Dharma in Career


Hello sir,

I am a 21 year old girl , recently completed my graduation and want to do something but dont know why whenever i am going to start or take a step for that there comes many problems . And at that time i feel i will never be able to achieve my goals. I was in relationship with a frnd of mine , but now I realised I was wrong . I am too depressed. Whenever i am alone only thing I do is crying. Want to get rid of that , i really want to work hard and make my parents proud but how?

—Ankita Mishra, India


Dear Ankita,

You are young and your life’s work (dharma) has yet to unfold and show itself. Being patient is NOT good advice to give to a young person wanting to start her life so I WON’T say, “Be patient!” No, instead TAKE ACTION. Did you know that one of the most basic teachings of your own “Bhagavad Gita” is simply to TAKE ACTION? So let’s explore, together, WHAT KINDS OF ACTION can jump start the train of dharma to leave the station of inaction and sadness:

1. Do you have a daily practice of prayer and meditation? Besides everything else an inner spiritual life represents, opening up to divine guidance will open your heart and mind to your own highest good and to intuition that can help make decisions that do not cause regret (such as having a relationship that is not good for you). Learn to meditate (if you don’t already) and do so each day. Use a technique that can give you consistent results and that has been proven. At Ananda we share the techniques taught by Paramhansa Yogananda: these are gleaned from the highest traditions of India. For now, explore www.Ananda.org (this site) or www.AnandaIndia.org for online and in person (there are Ananda centers throughout India).

2. My teacher (and the founder of Ananda: Swami Kriyananda) counseled us that any (common sense) action is better than NO action! In fact, he put it this way: “action is clarifying!” By this he meant the following: “Don’t sit around and hope opportunities will come to you. Instead, start with what is RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU. As you ACT you are moving energy and energy contains within itself the seeds of intelligence and magnetism. The greater the will the greater the flow of energy and the greater the flow of energy the great the magnetism to attract what you need when you need it!” The energy that is our very life blood is in essence divine: God within. The more you tune into and feel energy in your body and feelings, you are tuning into the Atman, the Divine Self which is all-knowing and all-blessed.

3. Therefore, start with helping around the house (cooking, cleaning, helping); or, help your neighbor(s); serve in some worthwhile cause in your neighborhood, district or city. Look for useful work that appeals to you and that you allows you the opportunity to serve others: it DOESN’T HAVE TO be your ultimate dream in terms of your potential and your aspirations. It just needs to be anything suited to your abilities and interests to begin with. Bit by bit as you work and develop skills and meet people “one thing will lead to another!” Be willing to work and even to be humbled in the first stages of what you do. Each person must be willing to work one’s way up from “the bottom.” I know that in India with the culture of “caste” that is not always the thinking or tradition, but in America we are the opposite and are successful as a result: we start at the bottom of the work-caste and work our way up based not on privilege or education but on our own merits! This is one of the secrets of our success as a people. Avoid work-based “politics” and hierarchy; stay away from gossip; simply do your best to excel at what you do no matter how unnoticed your job will be. In time you will be noticed and you will succeed. Lahiri Mahasaya put the law of success (material AND spiritual) in this way: banat, banat, ban jai! (Doing, doing, soon done!)

4. Sadness or depression paralyzes your will power and this is yet another reason it is SO important for you to get out and serve, work, give, and not be idle because being alone and idle means you are tempted to think only of yourself. Thinking of your self and your problems creates pain in the heart while sincerely helping others (your family, your neighbors, at work etc) opens the hearts and brings quiet satisfaction and joy. You are too young to be sad and you have much promise of lasting happiness if you will be guided by high ideals of devotion, service, and dharma. Ask each day in your heart: “Dear Lord, how may I serve you this day?” (One serves God in the form of one’s family and anyone you meet or work with! God has incarnated into your body temple and that of all people, creatures, and all things! God is not far away but resides quietly within you. To know God you must be quiet and still at least for a portion of each day or in between activities. Once you “know” God you have a portable paradise of peace and joy no matter what you do or where you go.)

In summary: ACT! And act with the thought of goodness, kindness, usefulness; act with devotion and you will always find cause for joy and feel happy!

May the divine light shine upon you!

Nayaswami Hriman