Of show and devotion…

यत् कृतं शुद्धमनसा स धर्म इति कथ्यते ।
हच्छुद्धिरहितं कर्म केवलाडम्बरार्थकम् ॥

A mind free of impurity, is the basis of all virtue. Everything else is empty show.

I am reminded of the story of Kanaka Dasa, a renowned Carnatic philosopher and poet who lived in the 16th century. Since he was from a lower cast, Kanaka Dasa was denied entry into Sri Krishna’s temple in Udupi. Undettered, Kanaka Dasa camped behind the temple and prayed to his beloved Krishna. The kirthanas (songs) that he composed during this period are still sung today.

Legend has it that his devotion was so intense, his heart was so pure, that the deity of Sri Krishna turned around to face west (deities in Hindu temples traditionally face east), and Kanaka Dasa was able to have a darshana of his Lord through cracks in the temple walls. The deity still stands this way today.

Virtue and devotion are from the heart. All the other outer rituals, bhajans and charity are of no use if the heart is not pure, and the intent is not right.

This is also relevant in a work context. Efforts put in with a pure mind, and with intense passion and devotion to the task at hand, yield the best results. Appearing busy, but not doing your work with dedication, is of no consequence, both to the task, and to your development.

See you tomorrow!