Take Two Of These And Call Me In The Morning

[Prabhupada's lotus feet]“One who is Krishna conscious is a perfect yogi; he is aware of everyone’s happiness and distress by dint of his own personal experience. The cause of the distress of a living entity is forgetfulness of his relationship with God. And the cause of happiness is knowing Krishna to be the supreme enjoyer of all the activities of the human being.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 6.32 Purport)

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yasya deve parā bhaktir

yathā deve tathā gurau

tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ

prakāśante mahātmanaḥ

Boy was it a long day. One that you’ll never forget, no doubt. You haven’t felt this amount of stress in a long time. You’re so happy that it’s over. You went into the field of computer programming because you thought it would be fun. You could make different applications from scratch, things that would improve productivity in the business community. But no one told you about days like today.

It started innocently enough. Upon arriving at the office, you checked your email. One was from your boss, forwarding to you the latest requests from the company’s major client. The primary application they use, which you built, runs on the desktop and displays customer information when any main account identifier is entered, such as the name, social, or account number.

The request today was simple: remove one of the fields in the display. It is no longer needed. This is a simple change, or at least you thought. Since you were bogged down by other requests, you rushed through implementing this change. You didn’t go through the proper procedures of testing. You made the change on the fly, while people were using the application. That’s when the trouble started.

Suddenly the application stopped working. It would throw an error every time someone went to open up an account. No problem, right? Just revert back to the old version of the code. Ah, but you don’t have it anymore. All you have is the changed version. In other areas of programming, there is debugging built into the development environment. In simpler terms, if there is a problem you can find the source pretty quickly. If something stops working, you will know exactly where the error is. With this particular application, the coding used does not offer such robust debugging facility. You know that the problem is with something you changed, but you have no information of the exact location.

The pressure was on, as people were waiting for the application to start working again. You resorted to the only option left: testing. You made change after change, hoping it would fix the problem. Finally, after a few hours, you got it right again. You now have so much appreciation for the code editors that actually give detailed information on errors.

[pills]Just imagine if we went through life with the same limitation. We go to the doctor to diagnose issues that we can’t solve on our own. If we get a scrape on our elbow, we apply some ointment and put a bandage on it. If we get a cold, we usually wait it out. If we have a more serious problem, we have to go to the doctor. We trust them to make the proper diagnosis. The work of a doctor is summed up in the joke, “Take two of these and call me in the morning.” This is because often times the problem the doctor sees is not too serious. A few pills will likely keep the inflammation down until the malady clears up on its own.

What about the problems the doctor can’t help us with? For example, let’s say I have a problem with life. I don’t know what I’m doing here. I love my family members so much, but I know that one day I will have to leave them. They might leave me first. Why can’t we stay together forever? Why am I working so hard day and night? The animals don’t work nearly as hard. They’re not worried about where their next meal comes from. Why can’t I be as peaceful as they are?

This problem is similar to having the error in programming, where the debugger doesn’t give exact information. We know this to be true based on the typical solutions presented. The most popular one is increased material enjoyment. “Live life to the fullest. Enjoy as much as possible. Don’t worry, because you only live once.” So many people have tried this solution, only to be left as miserable as before.

Another solution is to give up things. “Simplify your life. You’ve got too much going on.” Again, while it may provide short-term results, eventually the same attachments are there. With attachment comes fear. With fear there cannot be peace. If the individual is looking for peace, then the presence of fear means that the solution didn’t work.

In truth, no one except the spiritual master can properly diagnose the problem. They know that the root cause is birth itself. When there is birth there must be death. Death means separation, forced at that. With impending separation from objects of attachment, how can there be peace? And without peace, how can there be happiness?

nāsti buddhir ayuktasya

na cāyuktasya bhāvanā

na cābhāvayataḥ śāntir

aśāntasya kutaḥ sukham

“One who is not in transcendental consciousness can have neither a controlled mind nor steady intelligence, without which there is no possibility of peace. And how can there be any happiness without peace?” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.66)

The spiritual master knows that the nature of consciousness is what determines the type of existence. In simpler terms, if you change your consciousness for the better, you can solve all problems. The highest consciousness is the original one. Krishna consciousness is where you are always thinking of God. More specifically, you’re contemplating service to Him, how to make Him happy. To serve God and please Him means that God must be a person, with distinguishable features. Though the true nature of those features is impossible to fully comprehend, God is kind enough to reveal Himself in a way that facilitates worship.

[Prabhupada's lotus feet]You serve through worship, both mentally and physically. There are no obstacles great enough to stop the worship, provided the desire is there. Worship can be done through something as simple as sound: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Make an experiment. Try chanting this mantra for six months, in a routine way. At the same time, give up behaviors that inhibit the purification of the consciousness. The four primary ones are meat eating, gambling, intoxication, and illicit sex. Even if a person does not know the real cause of their troubles in this world, following this prescription will bring results, an improvement. And the more one continues on this path of devotion, the closer they get to ending the cycle of birth and death.

In Closing:

Problem at work, very stressed,

This program not with debugging blessed.

An error in the update you made,

Now to fix issue blindly to wade.

With journey of life same issue too,

Without knowledge left to diagnose are you.

Spiritual master the real solution knowing,

Discover when to their feet going.

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