Work as Worship

Our occupation can often seem an obstacle to progressive spirituality. The competitive climate, stressful lifestyle and weighty responsibilities can create frustration and confusion as we pursue our spiritual aspirations. Is it possible to operate in this dog-eat-dog world and still maintain our spirituality? Can one serve God via their worldly profession? The Bhagavad-Gita offers the ‘3R’ formula on how to spiritualise your daily work.

Consider your daily work in the world – is there a way you could incorporate these three elements in a more powerful way so as to spiritualise your occupation?

Righteous – First, one must endeavour to engage in righteous work. Certain occupations and livelihoods are based on exploitation, violence, dishonesty, and generally cause harm and disruption in the world. Such work is neither progressive for the individual nor prosperous for society at large. Although every type of work in today’s world is tainted by some fault or imperfection, the spiritualist should nevertheless strive for a career that promotes harmony, compassion and upliftment.

Results – Second, we can dedicate the ‘fruits’ of our work to God. Such fruits come in the form of remuneration, knowledge, expertise, skills and influence in a particular field. Some measure of wealth is required to survive in the world, providing the necessities of food, clothing and shelter, but a certain portion should be reserved for spiritual causes. By offering charitable contributions towards the worship of Krishna and the spiritual upliftment of others, one also develops detachment and selflessness, which are the key ingredients in the spiritual journey.

Remembrance – Third, one should cultivate an active spiritual consciousness of Krishna while at work. Newly-wedded couples are wrapped in thoughts of each other even when separated and otherwise occupied. Eventually, our remembrance of Krishna will be just as natural. In the meantime we can make a conscious effort; keep devotional pictures on your desk, set computer passwords to Krishna’s names, talk to your colleagues about spirituality, play spiritual music in the background… be imaginative! We must perform our daily duties with due care and attention, but actively remember that we are ultimately working for Krishna, our true employer and master.

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