Diligence is the virtue of hard work. It is steadfast and disciplined work. When we are diligent in our work, it indicates that we have the right work ethics. Work ethics is the belief that work is good in itself. It means that whatever work is assigned to us, we should perform it to the best of our ability with the belief that the work is good. When we are sincere and disciplined in our work, we can work with focus and concentration. Spirituality gives certain qualities like patience, understanding, wisdom, steadfastness, concentration, right values etc which help us in being diligent. No work is superior or inferior to another and all work given to us must be done with the faith that work is worship and it is a means of attaining God. The story of the young town crier teaches us the same:
At one time, a plague broke out in a city. Most of the people succumbed to the disease and died. A city banker, his wife and other members of the family also fell sick. The parents called their young son and ordered him to leave the city and remain elsewhere. He was asked to come only when the city was cleared of plague. The father informed him about some valuable treasure buried at a certain place. The son did as he was told and stayed away from the city. After a few years, he decided to return to the city.
Most of the city population had been wiped out by the sickness and the few survivors and new citizens did not recognise him. He went to the place where his parents had buried the treasure and found it intact. He wished to remove it and use some of it for his expenses but realised that if he used the money, the people would think that a poor young man had become suddenly wealthy by wrongful means and would report to the King. Then surely his property would be confiscated. So he left the treasure where it was and went about looking for a job to support himself. He got the job of a town crier. He used to walk around the streets early morning calling out and rousing people from their sleep and announcing the time to prepare food, feed the animals etc. He was a human alarm clock as there were no clocks in those days.
One morning, the King heard his call out as he was passing by. The King was a good judge of character by listening to voices. The King commented: This is the voice of a man of great wealth! A female attendant who overheard this remark was curious and investigated. She found out that it was the voice of an ordinary worker. The King passed the same comment again during the following days twice. The enquiry about the person also gave the same result. So the King’s attendant and her daughter disguised themselves as villagers and went to the home of the young man. They sought shelter at his house for a short time. During their stay in his home, the King announced twice that a certain ceremony had to be performed in the area where the young man lived and every household had to contribute some money. The young man had no money ready to offer the King. So he dug up the treasure and took out some gold coins. These coins were kept separately by the person who collected and handed over to the King. The King had the coins checked and found out that they were old coins not currently in use. So the young man was summoned to the court.
At the court, the young man admitted the truth and told the King of all the happenings. He also revealed to the King where the treasure was. The King was impressed by the honesty and hard work of the young man and his truthfulness. The Master who had hired the young man also declared that the young man was an excellent worker and did not feel that the job was beneath his dignity. So the King appointed him to his father’s position as a city banker and gave him one of his daughters in marriage.
Doing the SitaRam Mantra, Meditation and following the Guru’s teachings helps us to become more energetic, mindful, pure in conduct and discriminating. We become more diligent and are able to achieve our goals at work and in life.