The Ethics of Work-A study of Swamiji’s Karma-Yoga

On the momentous occasion of Swami Vivekananda’s 150th birth anniversary I take this opportunity to pay obeisance to this great visionary of modern India. Karma-Yoga or the ethics of work is the theme of this paper. Derived from the Sanskrit word ‘kri’ –to do, karma  refers to action  and  the effect of actions. Karma or activity is the essence of Swamiji’s philosophy. Everything we do physical or mental, is karma and it leaves its marks on us. Therefore our personality is the effect of our karma. Karma is the manifestation of the inner strength and for its proper realization one should have knowledge. Ignorance leads to misery which creates a negative influence on the individual and the society. Alternatively, misery breeds inactivity and aversion towards life resulting in stagnation of thought and action. Only through proper knowledge and implementing this knowledge through right action can the nation hope to overcome the present socio-economic crisis the world is experiencing. A universal standard of morality and duty based on the ideal of non-violence is the goal that the great Swami dreamt of.


Rita Roy Chowdhury, Associate Professor, Dept of Philosophy, Vivekananda College for Women Kolkata56, M.C.Garden Road, Kolkata, 700030


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