If we have a vision to do something but the authorities are not supportive, what to do?

by Chaitanya Charan dasMarch 2, 2017

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Duration: 6 mins

Transcribed by: Bhaktin Raji Nachiappan

Question:
If we have a vision to do something but the authorities are not supportive, what to do?

Answer (Short):
– The three ways of working within an institution are: (i) freedom without facility, (ii) facility without freedom and (iii) having both freedom and facility.
– In general, if we want the freedom to do something according to our vision, we cannot expect the institution to provide us with facility.
– It is difficult to implement our own vision and start off without facilities, but we see that those devotees who have a particular vision and persevere with that vision, Krishna sends facilities.

Answer (Long):
Basically when we are working in an institution, there are broadly three ways in which we can work.
1. The authorities or those in power want something to be done and we do that. Basically this means we make their vision as our vision. If we do that, then practically all the facilities, power and resources in the institution come to our help. That is one way to work.

2. The other way to work is that we have our own vision. If we have our own vision of doing things, then we will have to create the facilities and resources. That is also created through the devotee community itself, in various ways.

3. The final way to work is that we have our own vision and the institution provides facilities to implement our vision. In this case, we have both freedom and facility.

In general, when we are working in an institution we will not get both freedom and facility. Either we will get freedom or facility. Facility means that the institution wants us to do some service and when we do that we get all the facilities. However, if we want the freedom to do something according to our vision, we cannot expect the institution to provide us with facility. It is not that one is right and one is wrong.

If we have a vision and we have practiced bhakti for many years, we may feel inspired to do service in a particular way. The leaders of the institution who have the authority, may have a different vision of how things can be run. Therefore, they will use the resources with them for fulfilling that vision. If we want the freedom to implement our vision, we cannot expect others to provide the facility. If they provide, it is wonderful. If not, we have to create the facility.

Generally speaking there are two extremes. One extreme is that we just give up our freedom and we get the facility. That is, we implement the vision of another person. Otherwise, if we want our freedom, we create our own facility. Most devotees work somewhere in between. We have some areas where we have our own freedom and we create the facilities and there are other areas where we work within the institution and utilise the institution’s facilities.

Therefore, the three ways are: (i) freedom without facility, (ii) facility without freedom and (iii) both freedom and facility. In general however, if it is my vision of doing things, then I should not expect too many facilities from the institution because different people naturally have different visions. Over a period of time if we persevere with our vision and if we share our vision with others, then Krishna will send other devotees who also share that vision. They will then get the resources together and gradually that vision can also be manifested in the service of Krishna. Generally it is very rare that we will get freedom and facility together. Hence, it is good to start that with the mindset that if I want to implement my vision, I may not get any facilities. Then we will not have frustrated expectations. If we get facilities then that will be an added bonus.

We see that in the case of Srila Prabhupada also. When he came to America, he wanted to preach for which he needed money. Back in India, there was a wealthy donor by the name Padampat Singhania who wanted to give money for Srila Prabhupada so that he could build a temple in America. The Indian government, however, was not sanctioning it. So Srila Prabhupada asked his God-brothers for help. For his God-brothers to get some money transferred from Padampat Singhania was no big deal. Some of them had good contacts. They just had to go, meet them, sign a few letters and make a petition for him. However, they did not do so because they felt that this was not their vision and it was Bhakti Vedanta Swami’s vision. Srila Prabhupada tried to make them see that this was not his vision. This was the vision of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur and Srila Prabhupada was trying to implement that. Somehow, Prabhupada’s god-brothers couldn’t see that.

Therefore, even though Srila Prabhupada was implementing Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur’s vision, he did not get any of the facilities that Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur himself created. It was with the other devotees. Here, we are not trying to convey that the Gaudiya Math devotees were bad or wrong. It is just that they had a different vision of things. Hence, if a great maha-bhagavat like Srila Prabhupada did not get any facilities, when he had to implement his vision, then what to speak of us?

It is difficult to implement our vision and start without facilities, but we see that those devotees who have a particular vision and persevere with that vision, Krishna sends facilities. It takes time but Krishna does send facilities. Whenever there is a desire to serve him, Krishna will provide. yatra yogeshvarah kṛṣno yatra partho dhanur-dharaḥ (Bhagavad-gita 18.78) – Arjuna has raised his bow and Krishna is there and eventually there will be shrir vijayo bhutir which means opulence, victory and extraordinary power will come, though it may take time.

About The Author
Chaitanya Charan das

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