Work or Quit?

13 May , 2016  

too muchCooking, cleaning, laundry, children and their development, personal spiritual practice, caring for the husband, social obligations, engaging in activities of bhakti and many more items to fill the list – women ARE overwhelmed.Many times they question if they should quit working or continue to work. Its hard because the so called balance never happens. There doesn’t seem to be enough time to be mindfully present in most of the duties. It becomes impossible to deeply contemplate on spiritual teachings or on how one wants to focus in raising their children.
The question  “Should I Work or Quit” often comes up within the circle of women practicing Bhakti. They feel torn between their careers, their duties at home and their spiritual calling.
How Vedic Society values women?
In an article by HH Romapada Swami he says , “In a Vedic society, the services of a teacher or a priest, and similarly those of a mother or a chaste wife, are very highly valued —- because these individuals play a vital role in molding the character of the society. The brahmanas are the guiding intelligence of the social body, and on the women rested the heavy responsibility of preserving the culture and sanctity of the society. They were not merely menial or ‘secondary’ roles taken on by those who are incapable of anything better, as it happens to be in present day society. In contrast, fields such as engineering, medicine and economics which are highly valued in the modern culture were given only a third-grade importance in Vedic society. Seen in this light, the devotees who have seemingly given up higher education or career in pursuance of Krishna consciousness are actually pursuing a much superior form of education / vocation. Devotees who are sincerely dedicating themselves to raising God-conscious children, or for the cause of spiritual education of others, are contributing *much* more meaningfully to their own welfare as well as that of their families and society, than they could have by merely pursuing a means of livelihood or career with no higher purpose!
Women are considered as the spiritual heirloom of a society. From good mothers come emotionally healthy and spiritually intelligent children. The Srimad Bhagavatam also describes that a good wife means good intelligence. A women performing her duties at home of nurturing the family, providing for their needs and for their spiritual growth is considered as a very important asset by Vedic system. The presence of such a women can improve the spiritual quotient of the entire family . Many such mothers and spiritually elevated women contribute greatly to the spiritual evolution of society.
In the same article HH Rompada Swami stresses “To the degree that we can adopt these time-tested and compassionate teachings of our previous acharyas and sages, to that degree we will benefit and also serve as beacons of real-world examples, thereby nurturing the faith of others in the effulgent teachings as being practical in today’s active world.
What should I do?
It is a choice we have to make on what is best for my family and my own growth as a woman in bhakti?   Is the family dependent upon my working? Does my income make ends meet? Or does it help us with our comforts and luxuries? Do I really need what I think I need? Do I need a mansion or can I live in a small condo? Is a high end car really needed or can we do with a lower end one? Do I remodel or buy new things for my home very frequently or can I cut this habit down? In short will scaling my lifestyle down a bit help me survive with less or reduce the number of years I need to work? Am I working to get my sense of self worth or can I make attempt to get my sense of worth in being a servant of Lord Krishna? I may waste away if I am at home. Some women fear in this way as they are not completely sure of the joy and satisfaction that comes in living a life of servitude. It is more engaging than a working life.
Cultivate Your Faith to Make a Guided Decision
It is important to ponder on the questions mentioned above. Immature renunciation of our “needs” can lead to problems . At the same time we cannot use “Gradual” “Do it slowly” ” Do what you can” as a license to continue things that may not be healthy for our Bhakti. Our decisions in life need to be guided . With self honesty we can discuss this with our spiritual guides. Also sometimes what maybe lacking is faith and for that we need to cultivate a strong Daily Bhakti Practice. The human form of life is precious and within this lifetime we must come to the realization that I am spirit soul, part and parcel of Lord Krishna. By so knowing we act within that relationship and help ourselves and our loved ones to achieve the goal of eternal servitude in Bhakti.

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