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Divinity in Work

(via Indian Express) Sudheendra Kulkarni talks about lessons in the divinity in work from a woman stonebreaker. Even in corporates good managers always try to connect the relevance of each individual’s work to the bigger objective of the team or the company.

In reference to a lecture on citizenship by Swami Ranganathananda. ‘‘No work is big or small, our attitude makes it so. If you do a clerk’s work with a clerk’s mind, both the work and the worker remain small. But if you do the same work with the mindset of a citizen, both become great. Similarly, a teacher working in a remote corner of India, thinking of himself as a low-paid employee, reduces himself to an inconsequential individual. But if he develops the attitude of a citizen, he uplifts himself to the status of a nation-builder and invests his work with great significance and meaning. You are free to make your work and yourself small; you are also free to make both big. It all depends on your attitude, on your philosophy of work. We have to achieve an intrinsic bigness in ourselves, and impart that bigness to all the functions that we perform.’’

The second is from Bipin Chandra Pal, one of the least recognised among the leaders of our freedom struggle. His book Nationality and Empire: A Running Study of Some Current Indian Problems, though published in 1916, is highly contemporaneous. Pointing to certain weaknesses in the nationalist movement, he wrote, ‘‘Most of us are nationalists more in the European sense of the term than after our own true social philosophy. Jagad hitaya, Shri Krishnaya — for the good of the world and dedicated to the Lord — this has been the consecration of all our works, sacramental and social. This is how the rich among us always consecrate every public work they construct, be it a temple or a tank; and it shows the universal reference of all our social duty. Our modern nationalist ideal has not yet reached this lofty spiritual level. The idealism of the Indian nationalism rarely rises above the lower European plane of it, where it concerns itself almost uniformly with the carnal conflicts of political and economic competitions.’’

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