Nand Kishore: What is meaning of word “Karm”? How it is different from “Kriyaa”? Whether “Nishkaam Karm” is related with action (as mentioned in Gita)? Whether “Nishkaam Kriyaa” is more suitable than “Nishkaam Karm” in said reference? If not, why?
Swami Ram Swarup: Karma means to do some deeds like eating, laughing, cooking, do Yajyen, agnihotra, study holy books and other books, meditate, do worship, commit sins etc. So, karma may be called kriya (verb). But Vedas preach to always do pious deeds in accordance with Vedas’ philosophy because Almighty God who is everywhere, sees all our good and bad deeds and He awards the result thereof in the shape of happiness and sorrows respectively. I also paste my article on deeds below-

Three types of Deeds

There are three types of deeds (karmas) – sanchit, prarabhadh and kriyamann. Suppose one soul has to take birth (body). It means he has to face total number of deeds of his all previous lives and these deeds are called sanchit karmas but sanchit deeds are huge/unlimited and cannot be faced in one life. So the karmas which can be faced in one life are called prarabhadh (luck-destiny). So God has not made our luck at His own but Almighty God has taken the deeds which we have already done.

Yajurveda mantra 7/48 clarifies that human being is free to do any deed good or bad but God only awards the result. Now the balance deeds from sanchit deeds will be counted in the next life. Now the deeds which we do in our day today present life are called kriyamann.

If we do pious deeds according to Vedas, shastras and holy books and based on pious preaches of Rishi, Muni/learned saints then our all sanchit deeds are burnt and we can get salvation. Human beings are free in the matter of doing deeds good or bad. But result will be awarded by God. So we must worship and do pious deeds under guidance of a learned Guru. One should go always ahead for hard working, pious deeds, worship to make future bright himself. One should always work hard towards a right path.

Worship does not mean that we are free to discharge only our family duties, education, etc., but rather it is a sin. We have to get progress in both way at a time i.e., spiritualism and worldly progress i.e., science, education, duties towards family etc. God creates the universe according to His eternal law framed in Vedas which are always unchangeable and unchallengeable. So we have to follow the law of God always to get long happy life.

Nishkaam karma means to do the pious deeds without expecting result thereof. That is selfless deed. Karma is itself a kriya.

Joe: What is yoga and why to do it?
Swami Ram Swarup: I paste my article on Yoga Philosophy in this connection. However, you are advised to read my book, named Yoga- A Divine Vedas’ philosophy, worth Rs.80/- excluding postal charges which will clear all your doubts about yoga philosophy.

Origin of Yoga

Before entering the yoga knowledge, it will be appreciated if we first try to know its origin. We know that Lord Jesus was born in Jerusalem and Christianity spread. Lord Buddha was born in India, Buddhism spread. Hazrat Mohammed Sahib was born in Arab and Islam spread. In the same manner many religions have come into existence on this earth since a number of years.

Accordingly, we must also strive to discover that when the Earth was created then to whom the theory of Yoga was taught first? And how it spread? In this connection learned Matterlic in his book – ‘The Great Secret’, has written:

“Let us once given ear to Rig Ved, the most authentic echo of the most immortal traditions.”

“Let us note now it appreciates the formidable problems.”

“There was neither Being nor non-Being. There was neither atmosphere nor heaven above the atmosphere. What moved, and whither? And in whose care? Were there waters and the bottomless deep?”

“There was then neither death nor immortality. The day was not divided from the night. Only one breathed in Himself without extraneous breath and apart from Him, there was nothing.”

“There, for the first time desire awoke within him, this was the first seed of the spirit. The sages, full of understanding, striving within their hearts, discovered in Non-Being the link with Being.”

From the above description one can conclude that at the very beginning of creation, there was God alone, alongwith the matter (prakriti) which was to be used to create the universe. Secondly, there was no death because there was no life, as death is only possible if there is life. Thirdly, God created all beings like man, woman, space, sun, moon, earth, water, flora and fauna etc. All our ancient Rishis and Saints realized this truth. Now listen to the authentic echo of Yajur Ved in Mantra seven of Chapter thirty-one:

“After the creation of earth and all beings, the knowledge of four Vedas originated from the Almighty, omnipresent, worshipful and venerable God.”

Manusmriti in its Shlok 1/23 throws the same light in this connection:
“The Almighty God created the earth and human being. Thereafter He showered His blessings to four Rishis by originating the knowledge of four Vedas in their souls to enable the human beings to attain the stage of Arth (Finance), Dharma (Religion), Kaam (good wishes and to get happy family life) and Moksh (Final liberation).”

The same truth is seen in the 3rd Sutra of Chapter 1 of Vedanta Darshan by Vyas Muni:
“Worship the God who is the originator of Four Vedas.”

Guru Nanak Dev Ji also preached: “Onkar Ved Nirmaye”. Meaning: “The Vedas were originated by God.”

Similarly, there are so many statements of Vedas and other Holy books where it is clarified that only Almighty God is the originator of four Vedas, Now we come to the point that from where the knowledge of Yoga originated? In this connection please see the contents of Mantra No 4, Chapter 7 of Yajur Ved as under:

“Aspirant of Yoga should learn and practice the eight parts of Yoga i.e.:
5 Yams: Non-violence, Truthfulness, Abstaining from theft, Celibacy and not to store the articles more than the requirement (Self Abnegation).”

5 Niyams: Cleanliness, Contentment, Austerity, Study of holy books and Trust in God. The Niyamas are also five. Then Asana, Prannayama, Pratayahar, Dharana, Dhayana and Samadhi (Note: These eight parts of Yoga will be briefed later on).

Again in the above mantra it is preached that “O aspirant try to stop internal breathing (prannayam) to perish away the false knowledge, sufferings, ravages of hatred and tension etc. Thus through the power of Yoga remove all ills and becoming abstemious, attain the Yoga’s wealth and secure it with yourself.” Yoga’s wealth are eight sidhis (will be briefed afterwards) and realisation of God (Samadhi). The same description of knowledge of Yoga is seen in several Mantras of remaining three Vedas. Some mantras are quoted below:
(a) Rig Ved Mantra I, Sukt 93 Mandal 9 says:
When a Yogi exercises control on his 5 organs of action, 5 organs of perception and mind through the power of Yoga and he does meditation, then he sees God (realizes God within soul).

(b) Rig Ved Mandal 9 Sukt 93 Mantra 50 says:
O God kindly be firmly established in our hearts during the Yogic and devotional morning practices of inhalation, exhalation (Prannayam).

(c) Sam Ved Mantra no 908 also states:
O Omnipresent God, Thou are realized by the Yogis/Tapsavis/wise persons in their hearts through the power of Yoga i.e. Prannayam and meditation etc.

(d) The God is being realized through the eight fold parts of Yoga by the Yogis.

From the above it is learnt that the Yoga knowledge is the origin of four Vedas and thereafter spread by Rishis/Munis/Gurus traditionally from mouth-to-mouth and ear-to-ear within man kinds considering the same the most authentic and immortal tradition which one is a right and true path to worship and realize God too by overcoming sorrows/sufferings/ills and death etc, attaining the final stage of Arth, Dharam, Kam and Moksh.

So, the most authentic, immortal and traditional knowledge of Yoga for worshipping God is originated from God’s voice in the shape of four Vedas at the time of creation of the Earth by Him. That is why Manu Smriti says:
“Vedo Ahkilo Dharmam Mulam”

Meaning: The most ancient authentic and immortal echo in the shape of four Vedas is the root of all religions in the world and accordingly the origin of worshipful Yoga philosophy also originates from Vedas.