Is work Worship?
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.
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.