Concept of KAYAKA! (ಕಾಯಕ)
✍ Sharana Shri: D. P. Prakash*
If you plant 'Kayaka' in the vast plateau of modern activities, it becomes a culture. 'Kayaka' gives rise to a new work culture. It encompasses spiritual, social, religious and economic domains and enables the individual to walk the path of salvation.
From the point of productivity, all other works which do not contribute for the productivity of the nation will not bequalified to be called Kayaka. First and foremost, the fellows engaged in all those mundane works in temples, fellows practicing astrology, vaastu etc etc can never be called 'Kayaka', at best be called work.
Similarly, the work you are involved in, should be in such a way that you invoke God in it. What does it mean? It means you should do that work as a worship. Mahatma Gandhiji said "Karm hi Pooja hain" (कर्म ही पूजा है) . Thus, you are swarm by those feelings, while doing work, that you begin to work as if you are intensely connected with God. Only then you can do that work with supreme perfection. Once Martin Luther uttered that "if you are a sweeper you should sweep in such a way that the Angels passing above should pause for a while and admire it". Thus the work is spiritual in nature.
When you are working, you should have a feeling that you are involved in the advancement of the civilisation and thereby strengthening the Dharma - the Dharma of the mankind. That means your work cannot be against any body's existence and should not snatch the right of others to live happily and advance. Thus, your work becomes Kayaka.
Finally, your work should enhance the economy of the nation. We should work in such a way that our nation should benefit from our work. That's why when all the Sharanas were engaged in Kayaka, Bijjala's Bhandara was over flowing. Our work should also be in that direction. Hence all such works which do not contribute to the economy of our nation cannot be qualified as Kayaka. You all know that in this nation there are umpteen number of works which ultimately don't contribute to the economy of our nation. Those works do not qualified to be called Kayaka.
Therefore, the concept of Kayaka is a new invention by Lord Basaveshwara. This concept alone can uplift the mankind from the abyss of dissipation. If Kayak is understood in right perspective and it is followed in essence, no body can stop our nation becoming a truly super power.
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 From the book "Vachana", pub: Basava Samiti Bangalore 2012.