The Art Of Heart by Achyut Gopal Das

Devotion means attention to details." - Radhanath Swami

As I was having my breakfast at our ISKCON-run restaurant at Vrindavan, I saw one lady chef cut a piece of cake, neatly place it on the center of the plate and wipe the excess cake markings very meticulously with a tissue paper. It was then served to the customer with a knife and fork. I very much appreciated the devotion this lady put in her job. No wonder, why people spend so much extra money in going to high-quality restaurants which not only focuses on the quality of the preparation but also on the quality of the presentation of the preparation. When "the giver" puts their heart in something, it is felt in the heart of "the receiver". Eating is not just an activity of filling one's belly and satisfying one's palate, it is also about satisfying one's heart.

I took a lesson from this incident. In life, we are all "givers" in some instances and "receivers" in some instances. As receivers, we all want to receive the best but very often in our role as givers, we don't give our best. We don't put our hearts fully into what we are giving God, giving others and giving society. We do a lousy job, shortcut job and try to get on to our main job of putting our heart in satisfying ourselves. Our philosophy is - best for ourselves and average for others. This is the life philosophy for the less evolved. The more evolved people believe in giving the best for others because they know that, that is the only way best comes to oneself. One cannot have the best crop if one's neighbors have the worst crop - one cannot be happy if one's neighbors are unhappy. By giving our best to others, we receive the best.

And doing our best and giving our best is not dependent on whether the job in hand is small or big. Giving one's best and doing one's best is an attitude. It should take hold in us and become part of our very nature. Then, life becomes beautiful. "Our job is not just to do our job- our job is to do our job well." Imagine, how God will feel if we put our heart in every Holy-name we chant and in every service we perform. He is also a person with feelings and emotions. He becomes pleased when someone offers and serves Him with love and devotion. Therefore, the most important art we need to master is the art of putting our heart in every art we do.
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