Is work Worship?

by Chaitanya Charan dasFebruary 4, 2012

Is all work worship? If yes, then is the ass, which works the hardest, the greatest worshiper? If not, why not?

Let’s first understand the words ‘work’ and ‘worship’ clearly; then we can explore their relationship. ‘Work’ generally deals with the mundane – earn­ing money, managing domestic affairs and satisfying bodily demands. ‘Worship’, on the other hand, usually focuses on the divine ­prayer, chanting and meditation. So work and worship belong to two distinct domains – the mundane and the divine respectively. Can the two be wedded together?

For this we need to recognize the dual dimensions of our exis­tence ­material and spiritual. We are spiritual beings seated as driv­ers in material bodily vehicles. We are eternal and beloved children of the Supreme Father God. Our material needs – food, shelter, se­curity, sensual gratification – preoccupy most of our time and en­ergy. Not having these troubles us, but does having them bring fulfillment to our heart and soul? Being hungry is a misery, but does getting food bring positive joy to our hearts? Are the well­fed people of the world always joy­ful? Food fills our belly but does it fill and fulfill our heart? Our love­hungry hearts can be satisfied only by spiritual love for the supreme object of love – God. Our human bodies are vehicles, catapults, to elevate our heart from our present love for dead matter to our potential love for God through the scientific process of devotional service.

Imagine a traveler having a car on lease, who carefully fuels and furnishes the car, but doesn’t drive it to his home. When the lease ex­pires he loses the car and with it the opportunity to return home. Similar are those who due to a misconstrued idea of worship devote themselves to material obligations, considering them to be wor­shipable, and fail to invest time in exclusively worshiping God. When they eventually lose their bodies to death, they also lose the chance to return back to their eternal home with God in the spiritual world.

We can return to God only when we love God more than any­thing and everything of this world. For this divine metamorphosis, we must understand the science of God. Like any other science, the

science of God has a theoretical aspect and a practical aspect. The theoretical as­pect can be understood by studying under proficient spiritual scientists—wise saintly persons who have studied deeply and practiced diligently the principles of spitu­ality stated in the authorized textbooks of spirituality—the scriptures. And the prac­tical aspect involves connecting our con­sciousness with God through the simple and sublime process of mantra medita­tion—the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha­mantra or any other bona fide name of God.

Therefore, to make our work a worship we need to have a daily regulated program of spiritual practice or sadhana ­ideally at the start of the working day in the morning. Sadhana creates a founda­tion of divine consciousness by which we can spiritualize the work of the rest of the day. When we diligently devote exclusive time for worship through mantra meditation and scriptural study, our pure love gradually invites and enthrones God in our heart. This divine love enables us to see all living beings as our brethren in God’s family and makes all our activities as offerings of love to Him and to all His children. Then and then alone does our work become wor­ship. Let us therefore harmonize our short­term material require­ments with the long­term spiritual purpose of our lives and attain success in both the dimensions of our life—work and worship.

About The Author
Chaitanya Charan das

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