reminds us of Babaji’s words:
“Awake! Arise! Go and learn from the wise! Become brave karma-yogis of the Lord!”
Babaji always stressed the importance of work on the spiritual path. As someone who has always taken the easier, softer way, the idea of work as a tool for spiritual development has been hard to assimilate into my daily life. For me spiritual practice has been characterised by an absence of work: focusing less on the materialism of the market place and more about making space and time to connect with others and with myself. I was trying to get away from work rather than moving towards it.
However when viewed as a yoga, work takes on a completely different dimension. Bhakti Yoga is an offering to the divine as authentic and true as any gift of flowers or incense. With Karma Yoga there is no better way of reducing the ego and getting one’s self out of the way. Neem Karoli Baba says that if you want to raise Kundalini then feed people and shelter people – it is through these simple activities that we can truly experience awakening.
Babaji says “In this Age, work purifies and is the best spiritual practice. Work is so good that it prevents disease and gives you mental ease. Work is such a good thing that it relieves man of all ailments.”
In the ashram it was easy for me. Cleaning up fallen leaves in the gardens of Haidakhan or digging new flowerbeds in Rieferath. All short tasks with a clear start and finish, and an end product for the betterment of the community. In my daily life it has been more of a struggle to find my vocation – something that is both a devotional offering and of service to the community. With much soul searching and under the guidance of people far wiser than me, I have started teaching Hatha Yoga to children with special needs in London. Working with children who are a bit different, some having profound disability and some with challenging behaviours, has opened my eyes to a new dimension of Babaji’s love.
I have often felt the pain of not having the Guru in bodily form in my life but when I look into the eyes of one of these special children it is his eyes that stare back. When they laugh I hear his laughter. When they misbehave it his divine lilas at work. I have been brought to the lotus feet of my Guru in a way I never expected. If you would like to find out more about the work with Special Needs Children in London do visit mahadevicentre.com/home. And remember- work is worship.