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How one is to advance in spiritual life.

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Hare Krsna to All
Pranams
All Glories to  Srila Prabhupada and Kirtan Rasa
 
Below is a short excerpt from one very ecstatic class given by Srila Prabhupada in LA, 1972.
He explains very simply and very clearly HOW one is to advance in spiritual life. And he gives the test.
 
There are no secrets, there is no hocus pocus, there are no short cuts. Actual spiritual life begins when
one begins to become serious about hearing the Holy Names of God and hearing the words of the pure devotees. Everything else springs from these two things.
 
Hare Krsna
Damaghosa das
-------------------------------------
 
720822SB.LA                    Lectures                  
  
Gunamayi... Another meaning of guna is rope. Just like you have
seen rope. There are three layers
, they are twisted very strong, and
such rope becomes strong.
So similarly, these three gunas, these three
modes of nature, are twisted like rope, and we are bound up
.
You
cannot get out.
Daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya duratyaya. If your
hands and legs are tied with such rope, then it is very difficult.
Similarly, we are all bound up. We are declaring freedom, and so many
things, nonsense, we are speaking, but we have forgotten that we are
under the grip of this maya
. Immediately, you can be overcome by maya.
Maya is so strong.

   So therefore by this process,
 
                      srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah
                        punya-sravana-kirtanah
                     hrdy antah stho hy abhadrani
                        vidhunoti suhrt satam
This is the process. Nityam, daily. Or twenty-four hours. By studying
Srimad-Bhagavatam or associating with devotees
, bhagavata-sevaya...
Bhakti, bhagavaty uttama-sloke bhaktir bhavati naisthiki. Then the
Supreme Personality of Godhead, bhagavaty uttama-sloke, bhaktir
bhavati naisthiki, devotional service becomes strong and fixed up.

Simply by this process, hearing.
There is no necessity of education or
Ph.D. degree.
Simply God has given you these ears and you hear,
srnvatam. Hear about Krsna from realized soul
. This process will make
you to be situated on the platform of goodness,
and as soon as you are
promoted to the platform of goodness, that means you have already
surpassed the other two platforms--means ignorance--and the symptom
will be... That is clear here.
The symptom is that the two things,
lust and greediness, will not disturb yo
u.
You haven't got to take
certificate from anyone, "Just give me certificate that I have become
a Krsna conscious." You take your certificate yourself, see yourself,
whether you are free from lust and greediness. That's the certificate.
If you are confident that "I am free from lust and greediness," then I
am making progress.
Otherwise, (chuckles) I am again in the same, no
progress. This is test.

   This is test. If we want to cheat others, that is a different
thing, that "I have become very advanced in Krsna consciousness." That
is another thing, cheating.
But you test yourself by this process,
whether you are free from lust and greediness
. This is the test. Tada
rajas-tamo-bhavah. And when you become free from these two things,
lust and greediness, tada, ceta etair anaviddham sthitam sattve
prasidati. Ceta, consciousness, not being attacked by these two
nonsense things, ignorance and passion... Ceta etair anaviddham.
Viddham means piercing. They are always piercing, pinching, pinching.
"Come on, come on." They are always pinching. But if you are actually
situated in Krsna consciousness, these things will not pinch you.
Tada, ceta etaih...
Because everything is in the heart. Whole thing is
cleansing the heart.

   So heart is being pinched. "Here is... I am beautiful boy," "I am
beautiful girl. Why not come?" So this is pinching. So if you are
actually situated on the platform of Krsna consciousness,
not fully, a
little advanced
, then these things will be visible. Tada ceta etair
anaviddham.
And when you stop, when you are able to stop this pinching
in your heart by these two modes of material nature, passion and
greediness--tada ceta etair anaviddham sthitam sattve
prasidati--prasidati, then you become joyful. That is the stage of
joyfulness.
 
                      brahma-bhutah prasannatma
                        na socati na kanksati
                         samah sarvesu bhutesu
                      mad-bhaktim labhate param
 
That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita. When you have come to this
status, joyful, no more pinching by these two modes of material
nature, joyful,
that is called brahma-bhuta stage, the platform of
liberation.

  
So the next stage is brahma-bhuta. So brahma-bhuta stage means na
socati na kanksati. No more hankering, no more demanding
. Na socati na
kanksati. Because here the business is we hanker after something which
we do not possess, and if we lose something which we possessed, then
we lament. This is our business. Some... First of all, we possess.
Then, by nature, we lose it. When it is lost, then we cry. So these
two things are material position, na socati...
But when you come to
the brahma-bhuta stage, spiritual platform, then these two things will
be absent
. Na socati na kanksati samah sarvesu bhutesu. Then you will
be able to see everyone on the spiritual platform. Panditah
sama-darsinah. Then you are learned. You are seeing the cats and dogs
and a human being, a learned man, because you don't see the dress,
outward covering, tabernacle, but you see, "Here is a spirit soul,
part and parcel of Krsna." That is universal brotherhood. Not by
passing resolution with the United Nations and fighting. That is not
possible.
You have to come to the stage of spiritual platform; then
there is question of love, brotherhood, equality, fraternity,
otherwise,all bogus propaganda
. It's not possible
. Samah sarvesu
bhutesu mad-bhaktim labhate param.
Then real, pure devotional service
begins. Then we become completely fit to serve Krsna. Krsna accepts
your service at that time.

   This is the process, but if we follow the rules and regulations
given by spiritual master, sastra, then gradually, gradually...
Therefore we should be very careful. We should be very cautious that
maya may not attack us. Because she is always ready to attack.....
---------------------------------------
 
CONCLUSION---
SO HOW TO PROTECT ONESELF FROM MAYAS ATTACK??
WE MUST ASSOCIATE WITH KRSNAS DEVOTEES REGULARLY,CHANT THE HOLY NAMES, AND EAT ONLY KRSNA PRASADAM.
AND THE RESULT OF FOLLOWING THE ABOVE? THE MODES OF PASSION AND IGNORANCE WILL GRADUALLY SLACKEN THEIR TIGHT GRIP UPON OUR MINDS AND OUR ORIGINAL CONSCIOUSNESS WILL EASILY FLOW TOWARDS THE ALL BLISSFUL SUPREME LORD.
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