Gita Chap 2:47

Posted: December 5, 2009 in Effort, Grace, Karma, Karma Yoga, Mind, Surrender

Question: I am having trouble reconciling working for a salary and karma yoga. I try to maintain the attitude that everything I do is for God and not to care for the fruits of labor, but the practical reality of needing a paycheck to survive tends to weaken that ideal. How can I sincerely promote this while my mind is always thinking that I am overworked, underpaid, and working for a company that is very unorganized?

Jyotirmayananda Swami: Fire is preceded by smoke. If you become upset by smoke you cannot kindle fire. In the same manner, if you become upset by the limitation of work (or jobs) you cannot become adept in karma yoga. In spite of the limitations, you should continue to keep up the ideal of karma yoga to the extent it is possible. Earning a living is important to keep your mind free of that pressure, so you can direct your energy freely towards your sadhana (spiritual practice) and towards works that are more selfless and uplifting in nature.
You should have a practical insight into the job you do for earning a living. If it is possible for you to find a better and more agreeable job, you should do so. If you use your intelligence to better your economical circumstances, you are not opposing the ideals of karma yoga, because you will be placing yourself into better circumstances for practicing selfless service. At the same time, you should not give up what you already have without having secured something better.


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