2.41 Be Business Minded …

vyavasayatmika buddhir
ekeha kuru-nandana
bahu-sakha hy anantas ca
buddhayo ’vyavasayinam

Those who are on this path are resolute in purpose, and their aim is one. O beloved child of the Kurus, the intelligence of those who are irresolute is many-branched. Bhagavad Gita verse 2.41

Just like the focus of a business man is expansion of his business, a spiritualist’s aim is to fix her or his consciousness on Krishna. Bhakti or devotion is not about remembering Krishna only on a certain times of a day. A business man thinks about his business all the time. So, in a way he is doing business 24×7. This joke illustrates Vyavasayatmika buddhir in a humorous way: A dying Marwari was surrounded by his sons. He opened his eyes and looked at each one of them to acknowledge their presence and care at the death hour. Silence and sadness prevailed at the Marwari’s home. All of a sudden, the dying man shouted, “You idiots, if all of you keep sitting next to me, who will run the shop!” Bhakti means centering all our thoughts, goals, and activities in Krishna.

With the enthusiasm, determination, and patience of a business man, a devotee can conquer Krishna’s love. In one of his departure talks with his disciples, Srila Prabhupada said, “Simply we have to continue the enthusiasm. Enthusiasm means to take things very seriously, utsāhād dhairyāt, and patiently. Although we are determined to go back to home, back to Godhead, so we should patiently follow the rules and regulations. So these are the six principles: enthusiasm and firm determination and patience and executing the regulative principles, tat-tat-karma-pravartanāt, and sato vṛtteḥ, means behavior must be very honest, no duplicity, and utsāhād dhairyāt niścayāt tat-tat-karma-pravartanāt, and sato vṛtteḥ, dealing must be very honestly, no hypocrisy, tat-tat-karma-pravartanāt, sādhu-saṅga, and in the association of devotees. If you follow these six principles, namely enthusiasm, determination, patience, and executing the regulative principles and keep yourself honest and in the association of devotee, if you follow these six principle, then your success is sure.”

H.H Radhanath Swami Maharaj says “How do you cultivate a plant? You have to protect it and you have to water it. If you’re growing a flower in your garden you must protect it from being ripped out, from being trampled on, from being choked by weeds, and you also have to put water on it. So that is how enthusiasm and determination are also developed. If you engage in sense gratification, it’s like choking whatever little enthusiasm and determination you have with the weed of sense enjoyment. Sense gratification very much deters the growth of our enthusiasm and determination.” H.H. Radhanath Swami concludes, “Krishna tells, “For those who are too much attached to material opulence and sense enjoyment, the resolute determination for devotional service does not take place.” Austerities cultivate determination. Good association and good sadhana cultivate determination. If you want it, Krishna will give it to you. If our desire is sincere then we will live accordingly.Vishnujana, an enthusiastic kirtanya in the Hare Krishna movement, once said, “I’m not always enthusiastic. I just act enthusiastic, that makes other people enthusiastic and that then makes me enthusiastic.” 

In ancient days and in modern times, many devotees have appeared who had business-like  determination to achieve their goal. The little boy Prahlad determinedly devoted himself to Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakasipu had all the demingods in his control, but his own son, Prahlad drove him mad with rock-solid and yet tender determination and faith in Vishnu. Prahlad’s goal was clear. Nothing could waiver him from serving Vishnu with love. Hiranyakasipu’s futile attempts to kill his son sunk the powerful demon in depression. Prahlad’s account is beautifully documented in Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 7.

Ahalya, one of the devotees of lord Ram, who was deceived by Indra and cursed by her husband, Gautama to become stone, was purified by the touch of the lotus feet of lord Ram. Ahalya meditated on Ram for thousands of years. The supreme personality of Godhead had no choice but to change the order of yugas to liberate Ahalya from the stone form and bestow His grace upon her. Krishna, the supreme personality of Godhead, is unconquerable, but He is bound by the affection of His devotees. The natural order of yugas is Satya, Dvapara, Treta, and Kali. However, in this kalpa, it was Ahalya’s determined and single-pointed devotion that made the Supreme personality of Godhead bring the Treta yuga before Dvapara and appear as Ram.

In 14th century, Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu predicted that the Hare Krishna maha mantra will be chanted in every town and village on the globe. He said a “senapati bhakta” would appear and spread Krishna bhakti across the world. His Divine Grace Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada was Mahaprabhu’s senapati bhakta. Prabhupada’s determination to spread Krishna bhakti is discussed in some American universities. He had more than two decades of failure but he was determined to expand the mission of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He crossed the ocean on a cargo ship at the age of 69 with 40 rupees in his pocket. He once revealed to his disciples how the commentary of a previous acharaya on this verse of the Gita made his determination stronger. ISKCON is a result of Prabhupada’s single-pointed determination and purity of his intention. Many universities in America have included in their curriculum the 6-volume biography of Srila Prabhupada because of his remarkable success which he achieved at an old age.

In 1980s, a devotee named Sachisuta Das set an unbelievable example in former USSR to serve Krishna and Srila Prabhupada. His and other USSR devotees’ determination gave Mikhail Garbachov sleepless nights. On Garbhacov’s order, this good looking Armenian young boy was tortured by KGB, along with several other devotees, including Ananta Shanti Das, Srila Prabhupada’s Russian disciple. From poisonous injections to merciless beatings to a variety of tortures in the jail, the devotees had to go through every suffering. An officer who tried to help the devotees was dismissed from her services. Devotees were sent to a jail in Siberia with implicit orders to let them die due to cold, hunger, and lack of medical facilities. These devotees accepted this suffering as Krishna prasadam. Sachisuta Das’ inmates in jail shared that never even once he cursed anyone or showed his immense suffering. He was always in bliss, and in this bliss he left the body. The USSR government had no choice but to accept the Hare Krishnas. The 100s of Hare Krishna centers in the former USSR speak the glories of Sachisuta, Ananta Shanti, and the army of devotees who sacrificed their youth, health, loved ones, and what not to serve the mission.

Hiranyakasipu’s determination to become more powerful than God and Prahlad’s determination to serve the most powerful God are a two varieties of determination. How we channel our determination determines who we are and what will become of us. KGB and USSR govt. lost the battle. Krishna’s name is now chanted even in Siberia.

A sincere spiritualist develops vyavasayatmika buddhir for bhakti, and not use her or his bhakti merits for vayvasaya (business).  The goal of a sincere spiritualist is to do everything for Krishna. In other words, do only what Krishna likes, and offer it in the service of Krishna. International Society for Krishna Consciousness was founded by a devotee, AC BhaktiVedanta Srila Prabhupada, whose life was dedicated to Krishna. ISKCON’s growing everyday by the determination and purity of those who surrendered their lives to Srila Prabhupada, in the service of Krishna.



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