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
Efficiency in Action (Gurudev), cont'd
Expressing Ideals in Action.
Every day we face decisions and temptations. Although we may have high ideals, if our strength of conviction is weak, we compromise easily. Supposing you see a man walking in a busy street. Due to preoccupation, he does not notice his wallet fall. You pick up the wallet and realise it is full of money. Will you think "no one has seen me, let me pocket this", or will it be "Hoi Sir, you wallet has fallen!" and follow him to ensure safe return? There is complete freedom to go either way on this occasion; what determines your response? Your intentions, ideals, education and other factors all come together to determine the resultant action taken. One of the pitfalls even for the relatively virtuous is justification. …"for the past month I have prayed to the Lord for some break in the clouds that I might have improved wealth and look! He provides on the street itself!"
Think not this to be a fanciful example. This is the sort of thing which goes on all the time within us, even for the smallest stuff.
All our actions depend upon the type of ideals in our mind and intellect. The way in which we behave in the world is altered, controlled and regulated by the type of ideals and vaasanas we carry. The question now comes, is it possible to modify these ideals and tendencies in order to improve our behaviour and raise our standards; not for show but for our own spiritual purpose? The nobler the ideal, the finer will be the action. Quality over quantity and beauty within the actions are what we would all prefer to think we have. Therefore, it seems obvious that we must shore up our ideals, as being the basis from which we operate.
The spirit of freedom, of reverence and of sacrifice for the common good are all inspiring ideals. The higher an ideal, the more likely the actions too will be noble. When the motivation in one's mind is selfish, even though the work may be successfully accomplished, then it amounts to little more than and act of theft and can yield no lasting benefit to the individual and certainly none to the community.
Shruti says that work can bring forth real, enduring results not merely because of the quantity of effort put forth, but also due to the quality of inspiration present when undertaking the work. The greater the ideal, the brighter is the action and its results. How much greater, then, can be the results when we are inspired by the Divine only? It funds an energy and vitality like no other ideal. There are certain events in life which can demonstrate this; say your spouse or child has fallen seriously ill at home. You cannot take leave from work. Your family take their care shift in the day and you take your turn at night, when not at work. For months together you may have to do this, operating on absolute minimum sleep. Yet, out of the sheer love and devotion to that dear one, you are able to do this. It is a drain on you, certainly, but never for moment do you think that you will not do this thing. Where did the energy come from to cope? Such are available, locked away within us. Tapping into that intense Love and devotion is what is required for the Divine life.
Discovering a vision, that tremendous ideal of inspiration, then surrendering oneself to it, seems to be the secret for discovering the dynamism in our activities. Each one will have to discover their own goal. There was a time when the ideal was dharma; spirituality was a normal and accepted motivator in life. Today it is much less so. Today, the emphasis is on technology and rationalism. This, however, provides the workplace as the opportunity to worship; make one small space in your office, on your desk, which is sacred and a point of focus for remembering Divinity. Dedicate all work to that. You alone can discover the energy and enthusiasm within yourself to do this. In making the decision to work this way, you will begin to feel the rewards, not in cash, but in the spirit of joy at completion of tasks in the name of Divinity and the greater energy of the heart for performing in the world.