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Srimad Bhagavatam




Austin, TX, USA

1 August 2023

00:00 / 01:04

gṛheṣu vartamāno ’pi
sa sāmrājya-śriyānvitaḥ
niraham-matir arkavat
(ŚB 4.22.52)

gṛheṣu — at home; vartamānaḥ — being present; api — although; saḥ — King Pṛthu; sāmrājya — the entire empire; śriyā — opulence; anvitaḥ — being absorbed in; na — never; asajjata — became attracted; indriya-artheṣu — for sense gratification; niḥ — nor; aham — I am; matiḥ — consideration; arka — the sun; vat — like.

Translation and Purport by His Divine Grace Śrīla Prabhupāda.


Mahārāja Pṛthu, who was very opulent due to the prosperity of his entire empire, remained at home as a householder. Since he was never inclined to utilize his opulences for the gratification of his senses, he remained unattached, exactly like the sun, which is unaffected in all circumstances.


The word gṛheṣu is significant in this verse. Out of the four āśramas — the brahmacarya, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsa — only a gṛhastha, or householder, is allowed to associate with women; therefore the gṛhastha-āśrama is a kind of license for sense gratification given to the devotee. Pṛthu Mahārāja was special in that although he was given license to remain a householder, and although he possessed immense opulences in his kingdom, he never engaged in sense gratification. This was a special sign that indicated him to be a pure devotee of the Lord. A pure devotee is never attracted by sense gratification, and consequently he is liberated. In material life a person engages in sense gratification for his own personal satisfaction, but in the devotional or liberated life one aims to satisfy the senses of the Lord.

In this verse Mahārāja Pṛthu is likened to the sun (arka-vat). Sometimes the sun shines on stool, urine and so many other polluted things, but since the sun is all-powerful, it is never affected by the polluted things with which it associates. On the contrary, the sunshine sterilizes and purifies polluted and dirty places. Similarly, a devotee may engage in so many material activities, but because he has no desire for sense gratification, they never affect him. On the contrary, he dovetails all material activities for the service of the Lord. Since a pure devotee knows how to utilize everything for the Lord’s service, he is never affected by material activities. Instead, by his transcendental plans he purifies such activities. This is described in Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam: his aim is to become completely purified in the service of the Lord without being affected by material designations.

Vande ham sri-guroh sri-yuta-pada-kamalam sri-gurun vaishnavams ca

Sri-rupam sagrajatam saha-gana-raghunathanvitam tam sa jivam

Sadvaitam savadhutam parijana-sahitam krishna-caitanya-devam

Sri-radha-krishna-padan saha-gana-lalita- sri-visakhanvitams ca

Nama om vishnu-padaya krishna-preshthaya bhu-tale

Srimate bhaktivedanta-svamin iti namine

Namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine


So we see there are 3 orders that are not allowed to be associated with women. You may say what's wrong with associating with women? The difficulty is when mixing with the opposite sex, one's sex desire is aroused. So, therefore it is advised to remain separate from the opposite sex. In household life it is regulated - only for procreation, not for recreation. So in this way, Mahārāja Pṛthu was a very ideal householder. He did not utilize his household life for sense gratification. Rather he utilized his household life purely in the service of the Lord. This is the whole key of how to become liberated from material existence. As long as we keep running after sense enjoyment - the tongue, the belly, the genitals. As long as we keep running, running, running, running, until we feel sense enjoyment, we remain caught up in the cycle of birth and death. Sometimes a worm, sometimes a germ, sometimes a tree, sometimes a grasshopper, sometimes an elephant, sometimes a lion, sometimes a demigod, sometimes a human being. Around and around we go in the not so merry-go-round in the material existence. So if you want you can just serve your senses. If you feel better gratifying your senses, go for it. If that's what you really want, you just want to gratify your senses. But the trouble is you are not those senses. It's not you. You're not your tongue. You're not your belly. You're not your genitals. These are not actually you. So if you dedicate your life to serving them, you are serving someone other than yourself. So why not serve the actual self, the spirit soul within, who is actually hankering to re-establish his lost loving relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna. That's the actual hankering of the soul. The soul doesn't hanker after sense gratification. The soul hankers after Krishna gratification. That's how we become satisfied. We become satisfied not by trying to satisfy ourselves independently. We become satisfied by satisfying Krishna. As the example I have given millions of times - the hand becomes satisfied not by squeezing the food in the fingers. The hand becomes satisfied by giving the food to the mouth, which then gives it to the belly. So we have to understand we don't become satisfied by trying to gratify our material senses. The trouble is we are addicted to a brainless society where everybody is running after sense gratification - every billboard, every web page, everywhere it's simply going on gratify, gratify, gratify, gratify. And people dress in such a way to entice one's desire to gratify the senses. So we have to then, this Vedic culture is very wonderful and very beautiful because it subdues, it helps diminish as much as possible the desire for sense gratification. So instead of trying to gratify our senses we can think how to gratify the Supreme Personality of Godhead, “How to please my spiritual master?”. In this way we learn how to give up this so-called taste for sense enjoyment. What does Krishna say?

Viṣayā vinivartante

Nirāhārasya dehinaḥ

Rasa-varjaṁ raso ’py asya

Paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate (B.G. 2.59)

The embodied soul may be restricted to sense enjoyment, though the taste for sense objects remains. But ceasing such engagements by experiencing what? By experiencing a higher taste, he is fixed in consciousness. So unless we get this higher taste, you see, taste we must have. Our nature is we want taste. We want to be satisfied. We are always interested in being satisfied and being gratified. We want taste. We want to experience taste. We don't want tastelessness like the Māyāvādīs preach, which doesn't really work. That's not practical. We desire taste. The trouble is now we're addicted to material sense enjoyment. That's our present taste. We're running, running, running, running, running like a dog, like a monkey, like an orangutan running after material sense enjoyment. Running, running, running, gratify, gratify, gratify. But that doesn't actually give us a taste. It gives a temporary taste. It's called māyā-sukhāya, illusory happiness. Gratifying  your material senses doesn't actually give you a real taste. It only gives you an illusion of taste. You see. It gives you an illusion of taste. There's no actual taste in material sense enjoyment. Only the illusion of taste is there. Because real taste doesn't go away. It's not temporary. It's not boom, boom, boom, enjoy and finish, no. Real taste is not like that. Real taste goes on increasing, increasing, it's sweeter and sweeter and sweeter and sweeter and sweeter and sweeter going on for all of eternity. So you want actual taste, you have to learn how to subdue these material desires for taste.

We have to give up the lower taste to get the higher taste. “I think, well, I like the higher taste, but I want to keep having the lower taste too. Don't tell me to give up the lower taste, teach me how to get the higher taste in such a way that I can also enjoy the lower taste on the way to getting the higher taste”. But it doesn't work that way. You can't keep going to the lower taste and expect to get the higher taste. Just like if you're sick and you require some stayingfrom certain things in your diet to get healthy. You take the medicine, you also have to avoid certain foods which make you prolong your sickness. You have to give up. You take the medicine but you have to also give up the foods which are detrimental for your recovery. You can't keep eating those things that are detrimental to your life. “But I really enjoy them”. No. You have to give up the things you enjoy in this material world if they are detrimental for your spiritual awakening. Therefore we have four regular principles - No illicit sex, no meat eating, no intoxication, no gambling. You may have a taste for one of these things, but No, you have to be austere and give it up. A little austerity, a little tapah. And by having faith in the process, by giving up the object of sense enjoyment, and taking up the satisfaction of the Lord instead of the satisfaction of myself, we can actually become satisfied. We don't become... The whole point is we do not become satisfied by trying to enjoy independently from the Lord. We only become satisfied when we take the Lord's enjoyment as my real business. I must always think, I must always speak, I must always act in every time, place and circumstances in such a way that’s pleasing to the Lord. That's the key, that's the whole point of Sadhanā Bhakti, which takes you through these stages. You have ādau śraddhā. You have faith in the process. And then you think “Well, these Hare Krishna people are kind of nice, they seem pretty happy, pretty merciful. I am attracted to them, I have a little faith, now let me go hear from them”. Bhajana-kriyā. It all begins with hearing. I think like “they seem like pretty nice people, let me go hear from them”. And by hearing, you see,

śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-Saṅgo ’tha. (CC Madhya.14-15)

Then you take up the activities of devotional service, Bhajana-kriyā. And then by taking up these activities of devotion, then you realize, “well, (anartha-nivrttih). I can give up all those things which are not beneficial for my advancement in Krishna consciousness. And then by giving those things up and continuing to engage in the Bhajana activities, the chanting, the remembering, the serving, all these activities, then what happens? Niṣṭhā. You become fixed up, solidly fixed in devotional services. No material attraction will allure your mind away from remaining dedicated and serving the orders of the spiritual master and Krishna. And then when you have this dedication, then you get taste. You actually get Ruciḥ, you get taste. “Wow!” Taste. “This is really ecstatic”. Getting some, relishing some nectar in chanting Hare Krishna. Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

Rūpa Gosvāmī said, “I do not know how much nectar these two syllables ‘Krishna’ produce?. I don't know”. When you actually get taste, there is no limit. You can't even imagine how much nectar is there. It's like a sweet ball that goes on. You can eat it forever and it gets sweeter and sweeter and sweeter. Amazing sweet ball, amazing gulab-jamun. You can pop it in your mouth and you never finish it. It gets sweeter and sweeter. You go on enjoying that gulab-jamun for all of eternity. So Hare Krishna mantra is the ultimate gulab-jamun. You can enjoy unlimitedly.

So the difficulty, the reason we don't relish the holy name is we commit so many offenses against the holy name. We still hold on to these material desires, these material attractions, these material allurements. We think about sense gratification, we plan to have sense gratification, we do have sense gratification. Any of these activities, even thinking about material sense gratification is detrimental for our getting this taste. Instead of thinking about material sense gratification, we have to think about “How can I satisfy Krishna?. How can I please my spiritual master?”. Mind should be absorbed in these things.

Even contemplating on sense enjoyment is illicit sex. So we have to always think, “How can I think in such a way that my spiritual master can see what's going on in my mind right now”. Can he can see? Actually Krishna does see. So, “Is Krishna pleased by what I am thinking about right now?”, “Does Krishna is satisfied or does he find it very disturbing what I am thinking about right now?”. So in this way we have to always see thinking, speaking and acting in a way that is pleasing to our spiritual master and Lord Sri Krishna. By doing it gradually, gradually, gradually all that dirt accumulated in the heart for millions and billions and trillions and quadrillions of lifetimes will gradually be washed away. We have some very, very dirty hearts. It's like something in the kitchen like a pot. There was a pot the other day that the daily sweets were cooked in. And some of the remnants actually hardened on the pot. They were very difficult to get off. Extremely difficult. In one pot, even a stainless steel scrubber couldn't take it off. But then I took a knife and I got it off. It was very difficult to get off, you see. Because this daily sweet is hard when it gets cool, it hardens, it becomes very hard. So all these remnants are hardened on the pot. And i had to really work hard to get it off, scrubbing and scrubbing and scrubbing and scrubbing and scrubbing. So that hardness of that daily sweet remnants on the inside of the cooking pot are nothing compared to the heart, the remnants we have of all these sinful activities that have been going on engaged in for millions and millions of lifetimes. They're much harder, much more hardened than what was on the pot the other day. So we have to understand “I do a lot of scrubbing and become very aggressive to scrub this pot clean, scrub this heart clean, very very very aggressive to get all that lust, the anger, the madness, the illusion, envy, get it all scrubbed out so I can become a pure devotee, qualified to see Krishna(fists pumping)”.

So we have to understand it takes some time because we are still addicted to sense enjoyment. That's the problem. We are still addicted to sense enjoyment. We have been engaging in sense enjoyment for millions and billions and trillions and quadrillions of lifetime and our habit is very very very deeply ingrained habit - sense enjoyment. So now to change our whole. See, our natural tendency is the mind naturally goes to sense enjoyment. That's the natural tendency. The mind naturally goes to sense enjoyment. Even that unnatural inclination is towards Krishna consciousness. Because it’s bad conditioning over all these many many lifetimes now our natural tendency is to go to sense enjoyment. It's actually unnatural. Unnatural we have in the material world as natural. And we consider natural as actually unnatural. It's an unnatural natural, not our real natural.

So we have to then associate

Sadhu Sangha, Sadhu Sangha, sarva-śāstre kaya (CC Madhya 22.54)

All these great scriptures say you must associate with the Sadhus. The Sadhus are the ones who are cultivating this taste of Krishna Bhakti; who have gotten varying degree of this taste of Krishna Bhakti. These are the sadhus. So by associating with these sadhus we can actually become gradually, gradually, gradually all that hardened, all those anarthas, all that dirt which is very, very deeply ingrained in the heart, gradually get it out. It's not some instant thing. You just snap your fingers and boom, you're a pure devotee qualified into the spiritual world. The dirt didn't come off the pot immediately. You have to scrub and work hard to get free of all this stuff. That's why we rise early in the morning. We attend Mangala Aarti. We do services. So many services we want to take up. Whatever is favorable for our devotional lives we take up. We do so many different services, offering Aarti, cleaning the dishes, sweeping the floor, whatever is necessary. Raising funds, selling books, whatever we can do that help to push forward this movement and maintain our centers and our ashrams very nicely, we dedicate ourselves to that. We shouldn't think, ”Yes, I'll maintain my enjoyment and sense enjoyment at the same time as advancing Krishna consciousness”. No. We should follow the footsteps. Our householders should follow the footsteps of Pṛthu Mahārāja, being fully absorbed in devotional service, not taking in the householder life as some facility for sense enjoyment. If a householder is trying to enjoy his senses, he is not a grihastha, he is a grihamedi. So our householders should not be grihamedis, they should be in grihastha, grihastha-ashram. One utilizes ashram, ashram is a place of spiritual cultivation. So whatever your situation is, you use it as a place of spiritual cultivation. Don't use it as some facility for sense gratification which is the doorway to hell. You want to go to hell? You want to go back to home, back to Godhead? You have to intelligently analyse what's better for me, spiritual world or staying here in the cycle of birth and death? You have to philosophically and intelligently analyse it and see what is the best thing for you. And once you understand intellectually you have to get your mind in line with your intellect. Thing is, the trouble is our minds are not aligned, we may intelligently understand these things and realize these things because we are intelligent but our mind is acting independently. The mind is like the child and the intelligence is like the mother. The mother may know what is good for the child but the child doesn’t care. The child just wants to think about gratifying his senses. “What can I enjoy mommy? Don't tell me not to do this, not to do that”. Our intelligence is the mother and the child is the mind. We have to bring that child mind under the direction of the intelligence. If we are thinking, speaking and acting in such a way which is not beneficial, which we can intelligently analyse is not beneficial for our Krishna consciousness, then we have to put a nip on it. “My dear mind”,

Bhajahū re mana śrī-nanda-nandana

Abhaya-caraṇāravinda re

“My dear mind, now your only business is to be absorbed in devotional service, thoughts. No more contemplating sense enjoyment, trying to enjoy subtly by your thoughts of sense meditation or sense enjoyment. Now my dear mind, your only business is to be absorbed in serving the Lord, the Supreme Personality of God, Lord Sri Krishna”. So in this way we have to train ourselves, train our mind, how to be compliant with the desires of the Guru and Krishna and the Vaishnavas. My dear mind, now your only business is to use your 24 hours a day,

Śravaṇa, kīrtana, smaraṇa, vandana

Hearing about Krishna, remembering Krishna, talking about Krishna, serving Krishna, serving the Lord, serving the Lotus feet of the Lord. In this way, “My dear mind, you have no business except to be engaged in devotional service. My dear mind, stop trying to cheat me and pull me away from devotional service. My dear mind, don't do this to me. By the mercy of Guru and Krishna I've got this opportunity. Now to get out of the horrible suffering of the cycle of birth and death. So my dear mind, why are you trying to pull me back into that sense enjoyment once again? Don't do that you stupid rascal mind”. The mind is either the best friend or the worst enemy. If your mind is engaged in devotional service then it is a very good friend. If your mind is running after ssense enjoyment then it is your worst enemy. We have to turn that inimical enemy mind into a friendly, devotee mind. By training the mind,

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare,

We have to train the mind. Right now we are habituated to going back to sense enjoyment within our brain, sense enjoyment, because of millions of lifetimes. We need to keep training to become natural, becomes spontaneous to think of Krishna, the wonderful teachings Krishna, the forms of Krishna, the pastimes of Krishna, lifting the Govardhan hill, going to Dwaraka and marrying all those queens, having 16,108 queens and each queen with 10 sons. We need to make those thoughts are natural. Our natural mind goes there instead of mundane things. So associating with the divine again and again and bringing the mind back, bring the mind back. “Come on back you rascal mind, come back to the lotus feet of Krishna, don't go wandering here and there running after the fleeting flickering things of this world, my dear mind you come back, you come back, you come back to the lotus feet of Krishna, that's where you belong”. So in this way we keep endeavouring and endeavouring to bring the mind under control, that day will come when the mind actually says, “Okay, I'm going to give up my nonsense, frivolous activities of running here, running there, remembering this, remembering that, sense enjoyment. Now I'm going to give up. I realize it's not good for me, your guidance, my dear intelligence, you made it very clear these things are not good for me, so now I'm going to give it up and from now on I'm only going to think about devotional service. How can I please the spiritual master? How can I please Krishna? How can I please the Vaishnavas?”.

But until then, we have to battle it out. It's like a world war, a huge, huge thing. This is even bigger than a world war, bringing that mind under control. The difficulty of the mind, what did it say in the Gita? The difficulty of the mind is more difficult than the conquering the raging wind. Just imagine some tornado comes into your town, it's going through the town, it's taking houses and throwing them, tearing apart and throwing them into the sky. Can you imagine how powerful a tornado can be? Something like a deadly killer tornado going through neighbourhoods and wrecking house after house after house up and down the street, destroying the houses and killing so many people. Just imagine if you could, with your mind you could bring that and say, okay, tornado now, boom, calm down. So to conquer over the mind is more difficult than to conquer a raging tornado actually. So only by Krishna's grace, only by the grace of Guru and Krishna and Vaishnava, only by their grace can we be successful. That's why we have to be surrendered to a bonafide spiritual master. Some may think, “I'll just be Krishna conscious on my own. I don't want to have a spiritual master”. They're not going to be able to bring their mind under control. You need the mercy of the entire disciplic succession, actually. You're initiating guru, his guru, his guru, all the way back to Krishna. You need a whole disciplic succession of great, powerful ācharyas if you want to bring your mind under control. You cannot do it on your own. It doesn't work.

You are not powerful enough, you are not intelligent enough to bring your mind under control on your own strength. You require the strength coming down from the powerful ācāryas - Lord Kṛṣṇa, Lord Brahmā, Nārada Muni, Śrīla Vyāsadeva, Madhvācārya, coming down to the Goswamis, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, coming down to Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Gaurakiśora Das Babaji, Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati, our beloved founder of ācharya His Divine Grace Śrīla Prabhupāda. And now your initiating spiritual master. We have to take the help of all these spiritual masters to get our, these rascal minds to calm down, to stop being so crazy, crazy running, running, running here, running there, running, running, running, running. So in this way, if we are intelligent enough to take shelter of the bonafide spiritual master. Then follow his instructions very strictly. Don't deviate from the orders of the spiritual master. To deviate from the spiritual master's orders is Nāma-aparādha, an offence against the name. And one cannot actually taste the pure nectar of the holy name if one is disobeying the orders of the spiritual master. And if you're not tasting the nectar of the holy name, you've got to run after a material sense gratification running in. Because as I explained earlier in this lecture, taste must be there. I must have taste. I have to be satisfied. My nature is to be satisfied. So unless I am satisfied in Krishna consciousness, I will look for satisfaction in material sense gratification, which is the doorway to hell. So we have to intelligently see by running after material sense gratification I'm not going to get any satisfaction so why should I be so foolish as a dumb ass like person to run after the pleasure of the sense enjoyment. There is no pleasure there. It appears to be pleasurable. It's called māyā-sukhāya, illusory happiness. It appears to be pleasurable but actually there is absolutely zero pleasure in material sense enjoyment because it's not me. It's not me. It's just some garment I'm wearing. It's not me. Gratifying the material senses is not me. I'm the ātma. I'm the spirit soul sitting within the body. So gratifying the senses of the body doesn't gratify me, doesn't satisfy me because I'm not the body. Material sense gratification can only be sought after by those who still think I'm this body. If you think you're the body then you're going to take the satisfaction of the material senses to be your happiness. So material sense gratification is the pastime of those who are totally locked into material consciousness, bodily consciousness. So that's why the most important thing in the beginning is to realize fully I am not this body. We told these students the other day in our seminar at Palmer Auditorium, exhibit center - Are you seeing, are your eyes seeing, are you seeing through your eyes? Are your ears hearing? Are you hearing through your ears? Immediately understood, they all understood, it made sense to them. This logical explanation of the ātma separate from the body made good sense. All these students understood. We asked them, they said “Yes”. They understood. They weren’t their bodies. They all understood. So it's a very important thing, “I have to kick out the stupid nonsense, misidentification of these material senses, saying gratify them will make me happy”. We only gratify them enough to keep body and soul together. That’s all. Anything beyond that is insane, it's absolutely ridiculous, it's a disaster actually. To gratify the senses beyond what is necessary to keep body and soul together means I am continuing to misidentify myself with this material body. And then my misidentification will do nothing but cause me misery, birth after birth after birth after birth. We've been identifying with all these material bodies since time immemorial. Misidentifying as this, as that, as a man, as a woman, as an animal, as a plant, as a germ. We're always misidentifying again and again and again and again. And where do we get - another damn suffering material body. That's all we got from it. Birth, death, old age and disease, Adhyātmika, Adhibhautika, and Adhidaivika misery. Suffering, suffering, suffering we've gone through unnecessarily.

The human being, the living entity is not meant to suffer. He's meant to enjoy eternal life full of bliss and knowledge. So why are we cheating ourselves in this way by continuing to misidentify with these material bodies? Isn't that absolutely ridiculous? But yet we go on doing this stupid thing day after day after day after day, we continue misidentifying with this material body. Is there any intelligence in this? Is there any rationality in this? No, it's absolutely stupid. So why do we continue to insist on being stupid? Why are we so addicted to bodily consciousness? When are we going to say, “OK body, I've served you enough, I'm not going to identify with you anymore. I'm not going to misidentify with you anymore. I've served you enough, gave me enough gratification to satisfy me. By gratifying you, I never got satisfied. So why am I so stupid and want to keep on gratifying you? Why are you so idiotic? Why have such a no brain person to try to take my happiness and gratify you?”. In this way we have to wake up and get out of this madness. Come to the actual position, following the footsteps of these great ācāryas, Goswamis, Lord Caitanya, Lord Nityananda. We have to learn to follow these great personalities – Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, Narottam Das Ṭhākura. We have to come to this actual standard and get out of this craziness, this madness. We have to learn from these great ācāryas, you see.

Kabe ha’be bolo se-dina amar

(When, oh when will that day be mine? When my offenses cease, take for the name increases, When in my heart will your mercy shine?)

Aparadha ghuci’, suddha name ruci,

Kripa-bale ha’be hridoye sancar

Kabe ha’be bolo se-dina amar

(...when will that day be mine?)

We have to learn from Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura you see, how to hanker. Right now we are hankering, “Where can I get some sense gratification? Give me some gratification now!”.  Here we are hankering for sense enjoyment. “When can I get some? When will I get some really good sense enjoyment? That's our asinineness. But we should be hankering, “When will I actually awaken pure love of God within my heart? When will I get a taste for the Holy Name instead of a taste for mundane kathā? I have a taste for mundane kathā, but when will I get a taste for the Holy Name?”. You see. That’s what we’re hankering. “When, O When will that day be mine? When I give up my offenses and I actually get a taste of the Holy Name. When will I come out of this madness?”

So, we are ending a little early today? We’ve to go somewhere? Okay. Alright we can end little early. Let's see if there are any questions. We'll try to wrap it up early. We have a special, we’ve to make a run today. Let's see we have Tarun Lalchandani. Two questions.

Tarun Lalchandani: When I’m doing devotional service, am I doing it or my body is doing it?

Sankarshan Das: You are engaging your body and yourself in the service of Krishna.

Tarun Lalchandani: If I am chanting and dancing, body is doing it, then the spirit soul is engaging the body and doing it.

Sankarshan Das: So you look at the body in both ways. The body is being purified and you are being purified also.

Tarun Lalchandani: Is eating sweet prasādam sense gratification?

Sankarshan Das: No, a little sweet every now and then is fine. But if you go over and indulge, “I'll have 25 gulab-jamuns”, then you are going in sense gratification.

Amala Purana: As we are conditioned for millions and billions of years, how is it possible to remove that conditioning in one lifetime?

Sankarshan Das: By the mercy of Guru, Krishna and Vaishnavas. By their mercy. That's why we have to have the mercy of the bona fide spiritual master, always begging for his mercy to save us


Ajamila: How can we stop our senses?

Sankarshan Das: Don't stop your senses. Māyāvādīs want to turn off their senses. They want to merge into the oneness of the void. We don't stop the senses, we engage the senses. Hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa- sevanaṁ (CC Madhya 19.170). Engage the senses in the service of the master of the senses, Hṛṣīkeśa. We don't stop them, we purify them, engaging them in Kṛṣṇa's service.

Hare Kṛṣṇa Das: It is said that one should be determined, what should be one's determination in a matter of preaching?

Sankarshan Das: We should be determined to follow Lord Caitanya's order and spread this movement. “I am very determined to make devotees as much as I can”. Distribute books, make devotees as much as possible. Be determined to make devotees and spread this movement.

Akuti Devi Dasi: How to properly engage my mind 24x7?

Sankarshan Das: Do not distract. Keep bringing it back, bringing it back. Like Govinda Das says “My dear mind, Please engage yourself in the devotional service of the divine, son of Nanda Maharaj”. You see the mind going away,

yato yato niścalati

Manaś cañcalam asthiram(B.G. 6.26)

From whatever and wherever the mind wanders, bring it back into devotional service. You see the rascal, bring it back. Like you're training a little child, he's doing all the naughty nonsense. You've got to train a little child not to do naughty nonsense until he properly behaves. Mind is like a little naughty child, running here, running there. You've got to train that rascal mind how to be fixed.

Vrajaśeva: Kindly enlighten if I'm not my senses, body and mind then why do I experience some sort of happiness while engaging in sense gratification?

Sankarshan Das: It’s due to misidentification with the material body. I'm thinking I'm this body, I'm thinking I'm the mind, I'm thinking I'm the tongue, the belly, the genitals, the eyes, the ears, I'm thinking this is me, but it's not me. It's due to misidentification of the body.

Okay, the questions are finished and we have an errand to run this morning, so instead of going on and on, we'll go ahead and stop here.

(Aside)What is it?

Gurumataji: You have time.

Sankarshan Das: How much time do we have left?

Gurumataji: I have not seen it.

Sankarshan Das: What time should we stop?

Gurumataji: 8:15.

Sankarshan Das: Oh 8:15, Okay. So we have plenty of time left. We have actually 9 more minutes. Any challenges? Any disagreements? Any questions coming in from Lithuania?

Vrajakishor: I have a question.

Sankarshan Das: Still Lithuanian.

Vrajakishor: So you mentioned that verse, that we are able to get a higher taste only if we get a lower taste by the higher taste. Otherwise it will come back or something. Yes, so only way to get a higher taste is to reject lower taste. But to reject lower taste you should have a higher taste.

Sankarshan Das: You say reject it?

Vrajakishor: Yes.

Sankarshan Das: No, you don't have to reject the lower taste.

Vrajakishor: But you mentioned Srila Gurudeva that we should reject the lower taste.

Sankarshan Das: Just like, you have to eat, right? Yes, you require eating, isn't it correct? So you don't have to say, I hate to reject meat, fish and eggs, onions and garlic, I hate to reject them. No, don't worry about rejecting them. Just take prasādam, you’ll automatically reject them. See what I'm saying? You automatically, you don't have to worry about “Oh! I have to reject my desire for hamburgers and fried chicken. Oh, fish, I have to reject it. Oh, I like eggs, I like those scrambled eggs and bacon. Oh, I have to reject it”. No, don't worry about rejecting it. Just take prasādam. It’s automatically rejected.

Vrajakishor: But people have many problems. They have addictions and they are not able to, many many years to take care of them.

Sankarshan Das: What, for meat?

Vrajakishor: For everything, even for meat some people are like they cannot imagine. Sex is a big one.

Sankarshan Das: Sex is the biggie. Yeah, sex is the biggie. They feel like they have to have sex. They can’t live without sex pleasure.

Gurumataji: Isn't that we have to give up the lower case? That's why we have this poor example.

Sankarshan Das: You have to lay them aside. You can't be having illicit sex, meat eating, intoxication, gambling. You have to say, “OK..”. But the thing is, if you notice in the prayer of Rupa Goswami, Anartha-nivrttih, giving up is after Bhajana-Kriyā. Not comes before Bhajana-Kriyā. Anartha-nivrttih comes after Bhajana-Kriyā. So the point is by engaging in devotional service you are getting a higher state. Giving up is not difficult. First of all, you engage in devotional service. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Dance in ecstasy. Then there is no time to think about running for a hamburger or finding some girl on the street to seduce. You see what I am saying?

Gurumataji: Even though the taste remains, Krishna says, even though the taste remains, the lower taste, but engaging in the higher taste, one gets along.

Sankarshan Das: Yes, you have to engage yourself in the higher tastes. Hearing about Krishna, talking about Krishna, bowing down to Krishna, tasting the prasādam of Krishna. In this way you get a taste which can help you overcome all those other tastes. But what do you do if you are in a situation, you are getting some taste, but you are being pulled. Those lower tastes keep pulling you, pulling you, pulling you, pulling you. Somebody devotees have this trouble, they are pulled back to illicit sex life. What do you do when you are being pulled and pulled and pulled and pulled? Well, you have to beg Krishna. “My dear Krishna, I have this desire to be your pure devotee. But I am being pulled by material desire. So please help me, my dear Lord”. So beg Krishna to help you. When you find you being pulled, pulled, pulled by the lower tastes – “My dear Lord, please save me, I follow on you. Just like Prabhupāda prayed to his spiritual master, ”Please save me a fallen, Your Divine Grace”. So present yourself in your prayer to your spiritual master, the Lord Krishna, the Lord Caitanya, the previous ācāryas, “My dear great personalities, Please save me, I’m in a very fallen condition”. Honestly reveal your fallen state to these great ācāryas and beg for their mercy.

Okay. We have about 5 minutes and that's it. So no more questions. Whatever is here I'll take. Don't type any more questions in. OK, let's see.

Govardhan Das: Food is for the body. What is the food for the soul?

Sankarshan Das: Śravaṇa, kīrtana, smaraṇa, vandana. Hearing about Krishna, talking about Krishna, remembering Krishna, that's the food for the soul. It overcomes, just like Prabhupāda explains, I was reading yesterday in the Bhāgavatam, Prabhupāda explains that whenever there is some nice atmosphere in this material world, people's appetite for sex increases. But he said in the spiritual world, the women are thousands and thousands of times more beautiful than the women here, but there is no sex attraction, because everybody is getting a higher taste of engaging, hearing, chanting, glorifying Krishna. So that's the whole point, you have to be absorbed in hearing about Krishna, talking about Krishna, engaging in Krishna consciousness. What's our movement called? The International Society for Krishna Consciousness. So in this way, by practicing Krishna consciousness, one will lose one's taste for illicit sex, meat eating, intoxication and gambling.

Tarun Lalchandani: When engaged in material activities, the soul imitates the material intelligence and has no connection with anything. So when doing spiritual activities through the body, please elaborate how the soul is involved.

Sankarshan Das: The body is just a machine. Your car doesn't drive on its own, it only goes on the drive way when you the driver manipulate it. So your body is just a machine and you are the driver of the machine. Is that clear, Tarun Lalchandani? The body is doesn’t act on its own. You the driver, you use it properly or you misuse it. If you drive your car carefully you can get to your destination, if you drive it uncarefully you may go off the cliff. You see. the driver you either drive it properly and go to the destination, desired destination, or you drive it improperly and have an accident and you're killed. So if you engage the body properly you get to the destination of going back to Godhead. If you use it improperly, it's spiritual suicide to engage the body improperly by engaging in illicit sex, meat eating, intoxication and gambling.

Bhakta Gabriel: When I die myself I feel like I engage in devotional service. (incomplete)

Vrajakishor Das: What was the question?

Gurumataji: (Bhakta Gabriel) is Lord Krishna is unlimitedly merciful. And some people may think that it cannot be true. What is the reason of such thinking?

Sankarshan Das: You're reading me a question to me?

Gurumataji: Yeah

Sankarshan Das: Oh, I missed it? Okay.

Gurumataji: No, I'm saying Bhakta Gabriel.

Bhakta Gabriel: Lord Krishna is unlimitedly merciful, and some people might think that it cannot be true. What is the reason of such thinking?

Sankarshan Das: Because they say that God doesn't exist. Because they want to think that they're God. The reason of such thinking is they think they're the center of existence. The false ego has overrided their intelligence and therefore they think they are the center of existence. They don't acknowledge that somebody else could be the center.

Bhaktin Sheela: When I am by myself I feel I am engaged in devotional service, but when I am around family members I feel I am performing the act of devotional service.

Sankarshan Das: Does that mean you feel like you are only making a show, is that what you are saying? You are making a show of devotional service? You can make it clear what you are asking.

Vrajaśeva Das: How to understand that it is the body not the soul experiencing happiness.

Sankarshan Das: So, Bhaktin Sheela, make it clear, you are saying you are only making a show of devotional service? So we have about one minute, do you want to clarify, Bhaktin Sheela, do you feel like you're making a show of devotional service, you're acting like you're in devotional service, not really doing it, just making a show. Is that what you are saying? Let me know. Somebody has typed in a question. She is saying okay. Now no more questions. No more typing in.

Jagadīśvara Das: Is it dangerous to think of Radha-Krishna if the heart is still not purified of material desires?

Sankarshan Das: No. By thinking of Radha-Krishna, you become purified. You should think of Radha and Krishna. Even Prabhupāda says that if somebody is disturbed by lusty desires, you should read about Krishna's pastimes with the gopis. They become free from lust. So you should think about Radha and Krishna.

Vrajakishor Das: What was the question, Srila Gurudev ?

Sankarshan Das: Is it dangerous to think of Radha and Krishna? The heart is not purified of material desires. So you should think of Radha and Krishna. That’s how your heart becomes purified from material desires.

Bhaktin Sheela: OK, I thought it might be inspiring by my devotional service, but the next time I will keep a check if I am showing off.

Sankarshan Das: Actually you should do devotional service in front your family members to show them actually, it is a preaching. Not to make a show, but as a preaching. “My dear family members, you see how wonderful it is cooking for Krishna”. You should not make a show, but for preaching you should do devotional service in front of your family members. Encourage them to also do the same thing. It's not a show bottle, it's preaching.

I said no more questions, that's it.

Vrajaśeva Das: How to understand that the body and not the soul experience that illusory happiness?

Sankarshan Das: Actually, the soul is thinking he's happy. The soul is experiencing illusory happiness. He's thinking he's happy. That's his mistaken illusion. He's thinking he's happy. The body is not experiencing illusory happiness either. The soul is, through the bodily senses thinking, he is happy by gratifying the material world.

Gurumataji: One thing I want to say.

Sankarshan Das: Question from Gurumataji.

Gurumataji: No, not question. I mean the answer. I just want to add something. Without the soul the body cannot feel anything, except the body.

Sankarshan Das: The bodily senses cannot taste pleasure on their own. They are just a machine. You see. The senses themselves are not really tasting any pleasure. They are just machines. The machine doesn't feel anything. So the soul within that, he thinking he’s happy, by senses are getting gratified.

So we'll stop here. Thank you everybody for tuning in. Take this process seriously and your lives will be unlimitedly sublime. Let's work together as a spiritual family to spread this movement as much as possible. Encourage each other to be pure also. Do not deviate by cheating on these regulative principles.

Śrīla Prabhupāda ki jaya!

Grantharaj Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam ki jaya!

Gaura Premanande!

Hari Bol!

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