Career and Spirituality


When I entered law school I was absolutely clear that I wanted to be a lawyer and a social reformer.Then I started reading Gita, Upnishads and all other scriptures of all religions. Six years down the line I am pretty messed up in head, I still want to be a lawyer and reformer but now the fire is very low I dont feel enthusiastic for my goal. Also practicing law initially doesnt monetarily compensate you. So what may I do so that I get a fixed goals in life towards which I may work?

—Purnendu, India


Dear Purnendu,

It is important to understand that living and working in the world is not, as such, a hindrance to spiritual growth. Indeed, much of our growth can come through our work (“service-karma yoga”). In the big picture of karma and “kriya” (that which frees our souls), it almost does not matter what kind of work we do as much as the attitude with which we conduct our service and karma yoga.

Since you still “want to be a lawyer and a reformer” you should simply pray that your intentions can be fulfilled and carried out in the highest, most dharmic manner: a manner that will free you from karma and help others as well. No one person can save the world from its troubles or other people from their karmic burdens, but, as Krishna says in the Gita, “Even a leaf I accept if offered with devotion.” Thus fulfilling your position in life with devotional self-offering, love for all, the highest of noble virtues and integrity, skill, and non-attachment (to the results) is the path to freedom.

As you complete your studies, pray for guidance that you attract the right position and employment that can help you spiritually even as you serve God in the form of other souls who need assistance or in the form of correcting injustices that are yours to correct.

All work that is offered to God with devotion is pleasing to Him. Do your best and leave the rest to the Divine Will.

Let me add that in this new and modern era, renunciation no longer takes the form of being a sadhu; instead, devotees are called to be kshatrias, warriors, even as Krishna and Arjuna were, in a prior age, also warriors. I hope you have a meditation practice and I highly encourage you to learn kriya yoga from Ananda in India. It is the greatest blessing for modern devotees in a complex world as we live in.


Joy and blessings upon you,

Nayaswami Hriman