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The expert karma-yogi behaves just like an attached materialist to teach the people in general about the way one can get rid of the tangle of action and reaction in ordinary work

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"The expert karma-yogi therefore behaves just like an attached materialist to teach the people in general about the way one can get rid of the tangle of action and reaction in ordinary work"

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Message of Godhead

Neither the sinful nor the pious materialist can understand the essence of karma-yoga as the means to attain liberation from the always uncongenial bondage of work. The expert karma-yogī therefore behaves just like an attached materialist to teach the people in general about the way one can get rid of the tangle of action and reaction in ordinary work.
Message of Godhead 2:

Persons who are a little above such gross materialists believe firmly in life after death and thus try to rise a little above the plane of gross sensory enjoyment of this one life. They try to accumulate something for the next life by acts of virtue, just as a man banks some money for future happiness. But these people do not understand that neither any sinful nor any virtuous act can bring freedom from the bondage of work, as we have explained above. On the contrary, both sinful and virtuous acts will bind the worker up in the wheel of action and reaction.

Neither the sinful nor the pious materialist can understand the essence of karma-yoga as the means to attain liberation from the always uncongenial bondage of work. The expert karma-yogī therefore behaves just like an attached materialist to teach the people in general about the way one can get rid of the tangle of action and reaction in ordinary work. By such acts, the karma-yogī himself and the world at large are simultaneously benefited. The Personality of Godhead therefore says as follows: "O descendant of Bharata, better you continue to perform work like an attached materialist who is not conversant with transcendental knowledge, so that you can recruit men to the path of karma-yoga, or work with transcendental results."

So those who are aware of transcendental knowledge, and who thus are actually learned, perform all acts needed for maintaining the body and mind, but with a view to satisfying the transcendental senses of the Supreme Godhead, Viṣṇu. Ordinary men regard these learned transcendentalists as common workers, but in fact, the transcendentalists are not workers for mundane benefit—they are karma-yogīs, or workers for transcendental results. And in such transcendental work, the material results are gained automatically, without any separate endeavor.

In the present age we are witnessing an enormous expansion of material activities, an endlessly variegated multiplicity of material engagements. Mills and factories, as well as hospitals and other institutions, are now in vogue. In ancient times, there was not so great an expansion of material activities. In those days the mode of living was simple, and yet the thoughts were sublime. So now there is a very good field of activities for the karma-yogīs, who can engage all the various modern institutions in the transcendental service of Viṣṇu, for the satisfaction of His transcendental senses.

It is incumbent, therefore, to install a temple of Viṣṇu in all the aforementioned institutions, and in individual homes, for the same purpose—worshiping the Absolute Godhead in the same spirit of work with transcendental results as was maintained by the sages of ancient times. Although the all-pervading Personality of Godhead manifests Himself in His various transcendental, eternal forms as incarnations or plenary portions or various partial portions, the sages recommended the worship of the eternal dual forms of Śrī Śrī Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa, Śrī Śrī Sītā-Rāma, and Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, it is desired most earnestly that the proprietors and managers of big mills, factories, hospitals, universities, hotels, and various other institutions install a temple for worshiping any of these transcendental forms of Viṣṇu. This will transform all the workers in these institutions into karma-yogīs.

It is generally experienced that workers in big mills and factories are addicted to many abominable habits, and thus they gradually glide down to the lowest status to which a human being can descend. But if they are graciously offered the advantage of partaking of the remnants of foodstuffs offered to Viṣṇu, gradually they will develop a transcendental sense of spirituality and rise to the same status as that of spiritually advanced personalities. However, these people cannot rise to that exalted position of "Harijans" simply by being rubber-stamped as such. If they are influenced by a desire other than the transcendental service of Viṣṇu, every effort to raise them up from their degraded position will result in disaster and disturbance of the peace and tranquillity of the social order. Leaders who incite such downtrodden laborers uselessly—simply for the sake of temporary gain—can never do the laborers any good. Nor can the leaders themselves benefit by such ill-conceived actions. On the contrary, through such material activities both the laborers and the capitalists inevitably fall into unwholesome quarreling and so bring on great disturbance of the social order. The problem can be solved only by a determined program of karma-yoga. If karma-yoga, or work with transcendental results, is systematically performed, we shall transcend and more than fulfill all fragmented endeavors—whether by the socialists toward equality, by the Bolsheviks toward a grand social order of fraternity, or by the laborites toward a mundane heaven wherein laborers surpass capitalists in the acquisition of wealth.