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Article CVII: Dharma and Career

"What is Dharma? Dharma is that which makes man seek for happiness in this world or the next. Dharma is established on work, Dharma is impelling man day and night to run after and work for happiness." Swami Vivekananda (The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume 5, Writings Prose and Poems, The East and the West, I. Introduction)

Following dharma in life may be a challenge, and that challenge may be further accentuated in one's career. The choices for career and the direction within one's career may be oriented toward dharma similar to any other aspect of life. Nonattachment need not only apply to the physical objects of the world, but may apply to career goals as well. In a career, one may aspire toward goals yet remain nonattached. One may have the goals of a career without being dependent on those goals for fulfillment. Nonattachment allows for realization of fulfillment independent of situations revolving around material and temporal existence.

Selflessness and devotion may also orient one's career just as those ideals orient one's actions and interactions throughout other aspects of life. Aspiring for selflessness through one's career facilitates the dissolution of one's ego, which leads one closer to enlightenment. Devotion, respect, and love of others may also be incorporated into one's career, which can gradually allow for the realization of the Divine in others and oneself.

The choices for career direction may be approached like the choices for any other action in life. One can formulate their career direction based on one's qualities (guna), tendencies (vasana), and impressions from past action (samskara). One's actions may be oriented to dharma by ideal utilization of the composite of those characteristics. Recognition and application of one's characteristics may be applied to approach nonattachment, selflessness, and devotion in all the actions of one's career.

In order to truly perform dharma and approach enlightenment, one's numinous efforts cannot be limited only to specific aspects of life. Expansion of one's orientation to the Divine to the realm of one's career will enhance one's progress along the path to enlightenment.

East-West Counseling & Meditation -- Modern Psychiatry Integration -- Himalayan Philosophy -- Penn & Stanford Medicine
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