“When your personal and supreme interests can be easily obtained from one place, it is not sensible for you in weakness to beg at the doors of others, O Tulsi.” (Dohavali, 54)
स्वारथ परमारथ सकल सुलभ एक ही ओर |
द्वार दूसरे दीनता उचित न तुलसी तोर ||
svāratha paramāratha sakala sulabha eka hī ora |
dvāra dūsare dīnatā ucita na tulasī tora ||
Considered a lowly occupation, a condition only arrived at through a tragedy in life or the onset of mental illness, begging is not the preferred way to go. The living entity is a kind of ishvara, after all, so they have control over the body. They are the dominant force over the subordinate energy that is the material nature.
अपरेयम् इतस् त्व् अन्यां
प्रकृतिं विद्धि मे पराम्
ययेदं धार्यते जगत्
apareyam itas tv anyāṁ
prakṛtiṁ viddhi me parām
yayedaṁ dhāryate jagat
“Besides this inferior nature, O mighty-armed Arjuna, there is a superior energy of Mine, which are all living entities who are struggling with material nature and are sustaining the universe.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.5)
From a verse in the Dohavali, Goswami Tulsidas explains that it is not wise to go begging elsewhere. The truth needs to be stated because everyone is a beggar to some degree, even if they are unaware. Generally seeking short-term interest, svartha, they have to rely on someone else to provide.
1. For a job
The thought process goes something like this:
“I am an independent contractor. I have freedom of movement. I will take my talents elsewhere, as the famous basketball player once said. It is time for others to bid on my services. I will only consider offers north of a certain salary range.”
The reality is that there is some begging involved. The individual usually has to make some sacrifice when looking for a new job. In the interview stage, they may have to wear a suit and try to avoid sounding too eager. They may have to answer difficult technical questions relating to their field of work.
Afterwards, it is the etiquette to send a “thank you” note. Even if you don’t want the job, go along with the dance. See how everything works out. But it is out of your control. The other side must agree.
2. For a customer
Tired of looking for jobs? Sick of begging other people to hire you? Then become your own boss. Start a business. Determine your own hours of operation. Hire employees. Sit on the other side of the table.
While there is a greater sense of proprietorship in this situation, begging still takes place. The new company needs customers. It likely should have many of them, to minimize risk. This means that the CEO of the wealthiest company in the world still has to humble themselves. They have to beg Congress to avoid passing commerce-crippling laws and raising taxes to confiscatory rates. They have to ask customers to continue to show support through future purchases.
The leader must also maintain satisfaction in the customer base. If there are issues with the product after sale, there has to be a mechanism to address. Perhaps open a call center to handle the flood of inquiries. Maintain a level head, even if the customers are irate.
3. To calm an angry spouse
You screwed up. Not exactly sure what you did, but the spouse is upset. You wish they would just tell you already, but they get even angrier if they think you don’t know. You should be aware of your actions. You should have apologized already.
Despite being a grown adult, you have to humble yourself and buy some flowers. Say that you are sorry. Admit that you were wrong. This is for the good of the relationship, for maintaining peace in the home, which is desperately required.
4. For votes
It is often described as “retail politics.” A person running for office should make the rounds. Name recognition is not enough. Purchasing television and radio ads certainly helps, but people want to meet you face to face.
Thus you must shake hands with as many people as possible. Attend that local pancake breakfast, but make sure not to be caught eating on camera. Go knocking door-to-door in the neighborhood, meeting supporters and opponents alike. Listen to what they have to say. In the end, politely ask them for their vote. It goes a long way.
Tulsidas says that the immediate and long-term interests can be met in one place. Why go around begging? Especially if there is no guarantee of success, if there is no ability to provide anything meaningful, better to approach the door of the Supreme Lord.
The guardian is a Vanara named Hanuman. He is quite benevolent in this area. He simply asks for devotion. Have some love and affection for Sita and Rama, the goddess of fortune and her husband. Then you can live in their kingdom, and all of your needs will be taken care of.
In the spiritual world there are no distinctions between high and low. That is to say a person is not considered a better servant just because of their ability. The beggar is on an equal footing with the protector. The sweeper is the same as the famous preacher. This is the love and compassion of the Supreme Lord.
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