How Can One shine in both devotion and career?
ACTUAL QUESTION FROM A MALE DEVOTEE: “Please throw a light on my confusion. There are people in my circle who says following devotional practices will lead to very simple and contended life. I will not be able to grow in my professional life in terms of Austerity, Financial status etc. Spiritual path as per their understanding is to leave materialistic world and just live simple life, not going behind more money and so many things. I do understand this all but I am unable to convince them. How Can One shine in both devotion and career? Please advise.”
Once H.H.Jayapataka Swami said like this as a reply to such a similar question: “Where there is Krishna, there will be Lakshmi too.”
This is true.
We have heard many devotees donating lakhs, even crores of rupees as donations, for constructing temples, distributing Prasadam or books, etc.
How do they get money? Krishna gives them.
Mr.Ford, the most popular car maker, has donated hundreds of crores of rupees for constructing the temple for Krishna. Thousands of devotees have contributed generously for the services of Lord and constructing the temples.
I am a very insignificant person. But, I myself was struggling financially when I was running my business with a materialistic mindset. I started to learn Bhagavad Gita and associate with the devotees more. Then, I started to lead a simple life following devotional practices and function in a balanced mindset without the intention of becoming the rich. But, Krishna cleared all my financial problems and made me self sufficient.
(Is wearing rich Uniform Clothes violation of simplicity? Read Here!)
So, the point is: The devotees work just as assigned duties. They do not work longing for becoming financially rich. However, as assured by Krishna Himself in Bhagavad Gita, He will take care of all the needs of His devotees.
So, a devotee need not fear for loss of his resources if he engages in the devotion. Krishna never lets His devotees down. He assures that His devotees never perish.
We are expected to skip just our attachments to results and benefits. Krishna never said to stop our assigned works. It is not possible also.
Krishna further says that we can not take care of even our body if we do not do our assigned duties. And, Krishna Himself is working by maintaining His unimaginable creations.
(Why some people become sanyasis when Krishna advice us to work? READ HERE!)
So, only those who have misunderstood Bhagavad Gita and the devotional way of life speak like this.
We work. Some money comes. With the money, we spend for our living and also for the service of Krishna. We have the mindset that nothing in this world is permanent. No material things like money, comforts, relations are going to come with us while leaving this world.
(How to remain peaceful in life in this material world? READ HERE!)
That is why, we are expected to skip our attachments with these things. Instead, we accept whatever is given by the Lord when we perform our assigned duties as the gift of Krishna.
We also have the conviction that nothing in this world is ours and everything is owned by Krishna and we are just handling His properties. So, we own nothing here. Then, why should we develop attachments with them and a desire to own them?
If we have the OWNER MENTALITY, Krishna corrects us by taking away all our material opulence. When we handle everything given by Krishna as the properties of Krishna and in turn, if we engage them in His service and for our basic living, then, Krishna pours more and more opulence to His devotees.
So, the problem is only in our mindset. Not in the devotional way of life.
Some people misunderstand “deserting the attachments” and hence they develop a hatred in this life. This is unnecessary and not advisable.
(Is Hating the family members right for the devotees? READ HERE!)
All are owned by Krishna. Nothing belongs to us. So, we should not have a owner mentality and we should not develop pride seeing our belongings.
The devotees are also working, doing business, etc balancing their Devotion and career. But, they always remember Krishna while working and they do not forget the owner Krishna.
Since they consider Krishna as the real owner, they do not develop pride. So, they do not like to waste the resources of Krishna. They spend sparingly. They lead a simple life but with rich thoughts of Krishna.
Do you know the satisfaction involved in leading a simple life with just basic needs?
(Does Krishna direct us to perform Bad deeds also as paramathma from heart? READ HERE!)
I remember my past in which I was struggling even for a single rupee during the initial days of devotional practices. Once, I was unloaded from the city bus for having one rupee less for the bus ticket. Therefore, I walked all along to my home for 8 kms. I always remember those days. That is why, even now, I use minimum resources.
I am able to sleep even by using a fan. Then, why should I go to air conditioner? If I use AC, then, I will become an addict to it and I can not live without AC. So, I avoid it. Thus, I am avoiding whichever things can increase my material attachments. Thus, I am happier than those who are living with the AC and cars.
Many people wonder how some devotees can live this much simple. They can not understand this secret because they are living to satisfy their pride being under the control of maya and we, the devotees are living under the direct protection of Krishna and hence our aim is to satisfy Krishna.
(What is the use Bhagavad Gita in our day to day life? READ HERE!)
So, we know the value of each and every resource given to us by Krishna. If we sacrifice excessive material opulence and follow the devotional practices along with our assigned duties, Krishna becomes very happy and starts to protect us. He thinks: “Oh, this guy is a very responsible person who spends my resources very sparingly and only to the needs”.
I feel that. This does not mean, the devotees of Krishna are poor. They are simple. That’s all.
The devotees who have understood the temporary nature of this material life can not wholeheartedly enjoy material things. This is the reality. So, do not think that involving in devotional practices demotivates us. It makes us matured and balanced in our every activity. That’s all.
So, always be happy to be a devotee of Lord Krishna. Follow devotional practices sincerely and continue to work and support your needs. You Can shine in both devotion and career! Krishna will take ensure that you get all your needs. Don’t worry. Just manage the Devotion and career nicely.
Hope this helps.
(Does involvement in devotion affect the studies? READ HERE!)