in Krishna’s service is called jnana-yoga.  It is also bhakti, or akarma.  The result of akarma is that one’s pious and sinful reactions, everything binding us to this material world, are all destroyed (karmani nirdahati kintu ca bhakti bhajam), and one transcends repeated birth and death by going back to home, back to Godhead.

I hope it’s clear.

your servant,
Jagannatha Dasa Brahmacari

Shreyas, 23rd November 2013

Hare Krishna Prabhuji.

It is very clear now. Thank you for providing a nice explanation including jnana yoga as well and again making realize that as akarma Prabhuji.

your servant

Hare Krishna
Gusti Nyoman Ambara, 23rd November 2013

Hare Krishna Prabhuji

Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji,
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you very much for sharing this clear explanation. Please also kindly enlighten me, what is raja-yoga (in relationship with Krishna consciousness)? Thank you.

your insignificant servant
Gusti Nyoman Ambara
Bhakta Sunil, 24th November 2013

Hare Krishna everyone!

Thank you very much Shreyas ji and Jagannatha Prabhu ji for reply to question

I was very pleased to read your replies and my confusion got cleared


Rathin Mandal, 26th November 2013

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Your Lotus Feet and Srimati Gurumataji,

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Can we say that a karma yogi is in higher position then a jnana yogi and dhyana yogi.
I am taking verse “BG 12.12: If you cannot take to this practice, then engage yourself in the cultivation of knowledge. Better than knowledge, however, is meditation, and better than meditation is renunciation of the fruits of action, for by such renunciation one can attain peace of mind.”

Whatever time I have spend with devotees, all I can understand the ‘renunciation of the fruits of action’ is very difficult. Until one is in knowledge of Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna and one is not engrossed in thougths of Sri Krishna. He cannot give up the results of his work neither in tangible form nor in intangible form.

your Servant

Shreyas, 26th February 2014

Hare Krsna!

That’s a good question. But what I understood was that jnana yogi is below dhyana yogi. [Dhyana yogi should be those in astanga yoga,meditation ]. Jnana yogi must lead to Brahman realization and Dhyana yoga must lead to Paramatma realization.

Coming back to your question:
Karma yogi however is below jnana yogi. “Renunciation of the fruits of action”, shouldn’t that be above a karma-yogi? Because karma yogi means that one is attached to either the fruits or the work (I am also understanding it currently). So meditation surely is above renunciation of the fruits of action (karma yoga)

The following should also help us from the Bhagavad Gita 6.46 purport:

The culmination of all kinds of yoga practices lies in bhakti yoga. All other yogas are but means to come to the point of bhakti in bhakti-yoga. Yoga actually means bhakti-yoga; all other yogas are progressions toward the destination of bhakti-yoga. From the beginning of karma-yoga to the end of bhakti-yoga is a long way to self-realization. Karma-yoga, without fruitive results, is the beginning of this path. When karma-yoga increases in knowledge and renunciation, the stage is called jñāna-yoga. When jñāna-yoga increases in meditation on the Supersoul by different physical processes, and the mind is on Him, it is called aṣṭāṅga-yoga. And when one surpasses the aṣṭāṅga-yoga and comes to the point of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa, it is calledbhakti-yoga, the culmination. Factually, bhakti-yoga is the ultimate goal, but to analyze bhakti-yoga minutely one has to understand these other yogas. The yogī who is progressive is therefore on the true path of eternal good fortune. One who sticks to a particular point and does not make further progress is called by that particular name:karma-yogī, jñāna-yogī or dhyāna-yogī, rāja-yogī, haṭha-yogī, etc. If one is fortunate enough to come to the point of bhakti-yoga, it is to be understood that he has surpassed all other yogas. Therefore, to become Kṛṣṇa conscious is the highest stage of yoga, just as, when we speak of Himālayan, we refer to the world’s highest mountains, of which the highest peak, Mount Everest, is considered to be the culmination.

So Rathin prabhu, karma yoga has to be below jnana yoga according to the purport. Awaiting for more enlightenment on this from others 🙂

your servant


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Author: Mahabhagavat Das SDA

I am a formally initiated disciple of His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari. My spiritual master was initiated by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in 1971. He is the author of the famous Ultimate Self Realization Course. Check it out at www.joincourse.com.

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