Swami Vivekananda – Lecture for Work and its Secret

Last year, I wrote an article on the 150th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda who has brought many eastern philosophical teachings to the western world. He toured many countries outside of India to bring an understanding of what real Hinduism is. Much of his teachings are based on the reality that Hinduism in itself can’t be defined as with the Bible in Christianity and the Koran in Islam. He articulates that the core of all religion is to love all and condemn none.

In the same vein, he advises us that we must give and ask for nothing in return. Although with our expectations, we may foresee a return on our investment we should remain unattached. It will return to us a thousand fold if we do not focus on that one aspect. We have the power to give only and there it ends. For if we expect to take more, we ourselves will become beggar like and only take what we can get.

Furthermore, he points out that in nature, everything is in a cycle. The sun takes water away from the ocean and rivers but returns it in showers. Likewise our love for other human beings is returned tenfold when we are unselfish. Instead liken it all to a process that will happen no matter what we think of it. A seed bought from the market may bear you a lifetime of fruits that you need not. A fifty cent coin given to a street performer may bring with it a joyous smile that will brighten the rest of your day. He summarises it thusly; “You are machine for taking and giving: you take, in order to give.”

Every single day spawns a new opportunity to become someone new and bold and unrelenting. Every single day we may falter again and again but we must be assured that only with constant practice that we can perfect ourselves. In effect, we perfect the means and as such the end will take care of itself.

Giving and working without passion, without attachment and without emotion is the most rewarding of all work. Be therefore unattached and not a beggar.

Hari Konchada