There is a story about a great follower of Buddha, who was a prime minister, he wore silks, jewellery and rode on an elephant as befitting a Prime minister and not the humble garb of a spiritual seeker. Yet the Buddha considered him a true Bodha-sadhak. There was a murmur within the others, until someone actually asked the Buddha about it. The Buddha then replied, ”doing your allotted work in all its totality in itself is spirituality. As the prime minister of the country, it is demanded off him to dress in a particular way, and carry himself within the social structure in a particular manner and doing it without getting attached to it was also a spiritual practise.”
This story comes back to me, whenever I meet Prof.Veereshi of Bangalore University who happens to be a Guru-Bandhu of my husband. Unlike the other Guru-Bandhu’s I never see him getting het-up. He is totally dedicated to his job at the university, if any event has to occur in the ashram, he does not compromise for it with this professional life. He also has a designated time when takes his family for a holiday, again no compromise. When he is with his mentor, be it spiritual and academic he is totally there. I have seen him take care of his academic mentor with all the affection and reverence that dream son would. His mobile is switched off, he is so humble and totally there it is difficult to visualize the man as the VC designate.
When I did refer to this, my husband’s Guruji explained it to me so beautifully. “Jo Karmakshetra mein safal hai, woh hi adhyatma mein safal ho sakta hai.” — He then went on to say– A career can coexist with development of the soul, when we approach each with balance and determination. The path no doubt be extremely challenging and would require a lot of discipline and commitment. But none the less, it is absolutely possible.
Careers do tend to take up a great deal of time, but if can work our way through it self realization is possible. It means we put aside a committed time to work exclusively on the self,like,Prof.Veereshi, there is also another aspect that we do our work with total dedication, to achieve perfection in it, that is also working on the soul. There is a fine line between being a workaholic and a dedicated worker. Taking that weekend off, is not about slacking, but about rejuvenating for further growth.
There are people who create a spiritually aware workplace by adorning their desk or office with sacred objects like the Buddha, a candle that has personal relevance. What would one do if these decorations are not permitted in the workplace… may be one could have some token that is associated with our lives?
To me striving for excellence in my own existence without assuming to guide others to do so, is a challenge. It would mean to accept the other just the way they are with all integrity. Asking for support when the path is difficult is bigger challenge. It makes my ego take a beating.
Another thing that my husband’s Guruji Parmahamsa Gyaneshwar Maharaj of Avadhoot Ashram Kurukshetra told me, “job hi tumhare karya ko sampoorn karne kileye karana pade, woh sadhana hai. Kisi madad maangna, aage seekhna, ya kuch naya vichara karna. Aur us karya ko karne me tum jo shram karti ho, wohi shradha hai.” This was one of the most personally relevant spiritual advices that I ever received.