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Work ethic

Here’s one of my all-time favourite Sanskrit shlokas.

Kaayena Vaacaa Manase[a-I]ndriyairvaa
Buddhy[i]-Aatmanaa Vaa Prakrteh Svabhaavaat |
Karomi Yad-Yat-Sakalam Parasmai
Naaraayannayeti Samarpayaami

It’s not only the chanting of the shloka that is awesome, but when chanted with full awareness of its meaning, the chant becomes… enchanting!

Kaaya is body, vaacha is speech, manas is mind, indriyas is sense organs, buddhi is intellect and aatma is soul. All Sanskrit words which are simple enough to ‘feel’ while chanting. The shloka says that no matter what work we do with each of these body parts, we do it only (sakalam) for others (parasmai). And we completely surrender every such iota of work at the feet of the Lord Narayana.

How brilliant is this? It is karma yoga in a simple shloka form. If I’m feeling tired or bored of work, I just need to remember the millions of unfortunate people who are out of jobs, stuggling to make ends meet. And then I remember this shloka, and with full fervor can work not for my own selfish needs, but only for the welfare of others. And that too, we can place the outcome, at the feet of the Lord. Truly brilliant!

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