Gyan Yoga – Become Observer withouth Ego of Doing – 27 Apr 08


I want to continue writing down yesterday's lecture about Karma Yoga for you.
In Karma Yoga you offer to God whatever you do and therefore do not have expectations on the result. We all know that any kind of disappointment comes from expectations. If you want something back from your actions there is the possibility to be disappointed. Additionally you will develop ego. "I did this for you so you have to do that for me. How much did I give you and how much will you give me?" This will raise the ego. You are convinced that you are the doer. The one who acts and the one who should have benefit from the result.

Gyan Yogis want to dissolve this ego of being the doer. And this is the connection between Gyan Yoga and Karma Yoga. In both ways the actions are offered to God and the result is not expected by the person who acted. These Yogis do not keep expectations on the result. Of course, in our everyday life it is normal to have expectations. Parents for example, who raise their child with much love, who give lots of time, effort, feelings and love, will expect the child to treat them with respect and take care of them when they are old. However there is always the possibility that these expectations will not be fulfilled and the parents will be disappointed.

Maybe there are also Gyan Yogi or Karma Yogi parents who do their duty, raise the children and do not keep any expectation and will not be disappointed. However this attitude is very difficult to achieve. If you give much love and effort to something you will naturally have expectations. What you can do is reduce your expectations. Offer whatever you do to God.

Somehow I feel that here in the Western culture parents are already Gyan Yogis. In India parents expect from their children to care for them and they normally also do. If they don't, the parents will be disappointed. But in the west, parents need to live in Gyan Yoga without expectations to their children because they might not take care of them here. Parents need to think themselves about how they will live when they are old because their children leave them when they are old enough to take care of themselves. So parents in the west do not build up so high expectations. Of course they will always keep a little hope but when children neglect them they will not be as disappointed as Indian parents. In India, parents will be very disappointed because their expectations were so high! This was a little comment on my own lecture and I will continue this topic in the next days.

Purnendu told me on phone that in India it is already very hot, it is 45 centigrade in Vrindavan. Today's food there was sponsored by a woman from Wiesbaden. She actually did not especially give a donation for food but for the Kindergarten and for the children. And when I was sitting together with Thomas we talked and said that we can use it for the food because it is so important. Any donation that we get is used for our projects, for children's food, their clothes or books. And she wished to do something for the children so we made this for her and them. I also talked to Kanu, the two-and-a-half-year-old, and he is very talkative now. He wanted to know how it was in Germany and asked how Yashendu, Ramona and even how her sisters were. It is now quite a while ago that they left but he still thinks of them.
Click here to see photos of food for a day from Ashram in India


  1. Laura

    “Disappointment comes from expectation” that is the key.I have often found myself thinking that marriages (in the “western” world at least) often end poorly because each partner is expected to fill certain roles that have nothing to do with their true desires or the specific functionality of their relationship. Once a couple enters into marriage, often certain expectations come into the picture that wouldn’t have in the first place, it make for disappointment, then anger and division.

  2. Harry

    I’m confused by this idea of ego. Because when I think about it, seems all things could be labeled as ego. Maybe that means I am all ego? Maybe that means I don’t understand.

  3. Drew

    The ego of doing is always there in me, I can’t imagine what it would be like to not have that.

  4. Tim

    This goes well with the previous day’s post, good karma is selfless karma.

  5. M

    I like the idea of Gyan yoga. It is a good practice to give for the sake of giving. Even if you have expectations of what you will get in return (which are hard to prevent), you will always have your good intention. And if your expectations are disappointed, then you can still have peace with yourself because you did the right thing! Giving for the sake of giving means having integrity about your actions, and this is something to be proud of even if no one returns the favor.

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