What is Vedanta’s relevance to the working person? Is it only useful in attaining an abstract state of self-realisation (Moksha)? At the mention of the word ‘Vedanta’ the mind pictures a saint sitting in meditation in the wilderness with no worldly responsibilities.
Naturally the mind concludes that this type of life has no relevance to the householder. But is it true? No doubt Moksha is the ultimate goal of Vedanta. But en route there are benefits which are of use in the marketplace.
Self-realisation is not an accidental experience. It is a life made free from self-imposed bondage and thus doing away with the consequent unhappiness of this bondage.
This is the same happiness that is the aim of the man in the market place or the saint in the Himalayas. In fact the entire scheme of Vedanta is to make man happier and contented in his day-to-day life, so that a spiritual unfolding will take place within the individual automatically.
In life man comes into contact with things and beings in the world outside, not by choice but by the law of life. And so if there is dexterity in meeting the world with a firm will and with equanimity and right understanding, no situation in life can break a man.
The technique of self-mastery as expounded by all scriptures advises us not to escape from life but live intelligently. This requires a diligent and an alert attitude in meeting life.
In every walk of life, at all moments, we must make use of the ever-changing patterns of challenges, and while consciously meeting them, we must learn to tame ourselves and the outer world.
This diligent method of living consciously is true Vedanta; it can elevate even a base man to the joys and perfection of a saint. Vedanta advises: Let each of us try to fulfill all our obligatory duties as best as we can, in a spirit of detachment, joy and dedication.
The more we work in this attitude the more we are released from our inhibitions, repressions and other emotional entanglements. A new force, a fresh stream of strength shall reach us as though from above. Never fear, never hesitate. Act nobly with a will to maintain your ideal.