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What’s Your Major?
By Bhaktin Christi
Please accept my humble obeisances.
When reading these interesting viewpoints on obtaining university level education, the thought that ran through my mind was "Well, what’s your major?"
Everyone knows someone who went to some college somewhere and got a degree in something that’s absolutely useless. It happens. Some people, I think, plan it that way, so they can go back to school again for something else.
But in today’s world, many very important professions and positions simply cannot be gotten without the prior qualification of a university profession. Far from being simply for "worldly recognition or material sense gratification," the university degree is a statement that one has attained some recognizable, standardized, objectively measured levels of education.
I think maybe the true measure of how useless or useful one’s degree is can be ascertained by looking at what’s being done with it. Devotees can successfully utilize their degrees by working in ways to serve Krsna and the devotee community. Devotee doctors, lawyers, nurses, and businesspeople all have opportunities to use their knowledge and professions in the service of the devotees and to use their business and professional networks to spread the message of Krsna consciousness. Money that is earned through these professions can be used to support the temple and help fund programs that will spread Krsna consciousness.
Oftentimes a business or professional person in the community, who is also a devotee, can have a good influence in getting help or assistance or just a favorable outlook from the non-devotee community. This can sometimes make it easier for festivals or gatherings to be held, for temples or preaching centers to be established and integrated into the community, and for a positive impression of Krsna consciousness, and the devotees, to be made on the community as a whole. We have seen in the past celebrities like George Harrison using the influence of celebrity status to help advance and establish Krsna consciousness in many places where it might have otherwise been a great struggle.
Srila Prabhupada used modern "worldly" technology like dictaphones, airplanes, and microphones to spread Krsna consciousness. In the same way we can use a "worldly" university degree. I think perhaps the real measure of usefulness might be better measured in the amount of service one can render to Krsna and the devotees, rather than simply dismissing these things out of hand as useless or worthless.
A university degree is not for everyone. But if one has the opportunity to get a university education and pursue a profession or career that will benefit the devotee community and be of use in Krsna’s service, then I think that education is very valuable indeed. Recently there was an article in Back to Godhead about two devotee physicians who wear tilak in their offices and have the opportunity to preach to many non-devotees about Krsna. As physicians, they are respected members of the community providing a wonderful service in medicine, and as devotees, they are valuable servants of Krsna who are actively preaching to the community. I don’t think anyone could disagree that this is an excellent example of a very worthwhile service and a worthwhile use of worldly education.
Please forgive me for any offenses I may have made in the writing of this letter.
[See also: the Rupanuga Vedic College Page]
© CHAKRA 4 November 2002
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