The Secret of Detachment.

66/04/27 New York, Bhagavad-gita 2.58-59



yada samharate cayam
kurmo 'nganiva sarvasah
tasya prajna pratisthita
 [Bg. 9.58]

How we shall know that one is situated in the pure consciousness? Simple imagination that "I am situated in pure consciousness"? No. Everything must be proved by symptoms. Everything must be proved by symptoms. Just like a patient is cured means there is subsidence of the fever, for example; similarly, the, we are just trying to separate ourself from the material conception of life to our exact position. I am spirit soul, and consciousness is the symptom. And I have to be situated in pure consciousness, dovetailing myself with the supreme consciousness. That is the whole program. Now, how that program are to be executed, that will be discussed in the Third Chapter. And some way or other, we are discussing some of the points, but here the formulas...

Just now we are engaged in the Second Chapter. These are the contents, contents, the how a, I mean, a self-realized person, situated in pure consciousness, will be experienced by his practical behavior. Yes. Vasudeve bhagavati. The whole thing is... It is called vairagya. Vairagya. Vairagya means to detach, be detached. I am a spirit, and some way or other, I am in contact with the matter. That is my trouble. The whole trouble is due to my contact with matter. Now I have to detach from this matter and to be situated in my pure conscious, spiritual state. So this is called vairagya. This vairagya, or detachment from material attraction, is very easily done. As it is stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam,

vasudeve bhagavati
bhakti-yogah prayojitah
janayaty asu vairagyam
jnanam ca yad ahaitukam
 [SB 1.2.7]

"If somebody engages himself in the devotional service of Vasudeva, then very quickly this detachment develops. And knowledge." Knowledge also. Without knowledge, there cannot be detachment. Without knowledge, one cannot be detached. And what is that knowledge? The knowledge is that "I am not this matter; I am spirit soul." So... But this knowledge is... Although it is very easy thing to say, that "I am not this body, but I am spirit soul," but actually to have perfect knowledge, that is a great job. It is not very easy. For getting that supreme knowledge so many, I mean to say, transcendentalists, they were trying life after life, just to get detached. But the easiest process is that if one is engaged in the devotional service. That is the formula given in Srimad-Bhagavatam. Vasudeve bhagavati. Vasudeve bhagavati, "in the Personality of Godhead, Krsna." Vasudeva is Krsna. Vasudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogah prayojitah [SB 1.2.7]. Bhakti-yoga means devotional service. If it is applied, if we apply our devotional service unto the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna, then the result will be that janayaty asu vairagyam,  very soon you'll be detached from this material attraction. Very soon. And jnanam ca yad ahaitukam. And you'll gain also knowledge. You do not know how you have received knowledge. That is the magic. That is the magic. Because how you'll get knowledge? That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gita.

This, all these Vedic scriptures, they are interrelated. They are not contradictory. If somebody says that "We find some contradiction from Vedic literature, from this literature to that literature," no. There is nothing at all, any contradiction, even, even in the preachings of the great acaryas. I am speaking of India. There were many great acaryas, I mean to say, reformers, came. Lord Buddha also appeared in India. Then, after Lord Buddha, Sankaracarya came. Then, after Sankaracarya, Sri Ramanujacarya came. Then, after Sri Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, and then, lately, Sri Caitanya, Lord Caitanya. He came. But you will find a link, a link, although superficially we may see that Lord Buddha is speaking something which is contradictory to Lord Sankaracarya's teaching, or Ramanujacarya is speaking something which is contradiction to Sankara. No. There is no contradiction. It is the question of studying how they are paving way for ultimate spiritual realization. That requires a very, I mean to say, substantial knowledge, how they are paving the way, just step by step.

Just like Lord Buddha's teaching. Lord Buddha's teachings is... That is also detachment from matter, nirvana. Nirvana. But he does not speak anything about the spirit soul. Because the position in which he was speaking, that position, for the human, humanity, was not suitable for understanding what is the constitution of spirit, therefore he did not say anything about spirit. He simply preached nonviolence. So far our body is concerned, he stressed on the point that we should be nonviolent. We should not be killing animals anymore. That was his preaching. Similarly, Sankara... A little more than Buddha. He said, "No, no. Matter is not all. The spirit is real thing. Matter is false." Brahma satyam jagan mithya. Now, he did not say about the activities of spiritual life. He simply gave hint that there, that matter is false. Matter is generated by spirit. Spirit is the real, principle thing. Just like Buddha did not say anything about spirit. He simply wanted that detachment of, from matter. But detachment from matter... Then where is my stand? Where is my stand? If I leave this room, I must have another room to stay. So that is the position of Buddha. He did not say about the spirit. But Sankara, Sankara said, "No, matter is our false position. Spirit is real position." But he did not say anything, what are the activities of the spiritual life. Then Sri Ramanujacarya came. He described the actual position of spiritual life. These are gradual development. Your, I mean to say, Lord Jesus, also, Lord Jesus Christ, he also gave hints of spiritual life, kingdom of God. So when we speak of kingdom of God, a kingdom, vacant, cannot be. Kingdom means there must be activities. Otherwise, what is the meaning of kingdom? So, of course, he did not give any detailed account of the kingdom of God, but he gave hint.

So these are gradual development so far the human society is concerned. As the position is. The whole process is, as Lord Sri Krsna says in this Bhagavad-gita,

yada yada hi dharmasya
 glanir bhavati bharata
abhyutthanam adharmasya
tadatmanam srjamy aham
 [Bg. 4.7]

The whole material atmosphere is going on, but we... There is a program. There is a plan. The plan is that, as soon as the living entity is promoted by gradual evolution, promoted to the platform of human life, he has to understand his spiritual position. That is the whole program. The nature is going on on this plan of the Supreme Lord. The plan of the Supreme Lord. All the living entities here, in this, whatever we see... Sarva-yonisu kaunteya sambhavanti murtayah yah [Bg. 14.4]. The Lord says, Lord Sri Krsna says, "Whatever forms of life, living entities, you are seeing before you, all of them are born of Me. They are My part and parcel. I am..." Aham bija-pradah pita. "I am the father. I am the father." So Lord Sri Krsna, or God, He is the father of every living being. He does not like to see that His sons undergo unnecessary miseries. He does not like to see. Why? If we are sons of God, and what is the position of God? All powerful, all opulence, all wealth, all beauty, all knowledge, everything in full. That is the conception of God. Now, if we are sons of God, then we are very rich man's son. Then why should he suffer? We should not have suffered. But some way or other, by material contact, we are suffering. We are suffering. Now, this suffering, we have become so much accustomed to sufferings that we have taken it granted that these sufferings are nonmaterial. "Let us enjoy this material life. This suffering..." They don't care for suffering. You see? They want this material enjoyment, which is the cause of his bondage. It is cause of bondage. So they do not want... Just like there are some prisoners who do not like to get out of the prison life. They think it is better to remain in the prison because "I have no responsibility. If I go outside the prison, oh, I will have to search out some work. Oh, that is botheration. Let me remain here." Or even after the termination of the prison life, when he comes out, he commits again some criminal act so that he may be put again into the jail. He has been accustomed. Similarly, he does not take seriously the miseries of prison life. He is so accustomed that he does not take. That is ignorance. That is ignorance. Similarly, those who are in this material world under the shackles of material modes of nature, they have completely forgotten that we have got a spiritual life which is full of freedom, full of knowledge, full of bliss, and we can become exactly almost like God. These things they have forgotten. They think that "If, from the C-class prisoner's life, I can become an A-class prisoner..." Just like in the prison life there are some classes, A-class prisoner, B-class prisoner, C-class prisoner, similarly, our endeavor is going on in this material life to become A-class prisoner. The program is not for getting out of the prison life, but we want to become A-class prisoner. That is ignorance. That is ignorance.

So here the Lord says that

yada samharate cayam
kurmo 'nganiva sarvasah
tasya prajna pratisthita
 [Bg. 9.58]

And what are the shackles of this prison life? The shackles of prison life... Just like in ordinary prison, prisoner... Of course, I do not know what is the case here of prison life, but I have seen. Sometimes in New Delhi I was invited to give some good lessons to the prisoners. So I have seen so many prisoners. They were shackled with iron chains, iron chains. So we are also chained up here, and what is that chain? That is our sense enjoyment. Yes. We are chained in this material world by sense enjoyment. That's all. So if we want to cut our prison life, then the first symptom will be to minimize this sense enjoyment or to regulate the sense enjoyment. Here the Lord says that yada samharate cayam kurmo 'nganiva sarvasah. The example is given just like the tortoise. The tortoise can close up, wind up his senses as he likes. That means he becomes the master of the senses. He does not like to be the servant of the senses. So this, I mean to say, verse, we have already discussed. So indriyanindriyarthebhyas tasya prajna pratisthita. One who is practiced to control his senses... Senses are not to be stopped. They are to be used at proper time, but not at the dictation of the senses. When one comes to that standard of life, that he is not dictated by the senses but he uses senses when it is properly required... Senses are not to be stopped. That is not prescribed. That is not prescribed. Somebody says that sense control means to use, to stop the action of the senses. No. Senses, action of the senses, cannot be stopped. Simply it has to be purified. The action of the senses has to be purified. That is the whole process. Because as spiritual living entity, we have got our spiritual senses. Those senses are now covered by this matter. We are not senseless. Just like your coat. Your coat is cut according to your hands. Because the coat, you will see, the coat has also got a hand. And why coat has got a hand? Because the user of the coat, he has got a hand. The coat is cut according to the hand of the user of the body. Similarly, this material body has been described in the Bhagavad-gita as dress. So unless I have got body, wherefrom the dress comes? Dress has no meaning unless I have got body.

So senses are there, and those senses are required to be used; otherwise there is no meaning of senses. But that is spiritual. So senses have to be engaged in the spiritual activities. That is spiritual life, spiritual life. The example, as I have already explained to you many times, just like Arjuna. He wanted to control his senses to refrain from fighting. When you fight, you require to engage your senses. He said that "I will not fight." That means he is controlling his senses from fighting. But after hearing Bhagavad-gita, he says, "Yes, I'll fight." Just see. Before hearing Bhagavad-gita, the position of Arjuna, that "I," "I will not fight," and after hearing Bhagavad-gita, the position of "I," "Yes, I will fight." Two contradictory. Before hearing Bhagavad-gita, the position of "I" was negative, and people may estimate this nonviolence attitude of Arjuna very nicely. But after Bhagavad-gita, after hearing Bhagavad-gita, he said, "Yes." Karisye vacanam tava: [Bg. 18.73] "Yes, I shall fight." Now, do you mean to tell that he degraded? First of all he was nonviolent. He was not willing to fight. Now he has degraded after hearing Bhagavad-gita? Is it..., is the conclusion? No. He has improved. He has improved. Why he has improved? Because he has understood how to use the senses. That's all. In the beginning he did not know how to use the senses. Therefore he decided, "I shall not fight. I shall not fight." That is his material calculation.

So our material calculation is all nonsense. Our material calculation of our activities, they are all nonsense. They are all causes of our bondage. And when the same senses, they are engaged in the service of the Supreme, that is our freedom. Kamah krsna-karmarpane. Here the same thing is indirectly explained. Yada samharate cayam kurmo 'nganiva. One should know "When I shall properly use the senses." That is the sign of a person who is situated in pure consciousness. He knows properly, "How to use my senses." That is the difference by the instruction of Bhagavad-gita, we'll find, that in the beginning Arjuna did not know how to use his senses, and after hearing Bhagavad-gita, he learned it. He became a learned man, how to use his senses. And when he did not know how to use his senses, he said, "I shall not fight." And when he learned how to use senses, he said, "Yes, I'll fight." Now, what is the difference between "yes" and "no"? That means when our senses are engaged in the service of the supreme consciousness, then we are in pure consciousness situation. And when our senses are used to our whims, to our whims. Just like in the previous sloka it has been explained, prajahati yada kaman sarvan partha mano-gatan. We manufacture plans by our mental concoction. That should be given up. Yada prajahati kaman sarvan. All kinds of mental concoction, mental speculation, should be given up. That is the science. That is the beginning of our spiritual life, that "I shall not use my mind for my activities. I shall wait for the direction from the higher authority, supreme consciousness. Then I shall act."

Just like a soldier, he is simply awaiting the order of the commander. Then his activities are approved, "Oh, he is doing nicely. Yes." By the approval of the commander, he is killing as many persons, and by this killing art, he is being rewarded, "Oh, you are a good soldier." But that killing, if he does for his personal interest, even he kills one man, he is hanged -- by the same state. By the same state for which he is engaged in fighting, if he kills enemies, he is rewarded. He is awarded gold medal, recognition. And that very person, out of the war field, when he comes home, if he kills one man, then he is hanged. If he says that "The same killing I was doing in the war field, and same killing I have done. There I was killing hundreds and thousands of men. I was awarded gold medal. And here I have killed only one person. I am being hanged? What is this?" No. You have killed according to your own whims, and that is from the superior order. That is the difference. Similarly, if we do, if we act according to our mental speculation or mental whims, then we are bound up by the reaction. And if we practice ourself to be active under the direction of the Supreme, then we are free. This is the art. This is the whole art of spiritual life.

So we have to practice. We have to practice it in our everything. Because for so long we are in this material body, we have got so many material demands. We cannot stop the activities of the body. That is not possible. By force, if I stop all the activities of my body, that is not possible. That is not possible. The bodily activities will go on, but the bodily activities will be so performed that I'll not be bound up by the reaction. And that is called devotional service. That is called

vasudeve bhagavati
bhakti-yogah prayojitah
janayaty asu vairagyam
jnanam ca yad ahaitukam
 [SB 1.2.7]

Just, for example, that we are eating. Eating is necessary. So long my body is there, eating is necessary. So in the Bhagavad-gita it says,

yajnarthat karmano 'nyatra
loko 'yam karma-bandhanah
 yajna-sistasinah santo
mucyante sarva-kilbisaih
 [Bg. 3.9]

that one who performs sacrifice... Sacrifice means to please the Supreme Lord. That is the sacrifice, meaning of sacrifice. Otherwise sacrifice has no meaning. Sacrifice means... Suppose you have got one thousand dollars in your pocket. Now you sacrifice it. You spend it for some good cause. "Oh, this man has sacrificed one hundred dollars." But that sort of sacrifice is also cause of your bondage. Now, suppose you have given to a poor man one hundred dollars to help. Now, the, according to law of karma, you have given one hundred dollars to a poor man to help him. This means that the poor man has to pay you four hundred dollars in your next life, with interest and compound interest. And you will have to take that four hundred dollars. And suppose you are preparing yourself to conquer over the next life, but by contributing this one hundred dollars you are now bound up to take payment of four hundred dollars; therefore you have to take your birth. These are subtle laws. If we are to believe the Vedic literature, the law of karma, these are stated there. We may take it or not take it. That is a different thing. Just like if you deposit in the bank one hundred dollars. So if you forget, twenty years after you will have to take two hundred dollars. The bank will pay you, either you like to take it or not take it. Just like we have this law in this ordinary life, similarly, anything, good action or bad action, we have to suffer or enjoy the result. That is called reaction. But sacrifice for the cause of the Supreme Lord, that has no reaction. This is also bright side. There are so many wrong side also.

So Bhagavad-gita says that yajna-sistasinah santo mucyante sarva-kilbisaih. Sarva-kilbisaih. Sarva-kilbisaih. Kilbisa means sinful reaction, sinful reaction, "Tit for tat," good reaction or bad reaction. But one who eats after offering to the Supreme Lord, he is not under the regulation of reaction. Whatever we eat... Even we eat, that, we have got to repay for that. Now, the Sanskrit word, the flesh... Flesh, Sanskrit word, is called mamsa. Mamsa. The mamsa means..., mam means "me," and sa means "he." "So I am eating some animal; so in my next life that animal will eat me." That is called mamsa. So now, apart from animal... Don't think that those who are vegetarian, they are free from all these reaction. No. They are also. They are also. The law is that one has to repay which he is taking the help from other living entities. That is the law of karma. So either you eat vegetables or either you eat flesh, you have to repay that. But yajna-sistasinah santo mucyante sarva-kilbisaih. The Bhagavad-gita says that if you eat the remnants after offering sacrifice to the Lord, then you, not only you are free from all reaction, but you do not eat anything sinful. That is the direction of Bhagavad-gita.

So in every aspect of our life... This is also one of the insignificant example of our activities of our life. If we act, dovetailing our actions with the Supreme Lord, then we are free from reaction. Otherwise we are bound up by the reaction. That is the law. So in order to get myself free from all reaction of my activities... Because so long I am... Because I am living entity, I have to act. Either I act spiritually, either act materially, I have to act. My activities will not stop. It is foolishness to say that "I will stop my activities." No. That cannot be. Your activities will go on. If you don't act spiritually, then you have to act materially. And if you are fully engaged in spiritual activity, then there is no chance of material activity. Because after all, you are actor, one, if you are engaged in something. Just like in our ordinary life, if we do something at a particular moment, we cannot do other things; similarly, we have to engage ourselves fully in the spiritual life. Then our material activities will be stopped altogether, and then there will be no reaction. In spite of our acting... Just like the soldier. In spite of his killing hundreds and thousands of people, he is not to be hanged; he is to be rewarded. This is the technique.

So Lord says,

visaya vinivartante
niraharasya dehinah
rasa-varjam raso 'py asya
param drstva nivartate
 [Bg. 9.59]

Now negation. Negation. "All right. I shall not do this, which will produce reaction." That, I mean to say, forceful negation will not stand. "I shall not do this." Or, for example, take the small incident of our life, eating. Now, because eating has reaction, because whatever I am eating I have to repay for that... Either you eat vegetable or flesh, that doesn't matter. "Then let me... I shall not eat." Oh, that cannot be. How you cannot eat? You cannot do it. If you have to live, then you have to eat. So here the Lord says, visaya vinivartante niraharasya dehinah. Just like a person is diseased. He is advised by the doctor that "You shall not take such and such things." So he is starving or he is fasting. Suppose in the typhoid fever the doctor has advised him not to take any solid food. So under the instruction of the doctor, he is not taking any solid food. But suppose his brother is eating some bread. Oh, he likes that "If I could eat." But that means within himself... He is, by force, by the instruction of the physician, he is forced not to eat. But within himself he has got the tendency for eating. But out of fear that "If I eat, there will be very bad reaction of taking solid food," therefore, by force, he is not eating. Similarly, there are so many things which you are refrain from doing by force. No. That sort of abstinence will not make you progressive in spiritual life, by force. No. By force I cannot... Because you are independent. Every individual being has got his little portion of independence. So anything cannot be done by forcing you. No. Even you cannot force even a child. He has got his independence. He'll revolt if you force him. So here it is said that visaya vinivartante. One may be refraining from enjoying materially by somehow or other, by force... Niraharasya dehinah, rasa-varjam raso 'py asya param drstva nivartate. But one who is spiritually advanced, he is not forced. He is voluntarily giving up. That is the difference. Voluntarily giving up. How? Why voluntarily giving up? Now, param drstva nivartate. He has found something sublime, so sublime that he doesn't care for material enjoyment. He is not forced. He voluntarily gives up. That is the criterion of spiritual life. There is no force. Just like there is a nice verse given by Yamunacarya. Yamunacarya, he was a great emperor, but later on, he became a great devotee of the Lord under the disciplic succession. Now, he has got very nice verses written by him. One of the verses is stated like this:

yad-avadhi mama cetah krsna-padaravinde
nava-nava-rasa-dhamany udyatam rantum asit
tad-avadhi bata nari-sangame smaryamane
bhavati mukha-vikarah susthu nisthivanam ca

 He says, the experience of his life... So he was a king. He enjoyed his life like anything. Now, after he became a great devotee, spiritually engaged, he expresses that experience in this way, that yad-avadhi mama cetah krsna-padaravinde: "Since I have engaged my heart and soul in the supreme devotional service of the Lord, since then..." What is the result? Yad-avadhi mama cetah krsna-padaravinde nava-nava-rasa-dhamany udyatam rantum asit: "I am getting every moment a new type of transcendental pleasure. Since then..." Bata nari-sangame. This is materially. Nari-sanga means sex life, combination of man and woman, nari-sangame. He says that "Since then, that whenever I think of sex life..." Because he has experienced. He was a family man, he was a king. He said that "Whenever I think of, not to act, but whenever I think of sex life, oh, I say, now, ‘Tu!' " (as if spitting) So param drstva nivartate. Why this life has come to him? Because he has seen something. He has experienced something which is transcendental pleasure. And in comparison to the transcendental pleasure, this material pleasure is just like spitting. You see? Very insignificant.

So here it is said, rasa-varjam raso 'py asya param drstva nivartate. One who is forcibly refrained from material enjoyment, oh, that sort of forcibly material enjoyment cannot last. Cannot last. There are many examples. There was a great muni, great sage, whose name was Visvamitra Muni, Visvamitra. He was formerly a very powerful king. Now, in his later life he gave up everything and he wanted to be a transcendentalist and great meditator, great meditator in the yoga principle of life. He was a yogi, great yogi. Now, this Visvamitra was performing meditation in the forest very supremely. So the... Now, Indra, the King of heaven, he became frightened: "So, this man is performing so much penance. So he might come. He might ask from God and claim my seat. So just wake him, wake him. Just detach him from this purpose." So he had many beautiful women at his control, one of whose name was Menaka. So Menaka was ordered that "You go there and try to induce him to have your association." Because in this world our real bondage is this... Either for man or woman, this is the real bondage, the sex life. So the Menaka was sent to Visvamitra, and Visvamitra was meditating, but his eyes were closed. So that woman made some sound of his (her) bangles, and Visvamitra thought, "Oh, in front me, a very nice beautiful woman, very young." Now, that woman was sent for that purpose, so he became implicated in that woman, and a girl was born out of that combination. That girl's name is Sakuntala. Perhaps... That's a famous name. There is a book of Sakuntala. That is the daughter of that combination. Now, here is the example, that he was a great meditator, a great yogi. But the inner implications of enjoying sex life or material enjoyment, that did not go. That was by force. By force it was submerged. That sort of forcing, forcing our senses not to act, that will not be suitable. We have to see something more beautiful than this material life. Then we can be refrained, acting material; otherwise not. Otherwise it is not possible.

So we have to learn that thing, that how we have to see the beauty of spiritual life. Then, naturally, we shall be refrained from material activities. Just like a child, a boy. He is all day mischief-making and playing, but if he is given some good engagement... There are now so many devices by the educational department, kindergarten system or this system or that system. But if he's engaged, "Oh, form ‘A,' form ‘B.' " So he learns at the same time ABC, and at the same time refrains from his mischievous activities. Similarly, there are things, kindergarten system of spiritual life. If we engage our activity in that spiritual activities, then only it is possible to refrain from these material activities. Activities cannot be stopped. Activities cannot be stopped. Just the same example, that the Arjuna... Rather, before hearing Bhagavad-gita, he became inactive, not to fight. But after hearing Bhagavad-gita, he became more active, but transcendentally active. So spiritual life, or transcendental life, does not mean that we are free from activity. Simply artificially, if we sit down, "Oh, no more I shall do anything material. I shall simply meditate," oh, what meditation you will do? Your meditation will be in a moment broken just like even Visvamitra Muni, he could not continue his meditation. We have to always, cent percent, be engaged in spiritual activities. That should be the program of our life. Rather, in spiritual life you will hardly find any time to get out of it. You have got so much engagement. Rasa-varjam. And that engagement can only be possible when you find some transcendental pleasure in it.

So that will be done. That will be done. Adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sangah [Cc. Madhya 23.14-15]. Spiritual life begins, first of all, sraddha, some faith. Just like you are coming here kindly to hear me. You have got little faith. This is the beginning. Without faith, you could not spare your time here because here there is no cinema playing, there is no political talks, nothing of the... It may be, to some it is very dry subject. Very dry subject. (chuckles) But still, you come. Why? Because you have got some little faith, "Oh, here is Bhagavad-gita. Let us hear it." So the faith is the beginning. The faithless cannot have any spiritual life. Faith is the beginning. Adau sraddha. Sraddha. And this faith, faithfulness, as much as it is intensified, you make your progress far. So this faith has to be intensified. The beginning is the faith. And now, as you make your faith intensified, so you become progressive in the spiritual path.(?) (life?) Adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sangah [Cc. Madhya 23.14-15]. If you have got some faith, then you will find out some sadhu, sadhu or some saint, some sage, who can give you some spiritual enlightenment. That is called sadhu-sanga [Cc. Madhya 22.83]. Adau sraddha. The basic principle is sraddha, and the next step is sadhu-sanga, association of spiritually realized persons. That is called sadhu... Adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sango 'tha bhajana-kriya. And if there is actually association of spiritually self-realized persons, then he will give you some process of spiritual activities. That is called bhajana-kriya. Adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sangah atha bhajana-kriya tatah anartha-nivrttih syat. And as you are more and more engaged in spiritual activities, so, proportionately, your material activities and affection for material activities will diminish. Counteraction. When you engage in the spiritual activities, your material activities diminishes. But just mind that. Material activities and spiritual activities, difference is that... Suppose you are engaged as a medical man. You don't think that "If I become spiritually engaged, then I have to give up my profession." No, no. That is not. You have to spiritualize your profession. Just like Arjuna, he was a military man. He became a spiritualist. That means he spiritualized his military activity.

So these are the techniques. So adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sangah atha bhajana-kriya tatah anartha-nivrttih syat [Cc. Madhya 23.14-15]. Anartha means... Anartha means that creates my miseries. Material activities will continue to increase my misery. And if you adopt spiritual life, then your material miseries will be gradually decreased, and practically it will be nil. And when we are actually free from material affinity, then your real spiritual life begins. Athasakti. You become attached. You cannot give up any more. When your anartha-nivrtti, when your material activities are completely stop, then you cannot give up. Athasakti. Adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sango 'tha bhajana-kriya tato 'nartha-nivrttih syat tato nistha [Cc. Madhya 23.14-15]. Nistha means your faith becomes more firm, fixed up, steady. Tato nistha tato rucih. Ruci. Ruci means you will simply hanker after spiritual things. You won't like to hear anything except spiritual message. You won't like to do anything except spiritual activities. You won't like to eat anything which is not spiritualized. So your life will be changed. Tato nistha athasaktih. Then attachment, then bhava. Then you will be transcendentally, I mean to say, ecstaticized. There will be some ecstasy. And that is the... These are the different steps for highest platform of spiritual life. Tato bhavah. Tato bhavah. Bhava, that bhava stage, is the right platform from where you can directly talk with the Supreme Lord.

So we have to gradually find out that stage of life. Here the Lord says that by force we cannot stop anyone's material activities. That is not possible. By force, it is not possible. So any other system of spiritual realization, either by the process of philosophical speculation or by this process of artificial, I mean to say, gymnastic of this body, you see, or meditation, forceful meditation... Whole day I am working in a material atmosphere. Suppose for two hours I meditate. Of course, it will make some progress. Anything, spiritual action, that will not go in vain. That is a fact. But that progress is very slow, very slow. Our determination should be... I am very glad to say that our this boy, Mr. Paul, he says sometimes, "Swamiji, I want to increase my spiritual life immediately." (laughs) Take patience, patience. It will be done, of course. When you have got such desire, God will help you. He is within you. He is simply trying to see how much sincere you are. Then He will give you all opportunities to increase your spiritual life. Tesam satata-yuktanam bhajatam priti-purvakam [Bg. 10.10], dadami buddhi-yogam.

So if we become sincerely to be servant of God, just like Arjuna became, and if we want to serve His purpose and mission, as soon as... The Lord is within you. Isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati [Bg. 18.61]. He is simply waiting, when you are turning your face towards Him. You are now turned your face towards maya, the illusion. As soon as you turn your face towards Him, oh, He will help you in every respect, every respect. He is so kind. He is so merciful. Just like father. However rebellious son he may be, as soon as comes to his father, "Father, forgive me. I shall now obey you," that father at once... He was always ready to forgive him. Father is so kind to the son that he wants that "If my son comes back, I shall forgive all his misgiving, if he comes back just like a good boy." That is a natural instinct. You see? Similarly, whatever we have done, never mind. If we take the step that "From now we have got the opportunity of human life. Now this life... I have enjoyed material life in various lives, as cats and dogs and in so many lives, the ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithunam ca, the same pleasure, eating, sleeping, and sexual intercourse and to take protection... So this is not the business of human life. The human life is just to understand my relationship with the Supreme and engage myself in that engagement." You see? That should be the mission of life. And as soon as we do it, all facilities are open and the little progress you make, you will find that you have no more attachment for material life and material enjoyment.

Thank you very much. (end)
Bhagavad-gita 2.58-59 -- New York, April 27, 1966