God takes care of his devotees’ security and needs. He inserts difficult lessons in our lives, at times, to create ways for our liberation.
takes care of every being in his creation, desire for money and its
accumulation becomes irrelevant for the advanced spiritual seeker who has
learned to think about God fulltime, leaving all worries about his or her
future to God. In contrast, beginners in spirituality may find it difficult to
leave their liking for money or may be bound by circumstances to work for
As we learn from the lives of saints and gain lessons in spirituality from their writings, we can bring in certain qualities from the lives of saints, if possible, into our own lives. One such quality is — patience — which, in the context of monetary returns, teaches us that a lag may exist between our hard work and our returns.
According to the Bhagavad Gita, God does take care of his devotees’ security and needs, as promised by him during his visit to Earth as Lord Krishna. But we must remember that God works according to his own calendar, not that of individual souls. And what we gain at the end of the day may be unrelated to the intensity of our desires. In the Bhagavad Gita, God says that he has given us the freedom to work or perform actions but has not given us the right to its results.
To teach us some lessons, God may, at times, deliberately delay the results of our hard work or not fulfil many of our wishes. If we request God to give us a chocolate, God may give us an ice cream. If we ask for an ice cream, God may provide us with chocolate. The actual choice of food becomes only available to the seeker who no longer wishes for chocolate or ice cream but can observe that it is God who provides everyone with food. Many advanced seekers become naturally trained in leaving the results of their work to God, which is one of the classical paths of yoga (karma yoga) by which individual souls can escape the universe to reach God.
The path of devotion (bhakti yoga), though from the same Hindu tradition, takes a somewhat different approach towards renouncing the results of our karma to God. On this path, we are expected to surrender our soul at the lotus feet of Lord Rama or Lord Shiva or another favourite form of the Divine. When this happens, separate surrender of karma is not required. Surrender of the self includes surrender of our karma. It includes recognition of God as the real doer. In other words, bhakti yoga, in some its versions, includes karma yoga as an internal part. This devotional approach may begin with simple prayers, remembrance of God, and learning some basic spiritual principles. Later, we may also have to learn lessons by experiencing difficulties and creating our own possible solutions while remembering God. A well-developed habit of remembering God may make it easier for us to surrender ourselves to God.
Workplace spirituality involves a delicate balance between desire for money and remembrance of God; the two cannot exist together in the same mind at the same moment. Once we recognize that God is omnipresent and always watches us from within our heart, we may become more vigilant in making ethical decisions and may develop the power to counter yearning for money. The more often we remember God, the better are our chances of triggering karma yoga involuntarily.
When we only have God in our mind, we no longer absorb negative energies like anger from the environment. Our remembrance of God eliminates all negative thought processes that create a major separation between the individual soul and God, who is the source of all knowledge and infinite virtues. Consequently, the karmic cycle breaks and we recognize our own divine origin.
When we are spiritual beginners, our prayers to God can include requests for forgiveness for our bad karma, requests for spiritual guidance, and requests for God’s proximity (liberation). Because prayers are karma of the present moment, prayers can always overcome some of our negative karma from the past. Moreover, every prayer to God is responded to by both God and Nature, demonstrating the love from God for the individual soul.
In the Bhagavad Gita, forgiveness and spiritual guidance are among the things that Arjuna asks God for. Once Arjuna sees Krishna’s cosmic form, Arjuna seeks forgiveness for calling Krishna his friend and for not understanding earlier that Lord Krishna is the Divine himself. Because Arjuna was not on the unrighteous side to begin with and was not repenting for bad karma, his asking for forgiveness was more a gesture of politeness. This apology was a devotional act — a kind of prayer — by an advanced spiritual seeker. Of course, God responded by providing more spiritual guidance as well as his refuge.
God, being the perfect parent, does not make the parenting mistakes that human beings can make. By nurturing the universe according to his own plan and by inserting difficult lessons at times, he creates ways for the liberation of every soul.
Last edited on July 31, 2019.