Root Cause Analysis

[Krishna's lotus feet]“The Blessed Lord said: It is lust only, Arjuna, which is born of contact with the material modes of passion and later transformed into wrath, and which is the all-devouring, sinful enemy of this world.” (Bhagavad-gita, 3.37)

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Friend1: Have you ever heard of an incident response plan?

Friend2: Yes.

Friend1: Really?

Friend2: Yes. They use it in IT.

Friend1: Great. I was hoping to explain it and then bounce off of that for the discussion today.

Friend2: Okay. Pretend that I don’t know what it is.

Friend1: It’s used for when you have some sort of attack on the system.

Friend2: What kind of attack? Like someone goes after the servers with a hammer?

Friend1: Well, you hope it never gets to that level, but I guess the effect is the same. There is an intrusion. An unauthorized person got past your security.

Friend2: I see.

Friend1: The plan is there to limit the damage. It’s a set of procedures for getting back up and running.

Friend2: I’m assuming you want to prevent a repeat in the future.

Friend1: That’s part of it, too. There is also something in IT called root cause analysis.

Friend2: I think that covers a broader range of issues.

Friend1: Exactly. Any problem, really. Don’t just deal with the obvious issue. For example, if a file gets sent late to an FTP server, one way to tackle the problem is to schedule the task a little earlier.

Friend2: So you have some room for error.

Friend1: Right, but that may not be the root cause of the problem. Perhaps the database query that is used to generate the file is taking too long. The query needs to be optimized. That is digging deeper, towards the root.

[database server]Friend2: And then maybe the query is fine, but the database server needs more memory.

Friend1: There you go! Analyze until you find the actual cause of the problem.

Friend2: Yeah.

Friend1: So, I was wondering…is there any correlation to spiritual life?

Friend2: What do you mean? As in, can we perform a root cause analysis at the individual level?

Friend1: Yes.

Friend2: Well, what is the problem you are trying to address?

Friend1: That is a very good question. I guess general unhappiness. Malaise.

Friend2: Nice use of the word. I’ve only heard it when people are talking about Jimmy Carter and his famous speech.

Friend1: It’s a real word, you know.

Friend2: I do. Okay, so you want a root cause analysis for unhappiness. I’ve already got the answer for you.

Friend1: That quickly?

Friend2: Birth. Happiness and sadness come on their own subsequent to emerging from the womb. They arrive like the summer and winter seasons.

“O son of Kunti, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.14)

Friend1: Hmm. I can’t argue with you, but how do you fix the problem?

Friend2: You mean how do we prevent birth going forward?

Friend1: Or what if you did a root cause analysis for the problem of birth?

Friend2: Oh, that’s easy too. Kama.

Friend1: As in lust?

Friend2: Yes. In the Bhagavad-gita, Shri Krishna declares lust to be the all-devouring enemy of this world, when combined with wrath [krodha]. The Supreme Personality of Godhead was essentially doing root cause analysis for the problem of people following sinful life, even when they apparently know better. Arjuna asked the question and Krishna answered it.

Friend1: I see. So how do you prevent kama? How do you stop it?

[Krishna's lotus feet]Friend2: Kama is also known as desire, which can never be eliminated. The idea is to change the nature. Kama is material desire, and bhakti is spiritual desire. Change your goals. Look for God’s satisfaction instead of your own. At first you’ll think it’s a sacrifice, but later on you’ll realize that His pleasure means your happiness.

In Closing:

Before solving taking a pause,

Digging deeper to find root cause.

Like with our problems know,

Something beneath lying so.

Ball rolling at birth starting,

In wrath from intelligence departing.

Kama instigating factor real,

Bhakti to stop that spinning wheel.

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