In the Gītā, three yogas are described: karma-yoga, jñāna-yoga, and bhakti-yoga. The first step is karma-yoga— not karma, but karma-yoga. There is a difference between them. Only those karmas which have been connected or offered to Kṛṣṇa are known as karma-yoga. The activities of atheists are not known as karma-yoga.
Actually, karma-yoga, jñāna-yoga, and bhakti-yoga are not three different things. There is one mango but it is unripe at one time, then it is neither unripe nor ripe, and then it becomes ripe. The same is true for these three yogas. First there is karma-yoga, then jñāna-yoga, and then finally bhakti-yoga.
May 25, 1992 Mathurā