Work leads one to worship and finally to Wisdom!
Thoughts on work, worship and wisdom!
Both physical and mental tasks constitute work!
Work, worship and wisdom are the three steps to Divinity! The primary step is work. None in this world can remain idle, though he may not seem to undertake any physical task. The function of the brain constitutes work. How the scientists and researchers perform their task? It is pure brain work and minimal physical activity! Hence work need not be physical. Physical labor pertains to most primitive work culture. There are several stages in work. Also, breathing, eating, drinking, walking and other such activities are categorized as work. In eating, several limbs are involved. The eyes should focus on the food on the plate, the hands must move down to the plate to pick up the varieties of food through spoon or fingers. It must take it to the mouth and put the food on the tongue. The teeth chop and cut the food to pieces and the tongue mix everything and along with saliva, it is sent to the gullet. Until that, it is human effort. The digestive system is automatic. No effort on the part of the individual is needed. Hence all the mundane tasks also come under the category of work.
When man becomes perfect in his work by relinquishing the results, he advances to the stage of worship. Worship too contains nine stages. Initially, it is prayers, chanting, singing, offering flowers and perfumes, wavering camphor and offering food items to god before we partake our food. In Hinduism, there is a chant before offering the food. We offer the food to god and consider the food as god and god in the form of heat digest the food in the stomach and make the human body strong to perform various worldly duties. Only if we are healthy, we can perform any task. Even for worshiping god, we need energy which comes through food. Hence by offering the food to god purifies the food from three kinds of defects. First, the materials like rice, wheat grains, vegetables, and other ingredients must be pure. Then the vessels in which the food is made must be pure. Also, the source of the food too should be pure. For instance, if the sourced materials are from wrongful means, there is defect in the materials. One who consumes such food is rendered impure.
Food contains the vibrations of people cooking it.
Once, Sathya Saibaba has given a small example to highlight the defect. A holy man was invited by a rich man for lunch! After attending the lunch, the holy man developed an irresistible desire to take away a silver cup used in the lunch. However much he tried, he could not shed the desire. He started praying god and left the house in haste. Later he came to know that the rich man usurped many items from others by cheating. Since the vessels were sourced by sinful manner, the vibrations entered the food and affected even a holy person. Hence in the ancient days in India, the villagers never eat outside other than their own houses. If they have to go away for two or three days, they take food materials and prepare the food wherever they take rest. Thus they avoid the negative vibrations from other people. Hence, the materials used in the preparations must come in an honest manner. The vessels must be pure and clean both inside and outside. The people who prepare the food must have holy thoughts while preparing food. These conditions could never be fulfilled in the current scenario. To avoid such complications, we can take fruits or milk whenever we move out. Otherwise our thoughts will be oriented to the vibrations contained in the food.
Hence the ancient people chanted the verse containing in Bagawat Gita, before partaking food. By chanting the verse, we can render the food pure. Yes, divine chanting removes all the three defects of food as explained above.
Dual vs non-dual
Work,worship and wisdom lead to dual and non-dual philosophies!
After work come worship which should lead us to wisdom ultimately! What is wisdom? It is seeing the One, in everything we see! There is basic underlying unity governing the creation. Though, it is not discernible, the unity acts as a binding force similar to the thread used in a garland. Around the thread, many flowers are knitted and the flowers completely hide the thread. Similarly, the creation hides the creator, who is like the central thread of a garland. Without the thread, the flowers will come out easily. Likewise, all human beings are attached to God, though they are seen as different individuals. Beings may be many, but the breath is one! Also, the color of the blood is always red, whether they belong to the East or West! Hence wisdom constitute in realizing the underlying Unity behind the multiplicity. Corresponding to the three forms leading to god, work can be equated duality (Dwaita philosophy), worship can be considered as qualified monism or Visistadwaita philosophy and Wisdom is Non-dual or Advaita philosophy!
Only after climbing the first and second step, we can reach the third one. Work is easier for all categories of persons. Worship can be practiced by many among them while wisdom is the forte of very few people which will lead to realization of god or self. Different saints took birth to propagate the different philosophies. In Vaishnava sect, one Madhwacharya took birth, who propagated dual philosophy! Shri Ramanuja taught qualified non-dual philosophy to the world. It was Adhi Sankara, who taught Advaita or non-dual philosophy later!
In later periods, many prophets, sages and saints came into this world to preach the above philosophy. Notable among them is Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa who practiced highest form of devotion to Mother Kali. He talked with the idol, as through it was a living being, and fed it and shed tears for the Divine vision of mother. Later he practiced the truths of all religions individually and attained consummation. Once he considered himself as the mother of Ramlala idol kept with him and treated the idol as his own child. Later on he attained Nirvikalpa Samadhi, the highest form of yoga after learning it from a preceptor! He taught the people and devotees by himself practicing all the paths. He proved that all paths lead to one summit which is god!