Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.
This is in continuation of the previous offering titled, "Do Your Duty", wherein we have been hearing one of the nectarean Bhagavatam class given by our beloved spiritual master H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj on Srimad Bhagavatam verse 3.32.6 in Brisbane. We were listening to Maharaj's answers to devotees questions on whether it is appropriate to study Gita and Bhagavatam at work. We heard Maharaj say as to how we should not be studying scriptures at work. Now we shall hear further.
Devotee: Maharaj, we heard you say that at work we should not carry any book and read from it. But if I get some mails on shlokas and I read it, in the break time at work, is it correct or not?
Maharaj: You must be very careful that it does not disturb your work. And that too if the firm objects to it, then we should not do it. Many times what happens, these organizations don't want Godly people. They want gross karmis, so that they go on working like donkeys. Now see these labourers are working here. If someone takes a Bhagavad-Gita and starts reading during the work hours, would we allow them to continue that? (laughter) Bhagavad-Gita has to be read constantly. But that doesn't mean that you take out Bhagavad-Gita during working hours. And may be when one is working in the temple, if he plays the kirtans or lecture and does the service, then it is fine. We can understand that, "Oh, it is nice that he is hearing and doing the service." But anywhere else if he plays the record, then they will say, "Rascal, He just plays the record and does not do the work." The boss will just sack you, "Get out of the work." Instead, if you are just absorbed in the work, then the boss will be pleased. The end result must be the satisfaction of our own soul and everybody. yayaatma suprasidati - ahaituki apratihataa - This is bhakti. For the labourer, the duty is to mix the cement and without any motive - ahaituki he should do that and continuously he should do it - apratihataa. If he doesn't do his job for 8 hours, then he will not be here now. Doing the work nicely is his bhakti now. No doubt, he might have got up in the morning, chanted his round and did a bit of reading. That is different thing.
To carry out the material duties we have to have some enthusiasm. And in order to have that enthusiasm people resort to artificial means of enthusiasm like drinking tea, whisky or smoking. These are all artificial ways. Whereas we people gain enthusiasm by following the eternal process of chanting Krishna's names or do some sadhana. We perform some sadhana before leaving to work and feel very enthusiastic. This is how Indian people work. I remember there is a corner shop in England near the tube station wherein they sell sweets, ciagrettes, newspapers etc. There would be daily customers and if the customer on his way to catch the trains, shouts from outside - "Hey Patel, I want newspaper". And the owner of the shop knows which one he reads and he sends the boy who runs to deliver it to him. This is devotional service - ahaituki apratihataa. We forget that devotional service applies to everything. That we forget. And we take it for granted that only reading from Gita and Krishna book is devotional service, reading Bhagavatam is only devotional service. And it is. But has it given you the insight? These scriptures should give you the nice insight. And insight is that we should put ourselves in others's shoes. Whether we are working or selling or whatever it is, if we look to others' interests, then they will be very friendly with you. They will give you more money if you are friendly. They may part with 100 or 200 dollars more. But if you are not friendly and if you want to squeeze then it is anti-devotional service.
Krishna willing we shall continue to hear more nectar from Maharaj in the subsequent offering.
Thank you very much,
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Sudarshana devi dasi
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