Part II — Careers

Question: Guru, I used to be very active in my work and I liked it very much. But now I feel that it is taking away from my duties as an aspirant.

Sri Chinmoy: Here you are making a mistake. In our path realisation and manifestation must go together. There is a time to eat, there is a time to sleep, there is a time to meditate and there is a time to work.

You have come into this world to manifest the Supreme. If you have the capacity to dance, the Supreme will use it for His purpose. If you have the capacity to sing, the Supreme will use your voice to manifest Himself in and through you. Now that you have become my disciple, this guidance is my responsibility and my problem. When someone accepts my path, it is my bounden duty to manifest the Supreme in and through him.

Unfortunately, sometimes a person thinks, "In action there is bondage. While acting I can't think of God." This is wrong. While meditating we can serve by offering good will. While working and while doing selfless service, if our consciousness remains in God, then we are also meditating as well as serving the world.

After a disciple has stayed with us for six months, a year or two years, if he wishes, I will tell him what he should do in the outer life. If I see that his soul wants to do something other than what he is doing, then I will tell him. Again, if I see that the soul wants to do what the person is doing, even though my disciple feels no inspiration in his work, I will not ask him to change his job. I will only provide inner and outer guidance.

There are young boys and girls who came into our life as students and we saw that they were brilliant, very brilliant. To some of these students I said, "You don't have to study any more. Your soul does not want you to." Again, there are others to whom I have said, "You should continue going to school." In your case also, when the time comes, I will tell you what you should do in the outer life.

In general, I advise people to take their work, whatever it may be, as a dedicated service. Money is necessary. If we go to the grocery store with only aspiration, they will not give us any food. If we offer them Light, Peace and Bliss, they will just laugh. For certain things money is required, so when we accept the spiritual life we should not shun money for spirituality. Money properly used for a divine purpose is a veritable blessing; money misused is a curse. If we work, we have to know why we are working. We are working for a special purpose: to keep our body fit and to be a divine instrument. With our money-power we can serve God, the Supreme. Spiritual aspirants should try to get a job in which they will meet with the least disturbance to their inner poise. The salary may be low, but if it will meet with their expenses, then it is enough. Of course, if they are offered a position where the people are very nice and they will get a higher salary, naturally they should take it.