13 Oct SRIMAD-BHAGAVATAM, CANTO 3, CHAPTER 25, THE GLORIES OF DEVOTIONAL SERVICE, TEXT 20
THE FOLLOWING LECTURE ON SRIMAD-BHAGAVATAM, CANTO 3, CHAPTER 25, THE GLORIES OF DEVOTIONAL SERVICE, TEXT 20, WAS GIVEN BY HIS HOLINESS BHAKTI CARU SWAMI IN ISKCON UJJAIN, INDIA ON 13th OCTOBER 2010.
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Srimad Bhagavatam, third Canto, chapter twenty five ‘The Glories of Devotional Service’, text twenty.
prasangam ajaram pasam
atmanah kavayo viduh
sa eva sadhushu krito
prasangam — attachment; ajaram — strong; pasam — entanglement; atmanah — of the soul; kavayah — learned men; viduh — know; sah eva — that same; sadhushu — to the devotees; kritah — applied; moksha-dvaram — the door of liberation; apavritam — opened.
Every learned man knows very well that attachment for the material is the greatest entanglement of the spirit soul. But that same attachment, when applied to the self-realized devotees, opens the door of liberation.
Here it is clearly stated that attachment for one thing is the cause of bondage in conditioned life, and the same attachment, when applied to something else, opens the door of liberation. Attachment cannot be killed; it has simply to be transferred. Attachment for material things is called material consciousness, and attachment for Krishna or His devotee is called Krishna consciousness. Consciousness, therefore, is the platform of attachment. It is clearly stated here that when we simply purify the consciousness from material consciousness to Krishna consciousness, we attain liberation. Despite the statement that one should give up attachment, desirelessness is not possible for a living entity. A living entity, by constitution, has the propensity to be attached to something. We see that if someone has no object of attachment, if he has no children, then he transfers his attachment to cats and dogs. This indicates that the propensity for attachment cannot be stopped; it must be utilized for the best purpose. Our attachment for material things perpetuates our conditional state, but the same attachment, when transferred to the Supreme Personality of Godhead or His devotee, is the source of liberation.
Here it is recommended that attachment should be transferred to the self-realized devotees, the sadhus. And who is a sadhu? A sadhu is not just an ordinary man with a saffron robe or long beard. A sadhu is described in Bhagavad-gita as one who unflinchingly engages in devotional service. Even though one is found not to be following the strict rules and regulations of devotional service, if one simply has unflinching faith in Krishna, the Supreme Person, he is understood to be a sadhu. Sadhur eva sa mantavyah [Bg. 9.30]. A sadhu is a strict follower of devotional service. It is recommended here that if one at all wants to realize Brahman, or spiritual perfection, his attachment should be transferred to the sadhu, or devotee. Lord Caitanya also confirmed this. Lava-matra sadhu-sange sarva-siddhi haya: [Cc. Madhya 22.54] simply by a moment’s association with a sadhu, one can attain perfection.
Mahatma is a synonym of sadhu. It is said that service to a mahatma, or elevated devotee of the Lord, is dvaram ahur vimukteh, the royal road of liberation. Mahat-sevam dvaram ahur vimuktes tamo-dvaram yoshitam sangi-sangam (Bhag. 5.5.2). Rendering service to the materialists has the opposite effect. If anyone offers service to a gross materialist, or a person engaged only in sense enjoyment, then by association with such a person the door to hell is opened. The same principle is confirmed here. Attachment to a devotee is attachment to the service of the Lord because if one associates with a sadhu, the result will be that the sadhu will teach him how to become a devotee, a worshiper and a sincere servitor of the Lord. These are the gifts of a sadhu. If we want to associate with a sadhu, we cannot expect him to give us instructions on how to improve our material condition, but he will give us instructions on how to cut the knot of the contamination of material attraction and how to elevate ourselves in devotional service. That is the result of associating with a sadhu. Kapila Muni first of all instructs that the path of liberation begins with such association.
[End of Purport]
This chapter, as we have been discussing, is very, very wonderful. It is very important and it is giving us a very systematic understanding how to progress on the spiritual path. The previous verse described, let us go back,
na yujyamanaya bhaktya
sadrso ‘sti sivah panthah
Perfection in self-realization cannot be attained by any kind of yogi unless he engages in devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for that is the only auspicious path.
So the previous verse actually pointed out that although there are various processes for spiritual advancement, actual spiritual advancement cannot be accomplished unless and until one develops loving devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So the bottom line is devotional service. Somebody may be a great karmi, but he won’t be a karma yogi unless and until he becomes a devotee of the Lord. Somebody may be a great jnani, he won’t become a jnana yogi unless and until he becomes a devotee of the Lord. Somebody may be a very advanced astanga yogi or dhyana yogi, he won’t become, I mean yogi, like expert in asana and pranayama etcetera, but unless and until he develops devotion for the Supreme Personality of Godhead he won’t become an astanga yogi, or a yogi in that sense. Generally, the process of yoga nowadays is applied to the astanga yoga practice because common people think that yoga means the practice of this astanga yoga which includes yama, niyama, asana. Not even yama, niyama, asana, mainly asana and a little bit of pranayama. But no yama and niyama. Then after pranayama comes what? Pratyahara. The goal of pranayama, breathing control, is pratyahara. Actually, the purpose of these systems nowadays has become just a physical practice to have a good health, but the ultimate goal should be the spiritual advancement.
So, in today’s verse it has been pointed out that attachment to matter is the cause of conditioned life. When one remains attached to matter he is stuck in this material nature. But the same attachment when applied to a devotee then this attachment develops unto Krishna consciousness. That attachment leads to Krishna. So you see how systematically Kapila Muni is going from step by step. Like, previously He pointed out that unless and until one becomes a devotee of the Lord he cannot make spiritual advancement. All these different processes will not lead to spiritual advancement unless and until it is mixed, or it is with devotion. And now He is actually explaining how one can become a devotee. That is the main point. Previously He established that devotion is the means to become free from material entanglement. He established that point, how devotion is the only means to become free from material entanglement. Like, somebody may be very expert in astanga yoga, like he may be meditating in the Himalayan mountains for hundreds of years, not eating, not sleeping, but will he be able to become free from his material entanglement just by doing that? No. As we gave the example yesterday, if we want to live in somebody’s house we have to have the approval of that person, the lord of the house. Without the approval of the lord of the house we cannot stay in the house. We may enter into the house but we won’t be able to stay. So who is the Lord of the spiritual world? [audience: Krishna] Krishna. So without Krishna’s approval we cannot have the permission to stay there, just as we cannot go to a country and stay in that country without the approval of the government, which is called the visa. So you have the visa you can go stay there, you don’t have the visa, even though you have your own aircraft, even though you may have your own rocket, you may have your own Pushpaka vimana [laughs], but you won’t be able to stay there unless and until you have the visa. So that point has been established that approval of the Lord means you be submissive to the Lord and be accepted by Him. And that is the meaning of becoming a devotee.
Now, in this verse, what Kapila Muni is doing is telling us HOW to become a devotee. How can one become a devotee? Before making that point He made a little prelude. What is the prelude? He again reminded us that the attachment to material objects will cause us bondage to the material nature, but the same attachment applied to a devotee, that’ll become the cause of our liberation. Going back to the same point, why will it become the cause of liberation? Because by association with a devotee we can become a devotee. Bhakti can be achieved only by the association of a bhakta. So that is the point He is actually making here, that devotional service, if you want to become a devotee, what is the means? If you perform great austerities will you be able to become a devotee? Answer is no. If you perform all kinds of yogas, karma yoga, jnana yoga, dhyana yoga, will you be able to become a devotee? No. What is the means to become a devotee? What is the secret of becoming a devotee? Association with devotees. So this association, again, is synonymous to attachment. The more attached you are to a devotee the more we will accept his qualities. The more we become attached to a devotee the more we will accept his instructions and teachings. If I don’t have faith in a devotee, I will not accept his teachings, but if I have faith in that person then I will do whatever the person is telling me to do.
So that is why this attachment is the most important consideration. And see how wonderful Kapiladeva is pointing that out. You have your attachment. Everybody has to have some attachment or other. Without attachment we cannot exist. Like, that also we can systematically see. To be means to be conscious, isn’t it? When we are unconscious, are we or are we not? When you are sleeping, are we existing or are we not existing? We don’t know. So our existence is synonymous to consciousness. Now, consciousness means desire. Consciousness and desire go hand in hand. You cannot be conscious and not desire. When you are conscious you have to desire. When you wake up you have to think of so many different things. Thinking of those things is actually desire. I want food. I want nice arrangements. I want a nice accommodation. I want a nice dress. So this ‘I want’ is the desire. We are always desiring something, we are always wanting something. Especially when deprived of that, that desire becomes intensified. We may not be aware of it when you are surrounded by it, but the moment it is not there immediately we become conscious or aware of that desire.
For example, consider, you didn’t have food for one day. What will happen to you? What will happen to you? Will you say it is alright? [laughter] You’ll be craving for food! That craving for food is the desire. Somebody comes and closes your mouths and your noses, what will happen? Or somebody comes and puts a pillow on your mouth and just tries to suffocate you. What will you do? You will be struggling. So that is the desire: to struggle for air. That is the desire. So these are the desires. Like, we may say that, “Well, I don’t have any desire.” Let’s see, when you won’t get food for three days and let us see if you are free from desire. How many of you will become free from desire if you don’t have any food for three days? [laughs] How many of you will be free from desire if somebody comes and suffocates you? So desire is always there but the thing is that what we have to shift our desire, and this desire is the attachment. Desire for things is attachment. So you can see consciousness, desire, attachment go hand in hand.
So Kapiladeva is therefore pointing out that attachment has to be there. You can’t be without attachment. Just as Prabhupada pointed out people cannot stay without attachment. Prabhupada of course mentioned if somebody doesn’t have a child, doesn’t have a son, he becomes attached to his cats and dogs. And nowadays we see that in spite of having their children people are attached to cats and dogs. [laughter] Because when the children reject them, their wife rejects them, when everybody rejects them they develop their attachment to men’s best friend: a dog. [laughs] And at least a dog is so faithful, the dog will not leave the master. That’s one thing in a dog. Your son may leave you, your wife may leave you, your friends may leave you but your dog will not leave you. [laughs] That’s one thing that you must learn from a dog also: faithfulness, yeah. Because a dog is faithful he becomes attached to his master. And that’s why the Vaishnavas feel that I want to become the dog of Krishna, or the dog of the Vaishnavas, meaning that I want to develop the same kind of attachment to you, same kind of loyalty to you.
So, we cannot stay without attachment. We have to be attached to something. That means that we have to love. Ultimately what is this attachment? Attachment is love! We have our love in our heart and that is again synonymous to consciousness. We are conscious, we desire and that desire is actually love. Desire for something is love, and that is the attachment. So when we love something, when we love somebody, we become attached to that person. And then the way our attachment is, we will go in that direction. Our consciousness will go in that direction. We are attached to something material, we’ll remain in the material nature. Yam yam vapi smaran bhavam tyajaty ante kalevaram. [Bg 8.6] As one develops his attachment accordingly comes his obsession of the mind, smaran. We love something and we always think of that. When you buy a new car you fall in love with the car, don’t you? And then what do you do? You always think of the car. A young man falls in love with a young girl. What does he do? What happens to him? He is always thinking of her. So this is what love is. Love is obsession of our consciousness, or mind we can simply say.
So, as we become attached, as we develop our love, accordingly our mind will react, and wherever our deepest attachment is, wherever our deepest love is, that will be the deepest thought. And that will be the thought of the time of our death and accordingly we will get our next body. If our attachment is for something material, we will come back to fulfill that desire, to get that object or reflect our love into that object. We may not meet but at least the impression of that object will be there. Say somebody is attached to his girlfriend. If someone is attached to his girlfriend and if he thinks about that at the time of death, what will happen? He’ll simply, he won’t come back, he will come back again but he won’t meet that person again. But what will happen? Because of that he will develop a woman’s body. That is how it works. Somebody is attached to his dog, what will happen? At the time of death he’ll think of his dog and thinking of his dog he will leave his body and he will get a dog’s body. Somebody is very attached to his house. Yes, he’ll come back to his house in the next life, but in what form? Not as the master of the house, but maybe as a cockroach of the house. Sometimes they come as a snake and guard the house, and nobody should be allowed to come to the house. Whenever somebody comes, just opens his hood, chases him away.
So this is how it works. It’s a science. It follows a specific system. Wherever your attachment is, that will be the result in your next life, accordingly you’ll get the next body. Yam yam vapi smaran bhavam tyajaty ante kalevaram. Kalevaram means body. Tyajaty ante means he leaves his body. Tam tam evaiti kaunteya sada tad-bhava-bhavitah. [Bg 8.6] Because you have been always thinking of that, that will be his next destination.
So, on the other hand, if we develop our attachment to a sadhu, then what will happen? When we are alive, what will the sadhu do? Sadhu will guide us to the spiritual path. A sadhu will lead us to Krishna. So that is the difference: material attachment will bring us towards matter and attachment to a spiritual personality will take us to the spiritual reality. A sadhu, or a devotee, or a Vaishnava will always guide us on the spiritual path. Prabhupada pointed out a sadhu’s business is not to develop your material condition. He may not solve your material problems by giving material means but he solves ALL your problems by giving you the ultimate spiritual solution. And spiritual path is all encompassing. Like sometimes, although Prabhupada mentioned that material problems will not be taken care of by a sadhu, or a sadhu is not there to just take care of your material problems, but the process that a sadhu shows also takes care of our material problems.
That reminds me of an example, of an incidence. Once to some reporters Prabhupada mentioned, “Let anybody come, our doors are open. We can accept anybody. Everybody can come but they have to follow the four regulative principles and the standard of the temple life. And if one does that, then we are prepared to accept anybody. Follow the four regulative principles, chant sixteen rounds, render devotional service in the temple, our door is open to everybody.” So the reporters then asked Prabhupada, “If everybody comes, what will you do?” Prabhupada said, “That’s none of your business. What we do with them, you don’t have to worry about that.” The question actually was, “How are you going to feed them? How are you going to feed them?” Prabhupada said, “That’s my concern. You don’t have to worry about that. Let them come. Let them come and we will feed them.” And then later on Prabhupada actually explained that how we can feed the whole world? That we, whatever we get, we offer it to Krishna and then Krishna’s prasada is distributed to everybody. Will there be any hunger, for anyone? No. We offer it to Krishna and then distribute Krishna prasada. And we see that we have more than we need, we have more than we need. Anybody can come to the temple and he’ll be fed. And what to speak of the inmates of the temple, there are more than enough. Some Ayurvedic doctor once told me that the problem with ISKCON devotees is that they eat too much. [laughter] Yes, we can see. Prabhupada also said that, “Yes, let them eat.” Prabhupada told me personally, “Make sure that the devotees get nice prasada.” Prabhupada told me that, “Make sure that the devotees get nice prasada.” And then Prabhupada said, “That’s the only sense gratification they have.” [laughs] Honoring prasada is the only sense gratification devotees have so give them nice prasada. And we also know, ‘Krishna baro doyamaya, koribare jihwa jay, swa-prasad-anna dilo bhai.’ [Sarira Avidya Jal, song by Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura, Gitavali] So, yes, our principle is akantha puriya karo prasada sevana. Akantha means up to here. [meaning: filling to the neck] So, eat Krishna prasada up to here but not just that, sarva khana karo nama sankirtana, eat up to here and to digest that chant Hare Krishna. [laughs] So this is a very, very simple process.
So the point I was trying to make is that when one becomes a devotee his material problems are also solved. The spiritual life is taken care of, material problems are solved, and spiritual advancement takes place. One makes spiritual advancement automatically just by being in the association of devotees. If we remain in the association of devotees, practicing the process, we make spiritual advancement. And we are seeing that. Those who are in the association of devotees, their spiritual life is intact. Those who don’t have the association of devotees, those who are not hankering for the association of the devotees, they always have spiritual problems.
Those who find faults with devotees they can’t stay in the association of the devotees for too long. They go away and when they go away their spiritual life falls apart. I have seen. Many big, big leaders of our movement, as they moved away from the spiritual life their spiritual life got affected. Especially in the early days when Srila Prabhupada left many devotees also left. When Prabhupada left the planet, for various reasons many devotees also lost this, I mean they left. And then I saw how gradually they drifted away. Sannyasis, very strict sannyasis living in Vrindavana, imagine, living in Vrindavana, very learned, used to know so many verses, memorized hundreds of verses from the scriptures, very staunch, but when they drifted away from Krishna consciousness, gradually, it didn’t happen all of a suddenly, but I saw how this very nice sannyasi drifted away. Like, he was still maintaining his sannyasa order, staying in the house of a devotee’s father. At the backyard of the house he was staying in the father’s house. Not his own father’s house, one devotee’s father’s place. Sometimes in America and Canada, he was in Canada actually, they have two things, like the big house, main house, and they have something also at the back of the house. They have a lawn, and then at the end there is, or at the side there is another small house. And he was staying there in the devotee’s house but he was very strict, strictly following. He had his shilas and he was worshipping Them, Govardhana Shila, Shaligrama Shila. He was very, very staunch, very strict. But then after one year when I inquired how he was I was told that he got admitted in the university, studying law. And then the next year I got to know that he is working as a lawyer’s assistant. He is a vegetarian. He doesn’t dress like a sannyasi, naturally when one goes to university, no, initially he was going to the university dressed as a devotee but then he started to go to the university dressed in regular clothes. Gradually, eventually, although he was a very staunch sannyasi, eventually he got married in a period of time. But I often think that if he was in the association of devotees this wouldn’t have happened. He was such an exemplary sannyasi. I mean, I used to be amazed at the amount of shlokas, Sanskrit shlokas, he memorized. And from that I actually, I often think of it, because from this I learned a lesson. The lesson is that no matter whatever happens, I must always remain in the association of the devotees. I used to have a lot of appreciation for him. I used to think that he is such an ideal sannyasi. I used to think that I wanted to become like him. Every day he used to get up at two o’clock. He used to study scriptures in the morning, then he used to teach in the gurukula in Vrindavana. Very strict, and I used to think that if he could deviate then I should be very, very careful about my spiritual life, my sannyasa ashrama. And eventually I saw that if I remain in the association of devotees the life will be protected.
So that is the benefit of being in the association of devotees. And ultimately what is the most important thing in our life? The most important thing in our life is our Krishna consciousness. Those who have got this Krishna consciousness, for them there nothing is more important than this because everything else will end at the time of death. Our big titles, our big position, our big educational qualification, our big bank balance, our big experience, our big achievements, all will come to an end at the time of death. One may be a big scientist, when he leaves his body will he have any recognition as a scientist, or a lawyer, or a businessman? One may have millions of dollars in the bank account but when he leaves the body and comes back, and claims to the bank, in another body if he comes back and says, “Well, in my previous life I left so much money”, will they give it to him? Or will he be able to take a single penny with him when he leaves? He may have millions of dollars and can he say, “Well, can I take a few dollars at least with me?” So all these will come to an end but Krishna consciousness will remain as our greatest asset for our next life because that asset will always remain with us, because that asset is not related to the body. That asset is not pertaining to our body. That asset is pertaining to our soul. We leave our body but the soul continues. So whatever is there with the soul will go with the soul. That is what the spiritual life is. That is what Krishna consciousness is. Let the soul develop Krishna consciousness. Krishna consciousness is an asset of the soul. We perform Krishna consciousness not with the body. Ultimately we perform Krishna consciousness not with our mind, with intelligence, Krishna consciousness is executed by the soul. And whatever is the benefit, whatever accomplishment is there, through that Krishna consciousness will remain with the soul. Therefore, just as soul is eternal, Krishna consciousness is also eternal.
So with that in mind we should be always very cautious. Remain in the association of devotees, no matter how difficult it may be. And if you have developed this attachment to the devotees then recognize that this is the very wonderful sign, this is the real sign of your spiritual advancement. Develop your attachment to the devotees. Actually, ultimately attachment means what? I want to be like him. That is the real attachment. First, I want to be with him and then I want to be like him. The other day Nanda Vraja was telling me that he loves the devotees, the brahmacaris, which actually means that he wants to be like the brahmacaris, isn’t it? [laughs] So that is the meaning of the attachment. Shantirupa is looking at him. [laughter] Don’t worry, I won’t give him sannyasa [?]. [laughter]
So this internal attachment that we develop appears in the form of appreciation. “I would like to be like him. I would like to be living in the brahmacari ashrama, practicing like this.” That is I think what all of us actually felt. When I became attracted to Krishna consciousness my first thought was, “Let me move into the temple and let me become like them.” And that’s what I did. I went to Mayapura in the evening and next morning I shaved up. Although I didn’t plan it but because that appreciation was there, and when the devotees started to invite me, “Why don’t you stay here? Why don’t you stay with us?”, and I felt yes, why not? I always developed the appreciation for this process. I appreciate what they are doing, and especially when I saw what a beautiful life they were leading. So next morning, of course, at that time I had a little consideration. I thought that, “Well, I am shaving up but if I don’t like it in two months my hair will grow, it will grow back, if I don’t like it here.” [laughter] But those two months never came. Those two months never ended. And I never had to grow my hair beyond one month. Prabhupada gave us a formula that shave at least once a month. It’s so clean also.
Anyway, this process that Kapiladeva is pointing out is actually reconfirming our conviction. We are realizing what a wonderful process we found. The incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is explaining it to us in such a wonderful way. And it makes so much sense. And when you practically apply it we see the benefit out of it. It is not some dry speculation. The result is there immediately. Did my life improve? Yes! Do I feel better? Yes! Have I become happier? Yes! Or is it different with anyone else? Ever since you joined Krishna consciousness do you feel better? Do you feel that your life has improved? Do you feel that you are more satisfied, you are more content, you are more happy? I am seeing that Rahul is shaking his head. Although he is working outside but I am sure he found another meaning to his life. He is a doctor, he is working. So this is what Krishna consciousness is, that you don’t have to move into the temple and become a brahmacari as such. If you are a householder you can, yes, and if you have to maintain your family, if you have to work outside, fine! Go ahead. What actually has happened? That your attachment has shifted from one to the other, isn’t it? Rahul? You are doing the same thing but your attachment has shifted. Your attachment has shifted from matter to Krishna. That’s the only change. Although we want to be detached from material nature, but we don’t have to run away from the material nature. We can very well be there in the material nature but just by shifting our consciousness we can become spiritualized.
Thank you all very much. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Yes, Nanda Vraja?
Devotee: Guru Maharaja, you mentioned that the starting point of spiritual life is the association of devotees. Now here, when we look at the devotees naturally to our mind we also see defects [?]. So should we not be selective in our approach to association?
BCS: Yeah, sure. Again, Prabhupada is saying in this purport that a sadhu or a devotee is not just a matter of saffron cloth and long hair, or short hair, or shaved head. The consideration of a devotee is his attachment to Krishna. That is what will determine the degree of one’s devotion: attachment to Krishna. As I was giving the example of Rahul, from his appearance does he look like a devotee in that sense? He has no shaved head. He doesn’t have long hair either and he is not wearing saffron. But we can see, at heart he is so that is the attachment that we are talking; attachment to one who is attached to Krishna. That is the sign of a devotee.
But at the same time I also said that when we are in the association of devotees, let’s not be too critical. Because finding faults when we are in close proximity is very easy. But when we find faults, then what happens is we take those qualities. When we find the faults we take that quality of the person. Therefore instead of finding faults let’s look at the good qualities of a devotee. And also another thing that we have to understand, that most of us are practicing devotees. We haven’t achieved perfection. We are practicing. So while you are practicing many defects will be manifest because only at the perfected stage one will be free from all contamination or all defects. Only a perfect one will be but you know, we have to see that we are surrounded by so many devotees and obviously most of them are not perfected devotees. They are practicing devotees and we have to recognize that we ourselves also are practicing devotees but aspiring for perfection. Therefore at this stage, let’s not look at the faultsunless one is a teacher, unless one is a leader, unless one is supervising or guiding others, you know, let us not look at the faults. Yes, a teacher has to correct the students. That is his duty, but the students should not be too concerned about the mistakes of the others. Rather, he should learn from the mistakes of the others.
Any other question?
Devotee: Hare Krishna, Maharaja. Thank you very much for this wonderful class. Maharaja, normally as a devotee staying outside the temple, I feel I have to show two faces, or two parts of the personality. When I am coming to the temple I am a totally very different person. When I go out and start dealing with the material world sometimes we have to put aside our, actually everytime we have to put aside our devotional nature and coming on their platform you have to deal with those people. So at that time Krishna consciousness, it comes to the mind…Sometimes you get entangled in the complexities. Getting in to the complexities, trying to correct them or deal with the situation, we try to behave in their ways only. So, how to deal with this situation so that we can maintain our Krishna consciousness even outside?
BCS: Hmm, yeah, very good point, very good point. You see, this situation is unavoidable, especially when the influence of the material nature is so strong in this age, the age of Kali. Especially due to your occupation you have to deal with others. Like, you see devotee’s situation is different, those who are full time devotees living in the temple. You see, they have shunned themselves off from that outside world and when they go to the outside world they go to preach. They are dressed in a certain way that everybody knows that these are different people. But those who are involved in the outside world their case is different. Like, say for example, you are a doctor, or somebody who is running a business. You know people are not going to treat you as a devotee. People are treating you as they are seeing you from their own perspective and you have to deal with them in that way. Like, when you are treating a patient you have to treat him. At that time maybe you won’t be able to display your identity as a devotee. You are displaying your identity from the material calculation and the influence is very strong. Like, in simple words, who are you associating with? There are two types of association: material association and spiritual association. So that is the material association and the influence of that association will be there. Therefore, you have to protect yourself. The way to protect yourself from that situation is, that create a very Krishna conscious atmosphere at home. So when you come back home from your work then you are back in your constitutional situation, and, as you are doing, associating with the devotees. This is actually giving you the preventive measure or prophylactic, a preventive measure. It’s acting like a prophylactic, preventive measure. Like just the way you go when you deal with a contagious disease, then you take precaution. Similarly, a person dealing with the material nature has to equip himself with proper protective measures or precautions. Like you don’t touch the patient with bare hands, you put on your gloves. You don’t keep your nose open, you cover it. So similarly, when you are dealing with the material nature you have to treat the nature as a contaminated thing and you have to take proper measure otherwise there will be difficulties. But the ultimate protection is the association of devotees.
Thank you. Hare Krishna!
Devotee: The same attachment should be to the devotees, but like the sex desire, this attachment, the opposite sex, how can one [unclear]?
BCS: The desire for the opposite se, or sex desire is a perverted reflection of the attachment to Krishna. You see, it’s the attachment to Krishna, when it is reflected unto material nature it appears in the form of sex desire. So the real thing is attachment to Krishna. Now, if the reflection is giving certain impression then can you imagine how wonderful the real one will be? People are attracted to sex life because there is some pleasure involved. Now if the reflection has that kind of pleasure, what kind of pleasure the real relationship has, the relationship with Krishna? So that is what spiritual life actually is. That’s why spiritual life is so attractive. Param dristva nivartante [Bg 2.59], getting the higher taste one gives up the lower taste. Yes, sex life has some taste, but when you get the higher taste of Krishna consciousness it becomes disgusting, alright?
Okay, thank you all very much! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Transcription : Her Grace Ranga Radhika Dasi
Editing : Ramananda Raya Dasa
Audio-reference : Click here