Attitude Towards Work: An Experience at Kanha

As the car made its way through the dusty patches of red road, the horizon slowly became visible. Miles and miles of pristine land dotted with people, structures and possibilities. This was Kanha. The Promised Land for Seekers and Seers! There was joy, peace and grace all around. The Bhandara was in full flow. Everything was rejoicing…well almost everything.

I wasn’t.

I was in a foul mood. Angry, grumpy, fatigued and tired. We had flown all this way with an entourage of 2 little children, hours of travel, a pit stop in Delhi with the in-laws , and finally landed in Hyderabad– and I fell sick. I had missed most of the gathering. Yes, I meditated at home. Yes, I stayed connected. It was so near yet so far and so far yet so near. I was trying to make peace with this duality.

The evening quickly proceeded to night. It was a restless night. At around 2am, I stepped out for a walk. I made a quick run to the rest room. Right outside the restroom was a Security Volunteer, sitting on a chair.

Who puts a Security Guard outside the Restroom? What’s the point of it…I thought? I was still grumpy. Angry.

I gave him a quick smile.

No response. All I got was his eyes which scanned for my badge and comfort dorm ticket. That’s all.The next morning was busy. As I finished with my routine on my way out, I glanced and saw this brother again. This time I paid a little more attention. A rustic face. Skin hardened by the intense sun. Rough stubble. Soft eyes.

Our eyes met. A more genuine smile escaped from within me. I nodded my head. The result? Same as before. No response. All I got was his eyes which scanned for my badge and the comfort dorm ticket. That’s all. I wondered again….who puts a Security Guard out here?

In the evening, I saw him again. Sitting there dutifully. The same regimen. I smile, he scans. No words exchanged and I return back perplexed.

This time around the question was “Is he here all the time?”

The next day was my sister’s wedding. All the couples to be, their families, guests, kids and more. Colors, emotions, expectations all blending into one another. In the middle of all this, my little boy had to go…and when you gotta go, you gotta go!!

As we went to the Rest Rooms, I see this chair and the brother sitting there. He was still there!! I am sure he got no sleep. Totally alert. We looked at each other. He looked at my son. Something resembling a smile escaped his face. He looked at me. His eyes scanned for my badge and comfort dorm ticket. That’s all. I wanted to speak to him. I could not. We had to rush back and be ready to join the marriage party.

The wedding was over. It was beautiful. Almost 40 weddings! Beloved Kamlesh Bhai, standing all the time, lovingly, patiently and caringly joining hearts, blessing the families and taking onto himself more and more responsibility for the flock. Later that day afternoon, I walked over to the cottage. It wasn’t too crowded and I wanted to spend some quiet time. I sat on one of the benches. Next to me, someone sat.  I turned around and it was this brother from Security!

This was a sign. I had to speak to him. What transpired in the next 10 minutes was…well I leave it for you to decide.

I said hello and we started speaking in Hindi. He had a thick Guajarati accent. He was a carpenter by trade and lived in a village that was close to Kamlesh Bhai’s village.

He said “Brother, Kamlesh Bhai was in Ahmedabad a few weeks back. I decided to pay him a visit. You know, I was also thinking of moving my work to a bigger city. We are three brothers. I think I can get more work outside in a bigger city. So I went to Ahmedabad.”

“That’s nice. Did you get to find some work there?” I asked.

“Well, one evening, at the ashram, I met Kamlesh Bhai. He told me to come to Kanha. He said there is enough work there to keep you busy for years to come” he said.

He paused. I could see that he was tired. Probably thirsty too. We had some water from a keg close by.

Continuing the chat he said “I asked Kamalesh Bhai, Saheb when should I come to Kanha?” Kamlesh bhai told me “main tumhe khud saamne se boloonga kab aana hain” (I will myself tell you when you should come).

I wanted to say something, but he looked at me. I realized he had taken a pause.

Continuing further, he said “Agar Saheb ko saamne se kuch bolna hain to mujhe samne hona chahiye.” (Now, if the Master has to tell me something, I need to be available for him. So I decided I will be here at the Bhandara in Kanha.)

This was the first lightning bolt! To my Westernized mind, if the Guide had told me the same thing, I would probably have waited for an email. May be look for an answer in meditation, but the whole simplicity with which this brother thought about it was so unique.

I immediately said “Good brother. I am sure you can meet him”…I was about to say more, but he stopped me.

“Brother, my story is not yet complete” He said. I bit my lip and realized that I was here to listen and assimilate.

He continued. “I arrived here. I was immediately assigned to the Security job at the Comfort Dorm. Last five days, I have been there. I must have slept may be four hours total. In the nights when the sleep came in full force, I would walk around for a few minutes and stay awake. This was a job that was given to me. I must do it well.”

Second lightning bolt! It’s not the work itself, but the Attitude that makes it high or low. Here was an example right in front of me. So many times, I have been guilty of judging the quality of the work assigned…

And then he said “You know brother, what happened on the second day? Kamlesh Bhai took a walk in the evening. He walked all over the property and he came to the Comfort Dorms. He took a quick walk and turned and walked right up to the place where I was sitting. Of all the places to visit why did Saheb have to come to my non-descript spot?”

My eyes were wet. My heart was soft and I continued to listen.

“Saheb told me in Ahmedabad, main tujhe saamne se boolunga kab aana hain. (I will tell you when to come). He saw me and said, good you are here.” And he introduced me to a brother who has me plugged into the work now.

Third Lightning Bolt! Be where you are immersed in His remembrance. Absorbed in His work. His Heart will come racing to seek you out.

I looked at him. Speaking further he said “My Security job there, is now over. I am here and will be here at Kanha. I will change myself to make Him proud. Then I will go to my village. There are about ten thousand people in my village. Only a few abhyasis. I will learn, I will earn, I will become. Then I will go back to my village and conduct Heartfulness there. Everyone will join.”

Saying this, he got up and walked away.

The resolve in his voice shook me to the core. The pure conviction backed by simplicity was a force to reckon with.

Will, Faith and Confidence. All in action. All in ten minutes.