Why it is said that working hard is not good for devotees?
A girl devotee (Name hidden) asked like this:
“Hare Krishna Prabhuji. You are tireless to help us and I am your follower from the year 2011 in which you started this service. I accused you as if you are liberalizing spirituality. But, you patiently explained and cleared me that you are just encouraging others to customize their sadhana bhakti. Later, I understood whatever you said were true. Now, I need your advice in another matter. One of my senior devotee in temple said that devotees should not work hard like ass. We are living in competitive world. How can we succeed in life without working hard? Please guide me in this matter as I have to work till 8 Pm daily as a Software Er.. Thanks”
Yes, working hard is not good for devotees (like ass) is not recommended for devotees.
Ass will be working as instructed by his boss even without evaluating what it is doing. He does not bother about his growth.
He will be blindly working for his boss.
(Will Performing our Prescribed duties, ie, Karma Yoga give rebirth? READ HERE!)
This kind of hard work will never elevate any human being. So, blindly working hard is not good for devotees.
Because, humans are not like ass. Working hard is not good for devotees, because they can’t learn the goal of human life as going back to Krishna or serving Krishna.
So, he should do any duty without affecting his main goal of life or he should take the service to Krishna itself as his duty.
He should work EFFECTIVELY as advised by Krishna in Bhagavad Gita.
Effectively means working being aware of its usefulness and applicability to achieve our real target of Krishna.
Krishna ordered Arjuna to fight the war as a Kshatriya as per the order of Krishna.
Fighting brought their country back to them.
This is effectiveness.
You too should work productively.
(What is Karma Yoga? Will it reduce our Initiative for not expecting results? READ HERE!)
Though you work for six hours a day that should be productive and intelligent. It SHOULD help you to make you eligible to go back to Krishna.
So work effectively within the pre-scheduled time and keep on thinking of Krishna and continue to do services to Krishna every day.
This is the effective work.
This kind of effective work keeping Krishna in mind and leaving the results to Krishna is well recommended.
Let me give you the advice of Rishaba Deva in Srimad Bhagavatham and the explanation of Srila Prabhupada for the same:
“Lord Rsabhadeva told His sons: My dear boys, of all the living entities who have accepted material bodies in this world, one who has been awarded this human form should not work hard day and night simply for sense gratification, which is available even for dogs and hogs that eat stool. One should engage in penance and austerity to attain the divine position of devotional service. By such activity, one’s heart is purified, and when one attains this position, he attains eternal, blissful life, which is transcendental to material happiness and which continues forever.”
(How to follow Karma Yoga? Is aiming for a good job a materialistic approach? READ HERE!)
Purport (By Srila Prabhupada):
In this verse Lord Rsabhadeva tells His sons about the importance of human life. The word deha-bhak refers to anyone who accepts a material body, but the living entity who is awarded the human form must act differently from animals.
Animals like dogs and hogs enjoy sense gratification by eating stool. After undergoing severe hardships all day, human beings are trying to enjoy themselves at night by eating, drinking, having sex and sleeping.
At the same time, they have to properly defend themselves. However, this is not human civilization. Human life means voluntarily practicing suffering for the advancement of spiritual life. There is, of course, suffering in the lives of animals and plants, which are suffering due to their past misdeeds.
(Work Renouncement (Sanyasa) and Karma Yoga -Which Krishna says, is better? READ HERE!)
However, human beings should voluntarily accept suffering in the form of austerities and penances in order to attain the divine life. After attaining the divine life, one can enjoy happiness eternally. After all, every living entity is trying to enjoy happiness, but as long as one is encaged in the material body he has to suffer different kinds of misery.
A higher sense is present in the human form. We should act according to superior advice in order to attain eternal happiness and go back to Godhead.
It is significant in this verse that the government and the natural guardian, the father, should educate subordinates and raise them to Krsna consciousness. Devoid of Krsna consciousness, every living being suffers in this cycle of birth and death perpetually.
To relieve them from this bondage and enable them to become blissful and happy, bhakti-yoga should be taught. A foolish civilization neglects to teach people how to rise to the platform of bhakti-yoga. Without Krsna consciousness a person is no better than a hog or dog.
(HOW TO AVOID KARMA WHILE WORKING! 10 PRACTICAL EXAMPLES! READ HERE!)
The instructions of Rsabhadeva are very essential at the present moment. People are being educated and trained to work very hard for sense gratification, and there is no sublime aim in life.
A man travels to earn his livelihood, leaving home early in the morning, catching a local train and being packed in a compartment. He has to stand for an hour or two in order to reach his place of business.
Then again he takes a bus to get to the office. At the office he works hard from nine to five; then he takes two or three hours to return home. After eating, he has sex and goes to sleep. For all this hardship, his only happiness is a little sex.
(Can we escape from karma if we do not do any activity? READ HERE!)
Yan maithunadi-grhamedhi-sukham hi tuccham. Rsabhadeva clearly states that human life is not meant for this kind of existence, which is enjoyed even by dogs and hogs. Indeed, dogs and hogs do not have to work so hard for sex. A human being should try to live in a different way and should not try to imitate dogs and hogs.
The alternative is mentioned. Human life is meant for tapasya, austerity and penance. By tapasya, one can get out of the material clutches. When one is situated in Krsna consciousness, devotional service, his happiness is guaranteed eternally. By taking to bhakti-yoga, devotional service, one’s existence is purified.
The living entity is seeking happiness life after life, but he can make a solution to all his problems simply by practicing bhakti-yoga. Then he immediately becomes eligible to return home, back to Godhead. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (4.9):
janma karma ca me divyam
evam yo vetti tattvatah
tyaktva deham punar janma
naiti mam eti so ’rjuna
One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.”
Are you clear now?
So, working hard is not good for devotees but keep on working keeping Krishna in mind and keep that work effective unlike an ass.
(KARMA, AKARMA AND VIKARMA – DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM!READ HERE!)