Saturday, June 7, 2008

Bringing Krsna To Work

Recently, after hearing during a recent class from the LA Temple, that one shouldn't think he could bring Krsna Consciousness to the work place and expect people there not to influence the devotee, it got me thinking so I am writing this today. I understand the speakers' intention was to not fool oneself into thinking one can expect oneself to remain strong in one's sadhana while associating with people outside the temple. For those who feel strongly in this regard, your point can not truly be disputed. As devotees we all know there's no place like Vaikuntha here on earth, in other words, the temple. We would all love to be in the most fortunate of circumstances, yet for some of us that can not always be possible.

However, there are those who bring the glorious mercy of the Lord everyday to work. I happen to be one of those fortunate few. Below are just a few of the ways I stay Krsna Conscious at work.

Firstly, I am not ashamed to let people know I am a devotee. I sort of revel in the uniqueness and take every opportunity to introduce in private, as much philosophy as I feel is appropriate for the person and/or particular situation. For me it is never easy working in the first place, so generally I make a friend or two for support. I try to pick work associates carefully and select only those who are pious and kind-hearted as a base for any work friendship. They get the most mercy in forms of enlightening discussions and stories, books, chanting, kirtan, prasadam, offered flowers and holy water. They know why I don't eat meat and even understand how I can't kill the ants that may crawl on my desk from time to time. They know we can't go to lunch on Ekadasi and that on some days I fast.

Secondly, I know since most people ensnared in the material existence are almost madmen, for them my compassion is never far away. As a devotee I understand that "there by the grace of God do go I". My job as a receiver of knowledge is to become the deliverer of such. When able to do so, I've noticed that in almost every conversation there is some way to bring in mention of our philosophy. I see that it is my duty to give them the Holy Name somehow or another. If someone is especially kind to me on the phone I almost always end with a softly spoken "Hari Bol" or "Hare Krsna". I have yet to have anyone ask what I am saying. Maybe they are thinking I am saying, "I have to go". It's a great trick and always feel so good after sneaking it in at the end. Sometimes, they may even thank me or give me a "ditto" as I give them credit.

Thirdly, as a devotee I can't be without my Lord. My desktop background/screen saver is a beautiful array of my favorite Krsna pictures. Krsna pictures and quotes are interspersed amongst the calendars and plants. My ear pod is connected to my computer's media player and I hear kirtans and lectures as much as possible while I am working. My car has Krsna music playing that others can hear while we drive, as well as my japa beads for chanting are out in the open.

As a devotee let us not forget that we are able to dovetail anything, as we find appropriate, in the service of the Lord. In closing, I thank you for reading my story and hope it may be of help to others and to any who "work outside the temple".

I know I am not alone and have heard other similar stories such as mine. You may try some of these methods yourself and be pleasantly surprised. I have the best time "treating" conditioned souls to KC.

In closing, I must say I love my job because my days are blissful and although I am working in what appears to be the material realm, I am still in my Spiritual Master's and beloved Lord's presence always.

By: Victor Epand is a Vaisnava website designed to encourage the growth of devotion, foster critical thinking, and promote communication among Vaisnavas world-wide. Although differences of opinion will occur, we aim to provide a forum for mutual respect among the multiple strands of our community.

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