Pleasing the Boss

23rd Jun 2015
Vaijayantimala devi dasi

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances! All Glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev! 

Most of us have the experience of working under very difficult bosses as part of our prescribed duty. In some cases the bosses are atheistic, merciless, selfish, very dominating, exploiting etc and under these circumstances we tend to become intolerant, irritated and disturbed. This gets reflected in our work and sadhana and we start blaming our bosses for our poor sadhana. This results in imperfect execution of our material and spiritual duties. But what is the right attitude to be followed is very nicely exhibited by Sri Akrura in Srimad Bhagavatam. 

In Srimad Bhagavatam, we find that after Krishna killed Arishtasura, the bull demon, Kamsa arranged for performing the sacrifice called dhanur yajna, as per the counsel given by Sri Narada Muni. In that festival, he arranged for a wrestling match wherein he planned to kill Krishna and Balarama. He then called for Akrura, one of the descendants in the family of Yadu, in which Krishna was born as the son of Vasudeva. Kamsa wanted Akrura to bring Krishna and Balarama from Vrindavan to Mathura. Akrura who had great devotion for Krishna in his heart, was serving under Kamsa. Just imagine the kind of boss which Akrura had! We can just try to understand the situation under which Akrura had been working. But we find that Akrura who was working under an anti-Krishna boss had so much love, devotion and eagerness to serve Krishna. When Akrura came to see Kamsa, Kamsa very politely shook hands with him and said, "My dear Akrura, actually I have no better friend than you in the Bhoja and Yadu dynasties. You are the most munificent person, so as a friend I am begging charity from you." Then he proceeds to say in Srimad Bhagavatam 10.36.29,

atas tvām āśritaḥ saumya kārya-gaurava-sādhanam
yathendro viṣṇum āśritya svārtham adhyagamad vibhuḥ

Gentle Akrura, you always carry out your duties soberly, and therefore I am depending on you, just as powerful Indra took shelter of Lord Vishnu to achieve his goals.

Here we see that actually Kamsa is glorifying Akrura and he spells out the reason why he especially chose Akrura for the job. He says "kārya-gaurava-sādhanam" -  "you always carry out your duties soberly." So this is what pleases the bosses and because of this reason Akrura is glorified as a dependable employee. This is true and practical in our duties also. 

Our beloved Gurudev HH Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj was always very very practical and realistic in all his instructions and when once he was asked by someone how to be regulated in work, Maharaj said, "Concentration in work IS Krishna. Before going to work, we should offer obeisances to the Deity, seeking permission from them to leave and at work, we must concentrate only on work and do it very immaculately and sincerely. If your boss is pleased, then Krishna is pleased. As soon as we return home, we should bow down before the Deity, thanking Lord for the day, quickly refresh and try to steal time to take shelter of scriptures."

Then we see that Kamsa proceeds to say "Please go to Nanda's village, where the two sons of Anakadundubhi are living, and without delay bring Them here on this chariot.". Srila Vishvanatha Cakravarti gives the following interesting note: "When King Kamsa said 'with this chariot,' he pointed with his index finger to a brand-new, attractive chariot." Thus Akrura was yearning to have darshan of the Lord. Though he was working under an anti-Krishna boss, Krishna as the Super-soul understanding the eagerness of Akrura arranged in such a way that Kamsa, the boss granted official leave and also a brand new vehicle for Akrura to go and have darshan of his most beloved Master Sri Krishna. 

Thus sincere and sober performance of our duties is appreciated by our boss here and also by our Supreme boss Lord Sri Krishna.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Vaijayantimala devi dasi