Three Tasks Where We May Get Filibustered

[Krishna's lotus feet]“The supreme occupation [dharma] for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 1.2.6)

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स वै पुंसां परो धर्मो
यतो भक्तिर् अधोक्षजे
अहैतुक्य् अप्रतिहता
ययात्मा सुप्रसीदति

sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
ahaituky apratihatā
yayātmā suprasīdati

You are enthusiastic. Ready to put in the extra effort. This is not a case of idleness or disenchantment with the process. That will surely come later, as a result of the opposition on the other side. Despite the eagerness to continue, to produce good work, there are forces at play which suppress the output of service.

1. Coding project at the office

“There was an issue in production. A specific query was running slow, and my department got called out in front of the entire company. It is related to an application that I work on, but one that was originally written by programmers who are no longer here.

“I did the research. I undertook the difficult work in diagnosing the problem. I came up with a solution. This should make the entire application run faster; I think. I am pretty excited to get to work on implementing the fix.

“The problem is that I cannot just push my code through by myself. There are others involved. It is an approval process. They don’t like the speed with which I produce. Not that I am some great programmer, but others like to take their time. It seems to be on purpose, that they don’t want to set the expectations too high with the bosses, lest they receive additional projects in the meantime.

“I don’t mind how it looks. Give me more. I am ready to handle. I am particularly interested in solving the problem I was asked to look into. Alas, I am running into a brick wall. People who know nothing about this issue are giving ridiculous suggestions for the unstated purpose of delaying.”

2. Home improvements

“All I want is a little extension to the house. A tiny apartment for my elderly parents to live in. They are already occupants of the house, but I want to give them some privacy. A space of their own. I have the contractors lined up. I have budgeted accordingly.

“Unfortunately, the permit approval process is not so easy. They are not as eager for me to get this project done before the cold of winter sets in. In fact, they go at their own pace. No one can tell them to speed things up. There is the off-chance that a bribe would help, but I am not willing to take that risk yet.”

3. Legislation

“It is in this arena that the filibuster got its name. Constituents in my district have been complaining about the government-run hospitals and doctors offices for a while now. These are veterans of war. The government has designated places they can go in order to receive treatment.

“The problem is that the service is terrible. Long waiting lines. Sometimes it takes weeks just to get the initial visit with the doctor. Hearing from the affected people, this issue has been ongoing for decades. I have a solution. I think it will solve the problem and make everyone happy.

“There seems to be broad support for the proposal. In other words, I have the votes. The problem is the other body of the government. My legislation cannot pass unless they give the approval. Certain senators are filibustering. They are blocking the legislation from even coming to the floor for a vote. They won’t say whether they are opposed or in support.

[Senate chamber]“I think the real reason is that my proposal would cut the staff at some of these facilities. The veterans would be able to see their own doctors if they wanted to. Thus the people who work at these places are lobbying senators to block the legislation. To start with they are terrible at their jobs, and now they will do anything to keep them, even if it means sick people have to die.”

Actually, the same limitations are there in practically every area of life. The material world is considered miserable for this reason. What goes up must come down. What one person attempts, another thwarts. The victor today, the loser tomorrow.

Devotional service is directed at the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This work is considered bhakti, which is above the material nature. Therefore, the same limitations are absent. The two Sanskrit words of relevance are ahaituki and apratihata.

Bhakti, in its purest form, is unmotivated and uninterrupted. Even in the case where an established institution puts roadblocks to halt my progress, such as through cheating gurus and policies antithetical to the teachings of the acharyas, I am not without hope.

At any time, I can sit by myself and chant the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. I can speak on the glories of Shri Krishna and His upadesha [instructions] to any person I meet. I can write down glorifications meant for my eyes only. I do not require the approval of others.

[Krishna's lotus feet]Bhagavan will support me in this endeavor. He is the only one who will be able to keep up with me. As much output as I can produce, He will accept. Who can be a better friend than He, who is the greatest well-wisher known since time immemorial?

In Closing:

Since time immemorial known,
As greatest well-wisher shown.

Where even for me of ability none,
So much to benefit done.

So that output enthusiasm to match,
And never ailment of lethargy to catch.

Not thwarting even strong force,
Success assured in bhakti’s course.

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