“How can I ensure that the purpose of my task does not get destroyed? How shall I avoid mental disparity, and how do I ensure that my crossing of the ocean does not go for naught?” (Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 2.41)
न विनश्येत्कथं कार्यं वैक्लब्यं न कथं भवेत् |
लङ्घनं च समुद्रस्य कथं नु न वृथा भवेत् ||
na vinaśyetkathaṃ kāryaṃ vaiklabyaṃ na kathaṃ bhavet |
laṅghanaṃ ca samudrasya kathaṃ nu na vṛthā bhavet ||
When someone is praised as a “self-starter,” there is a need to distinguish from those who aren’t. That is to say it is much easier to find someone who needs assistance, who cannot go it alone. We come across many such situations in life where an extra boost from an outside participant provides significant help in jumpstarting the process.
1. Working from home
“I thought this was going to be great. No more facing the rush-hour commute. No more sitting in traffic, waiting forever to reach the office, only to then begin the work day. Now I can sleep in peace the night before. Get up whenever I want. Work from my bedroom, if I so desire. Gather some momentum in the critical early morning hours.
“Of course the reality is totally different. I am behind on a lot of projects. Others in the family seem to think that I have no pressing responsibilities. Therefore, they feel free to interrupt me at any time of the day, asking to run this errand and that.
“It has also been difficult to find an appropriate work space. I need some sort of deadline in order to get the impetus to begin. When something is due, I need a place to go and concentrate. The office environment was helpful in that there were others with whom to collaborate. I could take inspiration from them to proceed forward and challenge myself to reach new heights.”
2. Sticking to an exercise routine
It is one of the great ideas for a business in an industrialized nation. Start a fitness center franchise. As there is ample opportunity to eat any kind of food, the general tendency is towards overconsumption. Due to riding in automobiles, daily physical exertion is greatly reduced.
In steps the gym membership. Join an establishment in order to improve health. The issue is that most people stop going after joining. The membership fee continues to be deducted month after month. The owner of the franchise essentially collects money for free.
Then when the member finally does quit, they find it difficult to start an exercise routine on their own. The equipment could be as nearby as the next room in the home, but to actually set aside time to try and exercise is not easy. After a hard day at work, the sofa and the bed seem to have a magnetic effect.
3. Worshiping in isolation
Here a person is interested in purifying the consciousness. They have taken lessons on the science of self-realization, atma-tattva, and studied sacred texts like Bhagavad-gita and Shrimad Bhagavatam, which describe the essence of living and the real form of yoga.
The issue is similar to the desire to exercise. How to start out by yourself? Chanting the maha-mantra is a pleasurable experience: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. To follow a routine, to gather numerical strength from repetition, is difficult when you are on your own. If there could be at least one program a week, where you meet with like-minded individuals, something like a club or association, then progress would be easier to make.
Juxtapose these real-life issues with the problems faced one time by Shri Hanuman. He was in a foreign territory all by himself. He had no choice but to be a self-starter. He already had made significant progress. No one would believe that a monkey-like individual could leap across a massive ocean. Though it certainly occurred, there are still skeptics to this day.
Yet that achievement would be rendered meaningless if Hanuman did not fulfill the mission of finding Sita Devi, the missing wife of Shri Rama. The dedicated servant to the Vanara-king named Sugriva had no means of communicating with the home base. There were no friends in this enemy territory of Lanka; only people who would try to kill him if his presence were discovered.
Hanuman had to decide where to go next. He had to figure out a way to remain undetected. He needed to think of a plan to win Sita’s favor and trust, should she be found. Then he had to determine how to return back to Rama safely, with the proper information remembered.
As he ended up succeeding, Hanuman proved to be the ultimate self-starter. He worships Sita and Rama to this day, mostly in isolation. Through his strength a person can persevere and cross over the vast ocean of suffering that is birth and death, returning to the spiritual kingdom to which everyone actually belongs.
With potential staying in mind,
Self-starter difficult to find.
Like with working from home,
Lazy when all alone.
That exercise equipment just sitting,
Purchased after membership quitting.
Juxtapose with Hanuman in Lanka’s ground,
Where success in difficult mission found.
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