The practice of continence, (often misinterpreted as only meaning in association with sexual desires), nonviolence, Truthfulness, non-hatred, and non-thieving is a must. The disciplines the yogis speak of, as well as all true spiritual seekers, are truly necessary in the spiritual life. However, they have all been modified to suit the actions of most people, bad reasoning by those who claim logic to their ways of being. In the Upanishads these disciplines are addressed quite clearly. Some being, rightness, studying, learning and teaching, truth, austerity, self-control, which is continence, and tranquillity, inner control by controlling the mind from thinking wrong thoughts.
One needs discipline to purify the body, the senses, the mind, and the heart. The preliminary disciplines need fulfilling with single-minded purpose of attaining ones ideal in spiritual life. Ultimately, this requires the unconditional sacrifice of everything. Just because we do the karmic work does not mean that we are doing yoga. Be aware of just what your mind is doing right now with what I am saying here, reflect.
Please allow me to try to alleviate some of the misunderstandings regarding karma. First off, you can be sure everyone is doing karma. Now, as to how many are actually doing Karma yoga, not many. To be actually practicing any of the yogas requires that we fulfill the rules of ethics. There are conditions that can only be fulfilled by strict discipline. These fulfillment’s that I speak to you of are not limited to just this gross existence. They are inclusive of the subtlest aspects also. In Karma yoga it is said, “One must purify the mind via the strict observance of ethical culture.” Selfless actions, thereby surrendering all the fruits of the karmas to the Divine.”
In Gyana yoga it is said, “That only after fulfilling the strict purificatory disciplines, then one can concentrate single-minded on Brahman. The practice of discrimination is a must to purify the mind.”
In Bhakti yoga it is said, “One is to direct all feeling, all sensations of love to the Divine. Thereby, allowing all other feeling of love to be absorbed by our burning love for The Great Mother. The annihilation of all other feelings of love through our intense devotion will ultimately leave only our love of Mother.” As you can see, strict discipline on the yogic path purifies our heart and releases us from attachments.