Work Is Worship

Once upon a time, there lived a king named Rana Charya. He was a man of high principles and valued hard work and sincerity. The king’s favorite proverb was work is worship.

One day, king Rana Charya decided to find out whether his subjects followed his ideals or not. So, he called some of his courtiers and said, “Go through the kingdom and find out what jobs the people have undertaken, and whether they are performing their duties sincerely or not. Find the person who knows the secret of hard work and bring him to me. But no one should know that you have been sent by me.” “As you wish, you’re Majesty!” said the courtiers and took leave of the king. “We have an important task to perform,” said one of the courtiers. “Let’s start right away.” “But many people know that we are the king’s courtiers,” said another. “They may identify us.”

One of the courtiers, whose name was Raghavan, suggested, “Let’s disguise ourselves as tribal men.” So, they all dressed up as tribal men, boarded a bullock cart and set out on their way.

First, they saw a woodcutter who was chopping trees with his big ax. “Let’s talk to him,” said Raghavan. They halted their bullock cart and walked up to the woodcutter. “O woodcutter, do you like your job?” The woodcutter flung his ax aside and said with a grim face, “Not at all! I do it because this work has been passed down to me by my ancestors.” Raghavan and his group boarded their bullock cart and proceeded on their path. Some miles passed, and they came upon a washerman. Ragahvan walked up to the washerman. “Hello, dear washerman,” he said. “It seems you are enjoying your work!”

The washerman became angry and began to beat the clothes harder. “Is this work enjoyable?” he retorted. “It’s a punishment for me. When I was a child, I did not show much interest in studying. I never listened to my parents and never worked hard. So, I could not qualify for a good job. Now my family depends on me and I have to do this job to feed them.”

Raghavan got back into the cart and they started again. A few miles away, they saw a young man studying. “What are you doing, young man?” asked Raghavan. “I am a teacher,” replied the young man. “I am reading this book so I can teach my students tomorrow. It gives me great satisfaction to spread my knowledge.”

“Do you know the secret of hard work?” asked Raghavan. “Yes!” replied the teacher. “Work is worship! No matter what you do, you must love it and do it sincerely.” Raghavan and his group escorted the teacher to the king.

When the king heard what the teacher and said, he rewarded him and built a big school for his students. Many people took inspiration from this incident, and ever since then hard work and sincerity were deeply valued by the people of the kingdom.