What Are You Going to Do With Your Life?

Via Vrindavan Rao
on Jul 21, 2013
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Everyday Bhagavad-Gita: Career Advice.

Verse 2.31: Considering your specific duty as a kshatriya, you should know that there is no better engagement for you than fighting on religious principles; and so there is no need for hesitation.

Did you know that we all have two occupations in life?

One, is the occupation of the soul, and the other is the occupation of the body based on our psycho-physical nature.

Let’s focus on the latter first, since it seems the majority of us have a hard enough time figuring this one out. I’m not using the word “occupation” in reference to a job you apply for, or are currently working in. I’m referring more to raison d’être. In other words, that activity, or call to action which you are meant to do based on your nature.

The Gita is so incredible in that not only does it present the highest truth and objectives, but it also gives us insights into how we can function more effectively and successfully even in the material world.

Case in point, here is Krishna (and He will expand later on), presenting the same message delivered by almost every single life coach and/or  job counselor out there today; you need to find what you love and do that.

How many of you have heard this before? In fact, how many of you have struggled to figure out just this? As someone who has been there and struggled personally with this maddening question, let me tell—just hearing this one phrase isn’t enough. I mean, it’s comforting to hear what you know to be true confirmed by others, but it doesn’t practically guide you to figure out what you want to do, especially if you like to do a lot of things.

Enter the Gita and Krishna.

The way  you figure out what it is that you are meant to do is by understanding your qualities and proclivities.

Farmworkers picking peas
Farmworkers picking peas

Krishna describes how society naturally falls into four categories according to these qualities and proclivities—the educators/academics, the protectors/administrators, the businessmen/agriculturalists, and finally the artists/workers. It’s interesting to further note that persons can be a combination of each of these (i.e. educator/protector).

Unfortunately, society today encourages most of us to fall under the worker category: go to school, get a job and work for a company. That’s the line most of us have been fed. The thing is that society cannot function on workers alone. It is a noble and honorable position, just like the others, but it only represents one piece of the whole. In order for society to function properly, we need qualified individuals who are encouraged and guided to understand where they really fit and not have everyone forced into the same mold if it’s obviously we don’t belong there.

Here, Krishna is speaking to Arjuna who is a protector/administrator (the Sanskirt word being kshatriya). The main role of one who is a kshatriya is to take care of all persons/living entities who are under their leadership and ensure their safety and well-being. Krishna encourages Arjuna to not run away from the qualities and proclivities that make him a kshatriya.

radha_krishna_govardhan_rad_lVUxX_6943This is a valuable lesson as many of us also try to run away from our psycho-physical tendencies.

Instead of embracing ourselves, we try to take on the roles we’ve been told will give us stability and money. As most of us who have tried this know, it doesn’t make you happy. In speaking with numerous individuals who were brave enough to throw away their careers to pursue what is in line with their nature, I heard one thing over and over again—it may be hard and it may be challenging, but be true to yourself. Be brave and find out how you can contribute to the world, instead of trying to take from it.

This in itself is a bhakti principle.

Bhakti is about being selfless and giving. It’s not about being miserly and hard-hearted.

So go on and take Krishna’s career advice—be true to your nature and work according to it. You just may be amazed at the results.


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Editor: Thaddeus Haas



About Vrindavan Rao

Vrindavan Rao 
was born into the bhakti tradition and grew up enveloped in it. However, her personal discovery of the bhakti path began in 2004 when she had the opportunity to go to a Vedic College in Belgium and since that time she has embraced it completely. Her love for travel has given her the opportunity to study Vedic texts, such as the Bhagavad-gita, in places such as India, Canada, Belgium, Ukraine and the United States under the guidance of several advanced practitioners.

She especially loves the Gita and refers to it as her “Guidebook for Life” since it contains practical answers for complicated questions and is currently writing a daily blog on every verse of the Gita. In addition, you can keep track of all the happenings of Everyday Bhagavad-Gita on Facebook and via Twitter.

Her background is in science and she not only has a Bacherlor’s degree in Biochemistry, but also a Masters in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology. In her free time she loves to write, read, give presentations, sing and work out.



8 Responses to “What Are You Going to Do With Your Life?”

  1. Hi, Vrindavan. Enjoyed this article.

    Your title reminds me of Stephen Cope's new book "The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide to the Journey of Your True Calling". See my two part interview with Cope at: Stephen Cope Changed My Life. He Might Change Yours, Too.

    Posting this to Best of Yoga Philosophy.

    Bob W.
    Yoga Demystified

  2. Vrindavan_Rao says:

    Hi Bob! Thanks so much. This aspect of following your true calling is one of my favorite parts of the Gita- it's just so incredibly practical! I will definitely check out your two part interview and Stephen Cope's new book!

  3. The link above is actually my review of the book, which you will also enjoy. The interview part 1 is at How To Live an Extraordinary Life. ~ Kripalu’s Stephen Cope.


  4. Jessica says:

    I really enjoyed this article. Practical and insightful advice coming straight from the Gita. I love how the Gita not only guides one towards spiritual progress but also how to do it while living in this material world.

  5. Vrindavan_Rao says:

    Will definitely let you know what I think after I get a chance to look at both of them! 🙂

  6. I think it's true that some of us, many times out of necessity, must wear more than one hat with none of them really being our passion and true calling. I thank the Lord every day for awakening to the fact He wanted me to be a writer. Once I began, I haven't looked back. It is the most exciting journey I've ever been on!
    Blessings, Vrindavan, and thanks for this most excellent post!

  7. Vrindavan_Rao says:

    And such a wonderful writer you are Martha – so inspiring and practical. For those who have figured out their nature and true calling – it is one of the greatest gifts and we should always be so thankful and appreciative.

  8. Vrindavan_Rao says:

    Thanks so much Jessica! I too love how the Gita gives such great insight into how we can be successful both spiritually and materially! 🙂