lunes, 26 de septiembre de 2011

Nine forms of devotional service in the workplace

Nine forms of devotional service in the workplace
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732) In the Introduction to The Nectar of Devotion we find the following 
statement from Srila Prabhupada: "Described in the Srimad-Bhagavatam are 
nine different processes, besides which everything done is unfavorable to 
Krishna consciousness. Thus, one should always be guarding against 
falldowns."
 
What is/are the form(s) of devotional service that we can directly connect 
to our occupational duties, specifically in a workplace outside the home?
 
While I can make a connection from arcana / deity worship to both housework 
and workplace occupational duties, as they help to provide various 
financial and other resources for the deity worship process, I am wondering 
if there are also other connections that we can directly make to the nine 
forms?
 
Also what must be the consciousness while performing the activities for any 
connection between our occupational duties and pure devotional service to 
be valid?  Specifically, please help me to distinguish more clearly what is 
and what is not favorable to Krishna consciousness at work, and thus to 
better guard against the more minor or inconspicuous falldowns from pure 
devotional service that happen in the course of daily life.
 
Answer: The first and most important of the nine processes of devotional 
service is Sravanam, followed by Kirtanam. Hearing is the basis for the 
other 8 processes. Thus in performing your occupational duties also, you 
can directly and most effectively connect it to the process of Hearing, 
i.e. to hear the messages of Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita.
 
SRAVANAM
The process of Sravanam, as I am sure you have heard, does not end with the 
physical activity of attending Bhagavatam discourse; a devotee carries with 
him these transcendental messages and the consequent purified consciousness 
into the course of his daily activities, conducting his/her work *in 
submission* to these messages.
 
This was approved by Lord Caitanya as the most effective process to enter 
into the realm of devotional service: *"sthane sthitah sruti gatam tanu van 
manobhir..." *(Ref. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's discussions with Ramananda 
Raya)
 
Krishna also recommends this same process in the Bhagavad-gita to help 
Arjuna fix his mind upon Krishna, while executing his most challenging 
occupation in the upcoming battle. *"mayyasakta manah partha... yatha 
jnasyasi tac chrnu"* (BG 7.1)
 
In this significant verse that opens the chapters discussing devotional 
service, Krishna stresses the process of hearing. Only by hearing from 
Krishna or His pure devotee can one understand the science of Krishna. 
(Please see Srila Prabhupada's purport to BG 7.1 
<http://vedabase.net/bg/7/1/en>)
 
All the other activities such as chanting, arcana and so on can be 
performed effectively and flawlessly only by one who has given careful 
aural reception to the transcendental messages coming in disciplic 
succession. In other words, as you connect your work to the messages of 
Krishna, then your efforts to connect it to Deity Worship, or the preaching 
mission, and so on will be most fruitful.
 
Connecting to hearing means working according to the principles of Bhagavad-
gita, such as working dutifully, working without fruitive mentality, not 
being affected by dualities, abiding by the characteristics of mode of 
goodness, avoiding prayasa, prajalpa, jana-sanga. In endeavoring to connect 
to the Sravanam process, one repeatedly remembers the instructions relevant 
to one's decisions and actions, and the Personality whose instructions they 
are. In other words, when you are at work and you don't react to some 
failure in your effort, or adverse criticism from a fellow worker, or when 
you decline a tempting opportunity for sense- gratification, and you are 
reflecting, "This is the injunction of the Bhagavad-gita; by the potency of 
these messages I am protected; all success is assured by abiding in 
Krishna; I am an eternal servant of Krishna and meant to carry out HIs 
orders; I have no independence to act as I please... ", you are thus 
connecting to the Hearing Process. Progressively, by such practice, in 
course of time the devotee learns to feel dependent on Krishna's mercy in 
all activities, to constantly remember Krishna, and act for His pleasure. 
Srila Prabhupada explains this consciousness in BG 18.57 purport 
<http://vedabase.net/bg/18/57/en>.
 
KIRTANAM
As a devotee's work is progressively aligned with the transcendental 
messages of Krishna, that work becomes Kirtanam, or glorification of the 
Lord. In other words, kirtanam refers not just to the activity of chanting 
or singing the Holy Names and glories; any activity that glorifies Krishna 
is Kirtanam. Srila Prabhupada elaborates this in his purport to SB 1.5.22, 
where it is stated that the purpose of all branches of knowledge, 
sacrifice, charity and so on is to glorify the Supreme Lord. *yad uttama 
sloka gunanuvarnanam.*
 
*"If one is a learned scholar, scientist, philosopher, poet, etc., then he 
should employ his learning to establish the supremacy of the Lord. ... If 
one is an administrator, statesman, warrior, politician, etc., then one 
should try to establish the Lord's supremacy in statesmanship. Fight for 
the cause of the Lord as Sri Arjuna did.... Similarly, if one is a 
businessman, an industrialist, an agriculturist, etc., then one should 
spend his hard-earned money for the cause of the Lord.... **Scientific 
knowledge, philosophy and all similar activities engaged in the service of 
the Lord are all factually hari-kirtana, or glorification of the Lord. "* 
(Cf. purports to SB 1.5.32 and 22)*
 
In other words, when you act with the purpose that, "Let my conduct be a 
glorification of the teachings of Krishna. Let my faithful execution of my 
work establish the potency of devotional service. Let me manifest such 
qualities as exemplified by the previous mahajanas, which will help others 
appreciate a devotee of God," then such work becomes krishna-kirtanam.
 
On the basis of sravanam and kirtanam, gradually you will get further 
realizations how to engage in the other activities of bhakti in every 
sphere of life.
 
On the same basis, you can also get clarity re. how to discriminate 
favorable or unfavorable situations -- you can particularly look to the 
principles of Upadesamrita Verses 1-3 as a guideline in this connection. 
That is to say, if a certain decision demands, for instance, too much 
prayasa, or interferes with your ability to follow sadacara, you can 
recognize it as unfavorable.
 
I hope this answer brings you greater clarity on this subject.