Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sadhana and Saranagati

The Nectar Of Instruction

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


atyaharah prayasas ca
prajalpo niyamagrahah
jana-sangas ca laulyam ca
sadbhir bhaktir vinasyati

ati-aharah--overeating or too much collecting; prayasah--overendeavouring; ca--and; prajalpah--idle talk; niyama--rules and regulations; agrahah--too much attachment to (or agrahah--too much neglect of); jana-sangah--association with worldly-minded persons; ca--and; laulyam--ardent longing or greed; ca--and; sadbhih--by these six; bhaktih--devotional service; vinasyati--is destroyed.

One's devotional service is spoiled when he becomes too entangled in the following six activities: (1) eating more than necessary or collecting more funds than required; (2) overendeavoring for mundane things that are very difficult to obtain; (3) talking unnecessarily about mundane subject matters; (4) Practicing the scriptural rules and regulations only for the sake of following them and not for the sake of spiritual advancement, or rejecting the rules and regulations of the scriptures and working independently or whimsically; (5) associating with worldly-minded persons who are not interested in Krsna consciousness; and (6) being greedy for mundane

Human life is meant for plain living and high thinking. Since all conditioned living beings are under the control of the Lord's third energy, this material world is designed so that one is obliged to work. The Supreme Personality of Godhead has three primary energies, or potencies. The first is called antaranga-sakti, or the internal potency. The second is called tatastha-sakti, or the marginal potency. The third is called bahiranga-sakti, or the external potency. The living entities constitute the marginal potency, and they are situated between the internal and external Potencies. Being subordinate as eternal servants of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the jivatmas, or atomic living entities, must remain under the control of either the internal or external potency. When they are under the control of the internal potency, they display their natural, constitutional activity--namely, constant engagement in the devotional service of the Lord. This is stated in Bhagavad-gita (9.13):

mahatmanas tu mam partha
daivim prakrtim asritah
bhajanty ananya-manaso
jnatva bhutadim avyayam

"O son of Prtha, those who are not deluded, the great souls, are under the protection of the divine nature. They are fully engaged in devotional service because they know Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, original and inexhaustible."

The word mahatma refers to those who are broadminded, not cripple-minded. Cripple-minded persons, always engaged in satisfying their senses, sometimes expand their activities in order to do good for others through some "ism" like nationalism, humanitarianism or altruism. They may reject personal sense gratification for the sense gratification of others, like the members of their family, community or society--either national or international. Actually all this is extended sense gratification, from personal to communal to social. This may all be very good from the material point of view, but such activities have no spiritual value. The basis of such activity is sense gratification, either personal or extended. Only when a person gratifies the senses of the Supreme Lord can he be called a mahatma, or broadminded person.

In the above-quoted verse from Bhagavad-gita, the words daivim prakrtim refer to the control of the internal potency, or pleasure potency, of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This pleasure potency is manifested as Srimati Radharani, or Her expansion Laksmi, the goddess of fortune. When the individual jiva souls are under the control of the internal energy, their only engagement is the satisfaction of Krsna, or Visnu. This is the position of a mahatma. If one is not a mahatma, he is a duratma, or a cripple-minded person. Such mentally crippled duratmas are put under the control of the Lord's external potency, mahamaya.

Indeed, all living entities within this material world are under the control of mahamaya, whose business is to subject them to the influence of threefold miseries: adhidaivika-klesa (sufferings caused by the demigods, such as droughts, earthquakes and storms), adhibhautika-klesa (sufferings caused by other living entities like insects or enemies), and adhyatmika-klesa (sufferings caused by one's own body and mind, such as mental and physical infirmities). Daiva-bhutatma-hetavah: the conditioned souls, subjected to these three miseries by the control of the external energy, suffer various difficulties.

The main problem confronting the conditioned souls is the repetition of birth, old age, disease and death. In the material world one has to work for the maintenance of the body and soul, but how can one perform such work in a way that is favorable for the execution of Krsna consciousness?

Everyone requires possessions such as food grains, clothing, money and other things necessary for the maintenance of the body, but one should not collect more than necessary for his actual basic needs. If this natural principle is followed, there will be no difficulty in maintaining the body.

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