“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)
स वै पुंसां परो धर्मो
यतो भक्तिर् अधोक्षजे
sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
Because of modern amenities, we can do things today that simply were not possible in the past. This accounts for dealing with tragedies, both personal and affecting the society at large. The advantage is helpful at maintaining a living, and the flexibility afforded gives a glimpse into the way spiritual life can be practiced when at the highest levels of consciousness.
A tragedy strikes at home, warranting extra attention. The family needs you, and you cannot abandon them. The problem is that work does not simply wait around. They may give you some time off, but it is not like they can halt operations indefinitely while you sort everything out.
One of the advantages of the modern day is telecommuting. Within certain businesses, the majority of vital functions occur on a computer, and people connect to the data through central repositories. This means that if everyone is at the office, they are still working remotely, in a sense.
The official title of “working from home” is simply shifting the office space. Each individual makes a micro-office at their place of residence instead of congregating in one suite in a corporate building. There are disadvantages, for sure. If you need to show someone how to fix something they are working on, you can no longer simply walk over to their desk and solve the issue in a few seconds. Instead, you have to set up a virtual meeting, share screens, and talk through the problem.
Nevertheless, the advantages are many. If there is a severe weather event, like a hurricane or flood, no time is missed. If the government forces everyone to stay at home for a set period of time, certain businesses can continue operations. They might even move forward without skipping a beat.
In the eternal occupation of sanatana-dharma, the visuals might give the indication that a person needs to visit a designated house of worship in order to advance. This establishment has a routine that is hopefully maintained by the residents. Wake up at a certain time, start a prayer and worship offering, read from sacred texts, clean the space, cook meals, welcome guests, and so forth.
Then there are the special occasions. In the Vedic tradition, practically every day can be a holiday. The Sanskrit word is nityotsava. Always celebrating the Almighty and those dedicated to Him. The house of worship and the steady flow of devotional activities also provide a means of auspicious association. If everyone else around me is dedicated to God the person, it is natural that I will follow along, if not only to fit in.
What should happen if such a community is not available? What if everyone is shut off from society? They are sheltering in place, working from home, and when they see other people they stand several feet apart, intentionally. They view other human beings as a collection of germs, a breeding center for deadly, contagious diseases.
Shrimad Bhagavatam describes the topmost religion to be without motivation and without interruption. The latter stipulation accounts for any interference based on external circumstances. That is to say if I want to worship God the person, there really is no one who can stop me. The graphic evidence of this truth is the story of Prahlada Maharaja and his encounters with Hiranyakashipu.
Devotional service is also unmotivated. In the beginning I certainly will ask something from the person who has everything. That is only natural. He is the eternal father, after all. I have a right to my father’s property. There is no shame or embarrassment in approaching Him for things.
If the love is really strong, I will maintain a relationship no matter what the response on the other side is. Growing up, my father may have denied my requests many times. I may have cursed at him when returning to my room. I may have openly declared that I was born with the worst father in the entire world.
Those emotions were only temporary, and I maintained my allegiance throughout. This is because nothing can change the relationship. My opinion is meaningless in the case of a loving father, since he will always be there for me, looking out for my best interests.
The relationship with the Almighty can be of the same nature. As I progress in devotional service, I will continue to worship, regardless of the response I am expecting. The connection in consciousness is enough to fuel me, and I will never tire of chanting the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Sheltering now all alone,
Forced to work from home.
So that income still flowing,
Without to office going.
Same with bhakti apply,
Where without help to try.
Since Bhagavan efforts behind,
In service support to find.
Categories: devotional service