Application - that is what 'Workings-days' are about!
VEDANTA IN ACTION.
This is the title of a publication from CM which, whilst it of course has items by Gurudev, also includes selections of writing from other well-esteemed Gurus from the Vedantic tradition as well as leading businessmen. Its focus is the working life. We shall be exploring these essays for the next few weeks on Workings-day as, clearly, they pertain directly to the premise of this section of AVBlog! As ever, you are encouraged to read back over previous posts, to ensure full benefit.
Part 2:Fulfillment Through work
Right Attitudes for Success (by Gurudev)
Working for an ideal.
In contrast to the labourer, the second variety of work attitude is called, simply, worker. What is the difference here? If one asks a worker why he is working, he will say that he wants to bring about a change in society. His eyes are not on personal profit, but on a wider success. In what? Every worker has a picture of an ideal 'heaven', a perfect society. He will struggle hard in the world because he is inspired by a great enthusiasm and vision of life and wishes to contribute to achieving that ideal. He is ready to starve or suffer to see something of this succeed. The political workers or the spiritual missionaries, the great cultural thinkers - all of them are thus struggling to bring the ideals they have into the world. To the extent the ideal is achieved, to that extent they are happy and feel that they have succeeded.
Thus a labourer wants wages so that he and his family may be more comfortable. A worker wants success for his ideal, to bring it into society, which may or may not also bring some benefit to him and family.
Working for joy.
The third variety is rare. Labourers are many in the world and workers are somewhat less; but the third, called men of achievement, are few indeed. It is these people who give a fillip to the general cultural beauty of society and uplift the entire generation to a higher standard of life, a higher dignity of morality, a greater virtue in living. Such mighty men are called saints and sages, seers or prophets; incarnations of great virtues and values. They live an ideal life, inspiring others even after their death. Christ died two thousand years ago and yet we find that his glory becomes more and more compelling as time passes.
One may ask the man of achievement, 'what is it that you want in the world - why are you working?' Christ, Buddha, Muhammed - all worked. Such men do so not for profit, nor success, but from a feeling that they are doing the right thing, irrespective of whether or not they will be recognized in their lifetime. All that such men want is the secret joy of himself, the sense of fulfillment the he did the best he could.
The men of fulfillment do not work for a more comfortable life, nor do they work in the world outside for bringing a heaven upon earth, but by practice and precept they try to lead mankind to live an ideal life. More often than not, such men have been persecuted by the society, for they are too idealistic for their age. Against all such obstacles, a man of fulfillment lives on, inspiring others by his joyous way of life and thus bringing about a new movement of moral change in the country. In time, the morality, the culture, the civilization of the society always rises up because of their work. Such men live the life they advocate; they are their own best examples. Thus men of achievement are not mere labourers or workers, but are seekers of Self-fulfillment. By living the idealistic life in society, in spite of the fact that others are not willing to live it with them, they thrilled and inspired their generations, instilling a sense of awe and reverence for the perfect life. Such ideal individuals alone have uplifted the world.