Steadfast Determination

Steadfast Determination

Date
Author
Sajjana Priya Krishna Das

Dear Prabhujis and Maathajis,

Hare Krishna! Please accept my humble pranams! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Gurudev!

Once a groups of monkeys staying beneath a tree, decided to observe Ekadasi as it beneficial for them. The day before the Ekadasi the leader of the monkey informed all of them that they should observe Nirjala Ekadasi. All the monkeys agreed for the proposal. One of the monkey gave a suggestion - "Since we are going to be fasting tomorrow, on dvadasi day we will not have any energy to climb the tree for taking the fruits and therefore we should all climb up the tree today itself". They all agreed to this proposal and they all climbed the tree. One more monkey made a suggestion - "Since we are fasting on Ekadasi we may not have energy to jump from one branch to another branch to pluck the fruits and therefore we should pluck the fruits and keep it ready". All the other monkeys agreed. After some time one more monkey said, "Eventhough we have plucked the fruits we may not have energy to put the fruit into our mouth and therefore we should put the fruits in our mouth ready so that we can bite them on the dvadasi day without any difficulty". After some time one more monkey added, "Eventhough we have put the fruits in the mouth, our teeth and mouth would have lost strength to bite and digest and therefore we should eat the fruits today so that we can fast the next day without any problem". 

In the same way we devotees, take up so many vows and austerities but eventually we fail to keep up the vows because of lack of determination in pursuing it or basically we are chronically lazy in nature. If we dilute our determination in pursuing our vows we may end up losing our faith in the process and can fall down at any point of our spiritual life. Our minds are like the monkeys giving millions and millions of ideas all round the clock with convincing answer for us to give up the vows very easily. We are completely convinced with our minds dictations and we are eventually subjugated by the mind all the times. The reasons for lack of determination is due to the following factors

1) Lack of Spiritual knowledge – no constant and scrutinizing study of the shaastras (svaadhyaayaabhyasanam) which results in 
2) Avidya – Ignorance - Bodily conception of life which results in 
3) Fruits of our vows/ determination are not tangibly visible as Spiritual profit is always sublime in nature which results in 
4) No sincere urge to keep up our steadfast determination in keeping up our vows and austerities. 
In order to remove this complacency in our spiritual life and be steadfast in determination, we have to follow the instructions of Lord Sri Krishna . Srimad Bhagavad Gita 18.33 

dhrtyaa yayaa dhaarayate / manah-praanendriya-kriyaaha
yogenaavyabhicaarinyaa / dhrtih saa paartha saattviki

"O son of Prthaa, that determination which is unbreakable, which is sustained with steadfastness by yoga practice, and which thus controls the activities of the mind, life and senses is determination in the mode of goodness."

In material pursuits we are so much determined and willing to execute any type of steadfastness .But if the same steadfastness is pursued towards the Supreme Lord then we can be immediately liberated from this material bondage. I therefore pray to the Supreme Lord , Srila Prabhupad and Gurudev to shower their causeless mercy on this fallen soul to become steadfast in determination in executing vows and austerities.  

Thank you very much,
Your humble servant trying to be in the service of Srila Prabhupad and Gurudev,
Sajjanapriya Krishnadas,
Abudhabi