Temptations may come, we don’t have to welcome

by Chaitanya Charan dasAugust 29, 2015

Youth Meeting at ISKCON, Pune
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TEMPTATIONS MAY COME WE DON’T HAVE TO WELCOME

Today’s topic is –‘Temptations may come we don’t have to welcome’. It is based on 2.70 of the Bhagavad-Gita,
äpüryamäëam acala-pratiñöhaà
samudram äpaù praviçanti yadvat
tadvat kämä yaà praviçanti sarve
sa çäntim äpnoti na käma-kämé
Krishna here speaks that äpüryamäëam He is giving the example of an ocean, He says in the ocean more and more water comes into the ocean but the ocean never overflows. Similarly He says a spiritually advanced a person the desires may come to the consciousness but the person doesn’t get disturbed, doesn’t act on those desires. The words which I’m going to focus in this verses na käma-kämé So this is alliteration. The Bhagavad-Gita is a poetry it is a Gita and many different poetic ornaments are used in the Bhagavad-Gita. So many times two words sound similar and mean similar are got together to convey a different meaning. puruñaà puruñarñabha comes in 2.14 in the Bhagavad-Gita so puruñaà and puruñarñabha. So like that käma and kämé many times in the Bhagavad-Gita this sort of words are repeated and that makes a musical effect, a poetic effect but also has a semantic effect, semantic means in terms of conveying a meaning. So na käma-kämé, käma means desires kämé means desirer. So na käma-kämé means not a desirer of desire. So na käma-kämé normally we think of desirer of sense objects, we say desire of somebody may desire of sweets, somebody may desire of alcohol, somebody may desire of a new smart phone. Like that different people may be the desirers of different things. So normally we think of desirer in terms of objects but here Krishna is talking about desirer in terms of desires. So what does desirer of desires mean? To answer this we consider other point, normally speaking; desires are something which flow out from us. We see something I want it. Krishna also talked about that mode in
dhyäyato viñayän puàsaù
saìgas teñüpajäyate
saìgät saïjäyate kämaù
kämät krodho ‘bhijäyate
He says if we see something dhyäyato and then saìgas teñüpajäyate, and then saìgät saïjäyate kämaù I want it that means from us the desires going outwards. So this is the normal flow of desires whenever we fall for something which may be we don’t want to do and we end up doing anything. Although desire is normally flow outwards and in this example when Krishna talks about äpüryamäëam acala-pratiñöhaà, samudram äpaù praviçanti yadvat and He is comparing desires to rivers. Now rivers flow inwards. What is the comparison in this particular verse? The ocean is compared to the consciousness of a spiritualist. And then the rivers are compared to the desires flowing into the consciousness. So now what does it mean that the desires flow into the consciousness? So that essentially means that it is not so much talking about our desiring of something as the proposition for that coming from outside to us. Why don’t we do this? why don’t we try that out? that proposition from outside coming to us. So when that comes in, Krishna say that is like rivers flowing into the ocean. And so the käma-kämé so although the same word is used we want to differentiate between the two. There is a subtle differentiation and this is realistic matter. Different people may differentiate differently. Temptation means what comes to us; desire means what goes out from us. So the temptation means something is there out and then it’s not. So that object is presenting itself to us and ** our attraction to us. It’s more like calling to us temptation and desires what goes out from us.
So although today’s society is highly materialistic and people actually may not think of wanting give up material desires, people want to enjoy as much as they want but still even within the society also people do recognize that we cannot get into every temptation. Nowadays there is a huge almost manic obsession with obesity. People are becoming too fat. It’s almost like a fat person is considered like untouchable. They looked down upon and frowned upon, ashamed and it is such a paradox that actually the same culture that glamorizes food million ways then condemns the obesity in million ways. So the people get tormented and there are variety of eating disorders ** now there is ** eating disorder where in people are obsessed with their shape, it is largely in female but sometimes it is there in males also but the idea is that a person eats some food, **and then sometimes they eat a lot and they have to vomit it out and they get into great depression and whole psychological complex comes up.
So the point is that it is true that obesity is harmful for health in the long run but the amount of obsession that is there that is often quite disproportionate. Go with what is required. The point I am making here is that even if in today’s society people do recognize that if you eat everything that you can just laid your hand and tongue on you’re going to**.
So in Google, they did an experiment in their canteen they had this various toffees and sweetes and then for many years they had these in transparent contents. And then when they come finding that because of people they call it **means excessive eating. People often get into lot of health complications. So as an experiment they decided to put all **food items. That means all dentists**all sweets they put them **contents, where you couldn’t see what is. Only when we ask is it there then they will tell ** and they found in just six weeks before this change was made and six weeks after the change was made. The amount of sweet intake, among their employees dropped by something like 1 million calories. They have of course many employees and it was not just that employees would come to the canteen the point is that the sales drop-down and the canteen protested against it but it was experiment and then point of the experiment was that perception stimulates temptation. Perception what we observe stimulates desire. So if we observe something the desire will come out and now we may say, isn’t it common sense? This is not rocket science; we are going to see something we are going to desire. But as compared to the extent of maniac obsession as the people have that either obesity or that a weight control, weight loss people spend lot of money on their surgeries, many things they tried to do. This was found to be relatively simple strategy. Which did seem to, if we able to get people to decrease their ** So as they say out of sight is out of mind. So out of sight is out of mind only if the mind is out of it. That there is the mind is not out of the mind is already there thinking ‘I want that; I want that’, when you are not in sight then we will go and see where that I can find and get it.
So that means there are two different things we are talking about one is that there are certain internal impressions within us, which will impel us to go towards the sense objects. And then there is an external presence of alluring sense objects which kindles desires in us. In the Bhagavad-Gita Krishna tells Uddhava that there is double attraction to this world, the senses get attracted to sense objects and the sense objects are also attracted to the senses. That means the sense object there is this double attraction. So purification means that the desires inside us go away. We no longer desire that, whereas self-control means the desire is there but we don’t indulge in it. So the purification will anyway take time. Purification doesn’t happen overnight. And we to go from the state of having unworthy desires, to have pure desire during that phase we need self control. So the one way to self-control the found over here is that just minimize the perception of the sense objects. And that way we can avoid, we can decrease the indulgence. Some people anyway if they have very strong desires then they will go and search for it they get it and enjoy. But if there is minimal exposure that helps in decreasing the indulgence.
So I started the title of temptations may come we don’t have to welcome. And what that means is that when we live in the world; now I talked about temptations in terms of these particular say, the sweets which were there outside, usually we talk of temptations that something come coming from outside. Now this frame of outside and inside is also somewhat mistaken. Because when we think of external as outside and internal as inside we are still identifying with the body. We are thinking of what is outside the body is external what is inside the body is internal but if we understand our identity as souls then we can understand that even the mind is external to us. So what is often thought of as internal is also external. Much of ehat goes on inside us. So what is inside me is not me, or either all that is inside me is not me. There is a mind which is inside me and I’m not my mind. Now the idea of the mind; this is the term ‘mind’ is used by thinkers all over the world and different people have different ideas of what the mind actually is.
There is one scientist who said I have not studied my mind, because there is no **we don’t know what is the mind how can we study the subject which doesn’t exist to me. So now the point is that the mind is not a gross object, and it’s not that we may not be able to study it. But still the mind is constantly studying us. To find out our weak points and attack us on those weak points. So we may or may not accept the reality of the mind but all of us know that there is something inside us which makes us act against our best interest. What that force is, how and when it acts? Different people have different ideas. What it maybe? But that idea is itself there. So Sigmund Freud is considered to be the father of modern psychology and he had many different ideas; many of which were quiet crazy. One of his ideas which was not so crazy was that he said that, ‘we all have the intelligence but that intelligence the word used rational faculty or rationality our rationality is like a small raft, not a boat has sides, raft simply is a structure of wood tied together or joined together. One wave comes and just follow. So our rationality is like a raft but below that there is a turbulent ocean and that ocean and is our irrational emotions. So we all have within us irrational emotions which can at any moment over throw our intelligence and his reasoning was that throughout history when people looked back there are phases of insanity in history. What do phases of insanity mean that there are times when not just one person but a whole group of people, hundreds of thousands act in same ways and how anyone could have acted like that, afterwards people ** so for example when Hitler got power over Germany and converted all of Germany into Nazism and he did the host. And the way he arranged for the killing of almost 10 million people 5 million Jews. Yes there was some animosity between Germans and Jews but completely try to eliminate a whole population millions and millions of people and to brainwash a whole country like that. How does this can happen? So for example; I’m not making the political religious statement over here. I’m just talking about the Holocaust for us; the Holocaust seems like a distant reality but what the Holocaust is the German killing of the Jews primarily. You see some other tribes are also killed but primarily Jews; so that actually created permanent scars on the human psyche. Till the Second World War, even in the First World War took place till the Second World War came there was all over the world a huge amount of optimism that yes! humanity in the verge of big breakthrough and through the power of science and technology we are going to become the most progressive in the world’s history. So science has continued to move on technology has developed a lot but all over the world there is there is a huge amount of skepticism has come and this skepticism has come because it is eloquent and tragic statement that the greatest insight of the greatest mind of the last century cause the greatest disaster in the last century. The greatest mind is considered to be Einstein’s his greatest insight was E=mc2 and that led to the development of atom bomb, which was put on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Now at one level the number of deaths in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were much lesser than what were there in Germany but the whole media narrating at that time was framed in such a way that Germany and access powers weere considered to be evil. So evil people do**still bad but still we expect, but the allies have painted themselves very good. We are going to be the liberators of the persecuted people oh the access power also evil and eventually Einstein said that the biggest regret of my life was that I sent that letter to present Eisenhower saying that you should develop the atom bomb. He said my fear was that Germany would’ve made the atom bomb before us but actually Hitler was the father of developing the atom bomb. So the point is that when America did that actually by that time there was a whole bunch of historical analyzes and the point was that Japan was already on the verge of defeat and Japan would have surrendered anyway there was no need to drop that atom bomb to kill people and anyway Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not exactly filled with weapons; they were mostly civilian locations. So that humanity and not just the portion of the humanity that we created blank but our own people, that means Americans axis power allied powers, humanity can do some brutality that shook the human psyche. And that also led to the further acceptability of Freud’s ideas. So he said what happens that he said people have the rational intelligence but if somehow their irrational emotions are triggered then they will do irrational things and then the phases of insanity in human history. And so what Hitler did or the dropping of atom bombs these were not at all irrational reason to do these things but still people did those things.
So now for example there is the threat of ISIS and just a decade ago that particular area seem to be like a *Force; after the American invasion of the Gulf and suppression of powers over there but now there is a whole resurgence and what shocks people many times is that many people in the ISIS are tech savvy. ISIS uses social media very effectively; it tries to recruit candidates and promote its own cause and now some people try to frame this simply in religious terms, ‘Islam is bad and this fundamentals of Islam’, this is the expression now that sort of framing, it misses the essential point that not only one religion that has **no Hitler’s Nazi Germany was largely atheist and it did the same thing. So now roughly correlating Freud’s ideas with the Vedic analysis what Freud talks about as the rational intelligence that is like Sattva Guna, and irrational emotions are like Rajo Guna and Tamo Guna. So Krishna says this Sattva Guna we can understand what should be done but should not be done and when Srila Prabhupada went to America when he was on Jaladuta what did he say, Rajastamo Bhave he said that these people are all covered by the mode of passion and ignorance, and that is why they see that these people they do have intelligence but at the end of the day when the I was saying the rough comes they act irrational. So it’s not so much a matter of this religion being bad or this country being bad but it is a matter of all over the world
na tad asti påthivyäà vä
divi deveñu vä punaù
sattvaà prakåti-jair muktaà
yad ebhiù syät tribhir guëaiù
Krishna says in 18.40 that what to speak of or even in the heavens no one is free from the three modes of material nature. There is this goodness passion and ignorance. And there can be religious people who are in ignorance and these religious people who are in the ignorance will do devastating harm. And again the paradox is; yes there could have been something like ISIS there have been many people like Jangez Khan did a lot of terrorism and there is so many other people who did lot of brutality, vandalism. But technology has made their reach much**people can do more brutality and people can broadcast the brutality over far greater distances. So what applies to brutality; this is just like a detour from the main topic I was talking. I was talking about temptations. Generally when we talk about temptations we think of lust or greed but anger is also a temptation. The urge to indulge in violence that is basically coming from anger and technology just can facilitate lust. People want to contaminate their minds then through the Internet people can just browse all the sexually stimulating energy that is there; people are put it on so many sites. So just as technology can facilitate the aggradations of lust, technology can facilitate the aggradations of anger also.
So one young man becomes angry and he takes a machine gun and goes out and shoots a dozen people or one group of terrorists, one group of people become disgruntled in extreme society and they decide to create great havoc, and then they can kill thousands of people. So what happens over here is we live in a culture where lust, anger and greed, the 6 anarthas are there, so let’s focus right now on 3 because Krishna focuses in the Bhagavad-Gita on these three;
tri-vidhaà narakasyedaà
dväraà näçanam ätmanaù
kämaù krodhas tathä lobhas
tasmäd etat trayaà tyajetthese
so these three are the primary: lust, anger and greed. So the current culture is such that with technology all these three they can easily be aggravated. Although say in India possession of gun is illegal; in America the possession of guns is considered to be fundamental right and there is still a debate about sometimes especially when some **people go and kill innocent people then there is a consideration that we should stop having people possessing gun but still whether the guns are there or not there, so the sheer accessibility of technology makes it possible for anyone. Nowadays many companies, many employees get very stressed, so the incidents of suicides are increasing. So just like some companies say want to ensure that their employees say surf pond side during they work hours. So similarly some companies also keeping a monitor that, are any of our employees searching suicide? Many people they get so frustrated and they think even if I have to die let me die in the bank, the flush. So one of the favorite searches in Google is, ‘how to commit a dramatic suicide’. So you know there is this European air pilot, so some of you may have heard him in the news, so he wanted to do this but to go out with the banks, when he was in the plain and he send the copilot out and then the plane was just going normally and just send the plane down and the copilot outside is banging on the door, he just died he killed everyone with him. Now there was editorial he said that the twin towers had prepared as for airplanes being converted into bombs but who can prepare us for bombs inside the heads of the air pilots. This kind of desire is such a deadly desire. So the point is that technology makes the acting on the lower desires much easier and the consequences of acting on that much ghastlier. Both ways. It is very easy to act on desires, anybody who is tech savvy, on the Internet, anybody can search easiest way to murder someone. They said that is a rain at the back of your neck and if you can somehow catch a person suspecting press that, chap that you can kill a person even if you’re not stronger than that person. So it was all kinds of*technology here. Technology can be used positively and technology can be used negatively.
And I’m simply making the point that we live in each where the temptations not just in terms of lust but in terms of lust, anger, greed all temptations they are fueled much faster. And then in such a culture what is required, is ultimately greater individual responsibility. That means just like with respect to advertisement if people want to avoid obesity work to they have to do ultimately, they will have to take responsibility of how much they eat. So there may be advertisements all around people have to control themselves. Becoming responsible in this way is extremely difficult, so with respect to the availability of temptations that is something which is unlikely to change in the near future. In the society the rate is going unless there are some cataclysmic changes where the culture is going right now the access the availability of avenues for indulging in lust, indulging in greed, indulging in anger, they are going to be there. They’re going to be there more and more. The frustration has always been there throughout human history. Life is such that life will cause frustration. Whether it is BC or AD, whether it is the modern age or the pre-modern age, or post modern age wherever it is nature of this world is our plans will go wrong; we will get frustrated, people will disappoint us, people will betray us and how do we deal with problems that is the essential human art of living. The essential human art of living is how to deal with problems because problems are just a fact of life. So now temptations usually people don’t think them as problems, they think of temptations as something which we enjoy but if we enjoy it too much then it will become a problem. But two problems come up, the whole idea of enjoyment the way it is glamorized in today’s culture that little is never enough it becomes like that. Okay people say you enjoy, enjoy in regulation but the problem in enjoying in regulation is regulation does not provide satisfaction because the mind craves more and more. Especially in a culture where the most alluring sense objects are brought in front of people for everyone.
Once I went for a college program people sometimes write provocative things on their T-shirts just to catch attention; so this boy written on his T-shirt that 90% of world’s women are beautiful and the remaining 10% are in my college. What that means is that actually speaking how do people get the idea of 90% that is based on what they see in the movies, advertisements, in the media; which don’t even show the most attractive woman, they say most attractive woman with the most makeup. And then as compared to that when the senses get habituated to that kind of sensory fair, the sensory fair means the kind of sensual stimulation, then what real-life offers is always going to be pale in comparison.
So that’s why we all know spiritual point of view but even from the material point of view people can never get enough material enjoyment. At one level we can say lust is itself insatiable, that is true at one level but at another level, whether it is been traditional Indian culture or the traditional culture in the other parts of the world, there have always been people who have been living wild but large majority of population has always lived more or less regulated lives. So for example married life, there were many people who may have a relationship outside the marriage but largely people lived in a civilized married life. But in today’s culture with so much sensual stimulation brought from everywhere people just are never satisfied with what they have. And that is why Krishna says,
aneka-citta-vibhräntä
moha-jäla-samävåtäù
prasaktäù käma-bhogeñu
patanti narake ‘çucau
aneka-citta-vibhräntä the consciousness is pulled in different directions, moha-jäla-samävåtäù completely covered with illusion, prasaktäù käma-bhogeñu the desire strongly attached, and then the desire not only drags a person down they drag the person down to hellish conditions patanti narake ‘çucau down to hell.
So as I said all that I discussed right now was about temptation may come, it’s not ‘may’ but ‘are’ going to come. And they are going to come more and more. Mainly in terms of how much we expose ourselves to them but we don’t have to welcome that I’ll talk in the second part now.
For all of us changing the external world to minimize temptations is not much in our control but still we can all find what we can do. Just like I gave an example of Google experiment just put the food item and translucent containers the temptation decreases. So each of us can find that what are our temptations and whether we can minimize their prevalence or our encounter of them in our day-to-day course. We cannot change the way people dress, we cannot change the way what about the come on the television, what has come on the hoardings; but we can in our own situation check how we can minimize that. So it can vary from very simple things to very small things. We all have a device and for many people device becomes the gateway to voice, that means whatever devices are there from there people can just go anywhere and everywhere and they can contaminate their minds. So how can we minimize our exposure to temptation? Yes even if we have devices we don’t have to have unregulated access on the devices. We can have a net filter, we can have some way of controlling what we are exposing ourselves to. So we may have craving for food but it’s not that we have to starve but we have to make sure that we have around us is healthy food, Prasad means healthy Prasad, whatever is available. If you feel hungry so these are all various practical measures each of us can take so that we do not expose ourselves to unnecessary temptations. Certain amount of exposure to temptation is unavoidable but we often expose ourselves more than what is required; that we can avoid. But more important is internal response.
So when in the Ramayana, Sugriva faces temptation twice. First is that he is exiled and living in forest and his living and austerity as an exilee and then Rama**and then there is four months of the rainy season at that time nobody can go around, so Rama says I’ll stay in the forest actually Sugriva invites Rama, he says, ‘come and stay,’ he says no father has said that I will sentence to exile that means not just outside my kingdom but outside any kingdom. I cannot stay in your kingdom I’ll stay outside. Now during those four months Sugriva succumbs completely accusing to his senses and now Sugriva is not a demon, nor is he non-devotee but after living deprived of any kind of sense gratification in the forest when he suddenly placed in the Royal opulence and with profuse sense gratification he succumbs to it. And he succumbs to such an extent that he forgets his duty. And then Lakshamana comes there and that time Hanuman before he warns him, Tara warns him and then he comes to his senses. So here we see that Sugriva is more a victim of his circumstance then an evil person. A victim of circumstance means that the person is put in a tempting situation and that person **temptation. The other is that the person intentionally goes into tempting situation and falls for sense gratification. Later when the war at Lanka is about to take place, Ravana was initially dismissive, ‘who is this human?’ But after he sees the powers of Rama, after he hears about, after it can’t be contemplated how Hanuman has devastated my city, how Rama alone killed all the 40,000 warriors at Janasthan, he becomes then sober. And then he thinks that let me try divide and rule. So then he tried to tempt twice. First he tried to tempt Angada and he tells him, ‘your father is the king, and these two people are the murderers of your father. Why are you serving them? You come on my side and I will make you the next King as your father would have wanted you to be’. So Angad said, ‘oh so you know my father’s will better than my father? My father told before Vali died, Vali said serve Sugriva and serve Rama’. Ravana did not expect this reply and he became silent and then similarly he tried to tempt Sugriva and he says to Sugriva, he says ‘we have no ** when Vali was the king we had our agreement and we were both living peacefully, he says or why are you creating hostility between two friends for something which is not your business at all’. And he says, ‘you leave with your troops and I will give you profuse wealth’. So now Angada has gone as a messenger to Ravana’s palace and at that time Ravana tells them personally but when Sugriva, Ravana doesn’t talk personal he sent his messengers. So when he sent the messengers Sugriva at that time utterly refused not only refuses he catches the messengers, he drags them to Rama and he says **so how are they coming they have impersonated as monkeys, the demons changed their forms, so they became monkeys and they were coming. So when they come in over there at that time he catches them. He said these spies, So when Rama hear what has happened he says they have come as messengers send them back and he said before you send them back you give them a tour of our whole army in ** that’s what they wanted to know. They have been sent first to tempt Sugriva other to do **to see what is their strength. So he said no army tells the other army, how we have arranged our forces, it is all secret information. There is an element of surprise. So Rama says, ‘no if he sees how many forces we have maybe this Ravana come to his senses and ** from the war. So the point is that Sugriva at that time utterly rejects the temptation. He doesn’t even consider it. So what is the difference in the first situation and in the second situation? The main difference is his purposefulness. When he was in Lanka he brought his army they had camp around the fort of Ravana’s fort of Lanka, at that time they have come with a full sense of purpose. That we are going to defeat Ravana we are going to get retaliate Sita, whereas when he was living in Kishkindha he had no purpose. He was just, ‘okay I have got the kingdom and let me enjoy Royal luxury’. When we as living beings we are innately pleasure seekers. What we can do is delay pleasure. We cannot deny pleasure. We cannot deny ourselves of pleasure. But the delay means that we are convinced of some cause which requires some austerity, some suffering, some renunciation, some sacrifice but if you give higher** then we can delay pleasure. But if at all deny pleasure then we cannot do that. If we have a sense of spiritual purpose, by practicing Sadhana Bhakti, and by this Sadhana Bhakti I will come more closer to Krishna, by the practice of Bhakti I will be sharing the spiritual knowledge with others, I will be benefiting others then that sense of purposefulness although initially will not experience much higher pleasure. But that sense of purposefulness enables us to delay pleasure but when there is no purposefulness like that then if the temptation comes then it just seems like deny oh there is pleasure, why should I say NO, so if we focus on saying NO to temptation we will not succeed. The process of Bhakti is not emptying the mind of temptation; the process is crowding temptation out of the mind. Now for example this room is there and if you decide to make a full vacuum, what kind of vacuum machine requires and then small window our small door opens and again air is coming but if this room is filled with water then the air will automatically go off. So like that if our focus as I said we don’t have to welcome the temptations that is the point we were discussing. If our focus is to say NO to temptations then that is deniable and deniable is never sustainable. But our focus is on serving Krishna, our focus is on moving closer to Krishna then we can delay pleasure understanding that yat tad agre viñam iva, pariëäme ‘måtopamam there is some poison initially but there is nectar eventually. Sometimes we may say that even delay pleasure requires determination and I don’t have determination. Actually it is completely wrong to say that I don’t have determination what we lack is not determination; what we lack is direction for our determination. What do we mean by direction for our determination actually we may say oh to give up sense gratification requires determination yes to give up sense gratification requires determination but holding onto sense gratification also requires determination. Isn’t it? We often when we indulge in our senses we face the consequences and in spite of facing consequences still we hold onto it.
yayä svapnaà bhayaà çokaà
viñädaà madam eva ca
na vimuïcati durmedhä
dhåtiù sä pärtha tämasé
Krishna talks about determination in the mode of ignorance and He says these characteristics yayä svapnaà bhayaà çokaà people daydreaming, grieving. Some people are habitually morose. Whatever you show them they will tell you all the problems in that. That is just habitual relative thinkers. And such people’s moroseness, that doesn’t do any good to anyone even to them. If we are habitually morose then how can we be enthusiastic doing anything? Now this moroseness is sapping their energy and still they continue to **that requires determination. na vimuïcati durmedhä misdirected intelligence, don’t give it up although it does no good to them. So to hold on to an attachment also requires determination. We don’t just require to give up attachment to hold onto attachment also requires determination and often we do not feel that as determination because we define determination in particular way but doing anything while enduring something unfavorable for the sake of doing it that is determination. So when people over eat or people say drink, after drinking they have a hangover. And they still drink that is determination. But of course this kind of determination has a appropriate word for it and that is –addiction. But the narrative is optimism or stubbornness. So the point is it is not that we lack determination, no one lacks determination all of us have determination. So what we lack is the direction for the determination. And if we understand this point that all of us already have determination we just need to redirect it and then we focus on the practice of Bhakti.
I will conclude with one point and then you can ask questions.
So when we are trying to say we don’t have to welcome temptations, so the best way to deal with temptations is to not deal with them that means if a temptation comes – yes/no. NO. So once we start dealing with them, just like sometimes a salesman comes then that salesman is trying to sell us something and now if you try to persuade the salesman, ‘no I don’t want this,’ the salesman are often, they are master arguers as they say, ‘a good advertiser is one who can sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo’. So like that advertisers are experts and so marketers, advertisers they are experts. So now if you try to deal with them, ‘no I don’t need this,’ they will persuade you that, ‘you may need it now’. So like that if we try to, yes this temptation is there should I indulge or should I not indulge? If we start dealing with the temptation then it’s likely that we will be devowed by the temptation. So the best way to deal with temptation is to not deal with the temptation, that means what; once Prabhupada was asked that one devotee in New Vrindavana asked , ’our purpose is to serve Krishna and why is Maya so strong,’ So Prabhupada said because ‘your purpose is not strong’, because our purpose is not strong, that means if we focus on positive activity on keeping ourselves busy in Krishna’s service we don’t feel much temptation. So we don’t welcome means it is not that okay we are waiting for temptation to come when the temptation comes no you’re not welcome over here, It is not like that, we are just so busy that we don’t even notice temptation. One may say how is that possible, there is so much all around us world is filled with temptation. Yes that is true but all of us do have **to some extent. If we are studying for exams at that time also we can go on Internet and we can serve hundred things, we can watch cricket matches, we can do so many things but we do study, we all have certain level of determination and all that is primarily required is to increase our purposefulness. So for us what does it make has purposeful? There is no Stereotype ** Now we say ultimately our purposefulness is that we have to serve Krishna, we have to love Krishna, we have to attain Krishna, but what will inspire us right now in our Bhakti that is something which we have to find out. So some of us may be inspired by chanting, some of us may be inspired by studying scriptures, some of us may be inspired by memorizing verses, some of us inspired by Kirtan and this is I’m talking about directly devotional activities. The directly devotional activities are important for us to get contact with Krishna, to absorb our mind with spiritual potency but along with that even in our work, even in our other worldly activities we need to find out how we can stay purposefully, that means when we say we have to know ourselves, know ourselves at one level means to know soul, but to know ourselves also means to know our psychophysical nature. So that means if I am studying and say I start studying and some students may be able to study for 3-4 hours without being disturbed, they just continue to study. Other may study for 30 minutes and need a break after that. Now if I start comparing myself with somebody, if I can study for 30 minutes and I start comparing with somebody who studies for 3 hours, unnecessarily I put myself in inferiority complex. You study for 30 minutes take a five minute break and again start studying. It is possible. Somebody may study for 3 hours and that person may take half an hour break. So one problem in today’s world is that certain things become glamorized, for example certain careers become glamorized. So say Engineering or Medicine, everybody wants to go in that direction. So like that even in our life we may find that certain patterns of behavior may get glamorized, I’m not saying that patterns of behavior are wrong but the shoe that fits one person bites another person. Isn’t it? Different people’s legs have different sizes. So similarly materially all of us **and if we try to instead of understanding our own nature if we just try to imitate others then we will set ourselves for frustration and what happens is when we try to do something that we are not materially capable of doing then the frustration that comes from that, that affects our spiritual life. Because of the material for frustration we become discouraged in our spiritual life, because it is discouraging our spiritual life we fall prey to temptation and because we fall prey to temptation we become further frustrated. So in that way devotees can unnecessarily get into depression. So when we as devotees are practicing spiritual life, practicing spiritual life is not just about how we do our Sadhana it is also about how we live our material life and that means we may not have so much freedom, we are in a particular career like or a particular course, particular education, we may not have complete ** interchange our course track, and that may not be necessary also but we observe ourselves. And learn what the way I work best is. And when we learn that and then rather than comparing and competing with others, we compare and compete with ourselves. That means okay if I do like this I’d be able to do this much, and if I continue on this then I’ll be able to do this much. Then we will be on the path of self improvement. If we keep comparing ourselves with others we will put ourselves on the path of self disempowerment. Unnecessarily discouraged and disempowered ourselves. But if we understand ourselves, understand our own nature and again Krishna talks about the nature quite a few times in Bhagavad-Gita, so there is one verse in Bhagavad-Gita,
sadåçaà ceñöate svasyäù
prakåter jïänavän api
prakåtià yänti bhütäni
nigrahaù kià kariñyati
Krishna says that, ‘all living beings act according to their nature and even the wise people act according to the nature so what can repression accomplish? So there is one organization according to them the essence of Bhagavad-Gita is what can repression accomplish? nigrahaù kià kariñyati and therefore some Samadhi, just enjoy, enjoy then eventually you give up enjoyment. Actually people never give up enjoyment. So Krishna is saying nigrahaù kià kariñyati if you see that of verse just before that verse and after that verse Krishna is talking about sense control. So this is 3.34 and just after that there is a whole section from 3.36 onwards where Krishna talks about what is it that one makes sinful activities, it is Kama, He says that you have to control Kama and just before that Krishna says,
indriyasyendriyasyärthe
räga-dveñau vyavasthitau
tayor na vaçam ägacchet
tau hy asya paripanthinau
That the sense objects are obstacles our spiritual paths we need to control our senses. So what Krishna is talking about nigrahaù kià kariñyati, He is not talking about desires in terms of lust, anger and greed, He’s talking about our nature. So all of us we have a particular nature. Now in the broad Bhagavad-Gita context, the Bhagavad-Gita’s specific context you can refer to Varnashrama, in general beyond that specific Varnashrama categorization it also refers to the individual kind of machine that we have. Like many of us are using computer and all computers have similar functions, all computers are meant to serve similar purposes but each computer may have different make and it may have so many functions. You do this for this function you did this for this function. And a good computer user understands what kind of machine I have and then optimizes in own way. So now if I try to use Windows machine like a Mac machine that will not work. That Krishna is saying nigrahaù kià kariñyati that means if I have a particular body like machine I cannot make it to work in other way but that does not mean that I have to indulge in every urge of the body- mind machine. It simply means that there are certain desires which come which are irrational which you have to control but apart from that there is a nature if you understand and be harmonized with. And then we can actually speaking when we live this way we will be able to be both spiritually and materially effective. Spiritually we can connect with Krishna nicely in our Sadhana Bhakti and materially whatever time we invest in our worldly activities will be productive in that. We will be able to work efficiently.
So I’ll summarize I started but talking about how Krishna says that na kaama kaami do not get desirer of desires that means that temptations which are going to come from the external world we do not have two accept those temptations. So by temptations coming from external world I talked about that time about how lust, anger and greed, the avenues for indulging in them they have increased tremendously in today’s word. Then I talked about Freud’s analyzes about how there is rational intelligence is like**and below that there is a turbulent Ocean of irrational emotions like Sattva Guna is a very small and below that there is a huge flow of Rajo Guna and Tamo Guna and somehow through brainwashing , through glamorization, irrational emotions are triggered then people act irrational. And even against their own intelligence.
We talked about history phases of insanity are there and then in today’s culture it is difficult to avoid that temptation is in the outer word. And still within that we can regulate to some extent. I gave the example of Google experiment. It is converting**sweet items that decreases food items. So like that we can find that how within our lives we can minimize our exposure to temptations. But beyond that when that temptations are unavoidable what do we do is we don’t focus on saying NO to them, rather we focus on saying YES to Krishna. We cannot deny our need for pleasure but we can delay that for a higher purpose. And that delay will be possible to the extent we are convinced about the higher purpose. So by practicing Sadhana Bhakti, by studying scriptures, by using our intelligence we get the conviction for the higher purpose and that conviction is in terms of our acceptance and determination is in terms of our action or execution. So I said that what we lack is not determination but that action of our determination and we direct our determination towards Krishna, and towards the end we concluded by discussing about how the process of the Bhakti centers on not just practicing direct devotional activities, that is important. But along with that understanding the kind of machine that we have the kind of body mind mechanism we have and then using it most effectively and one of the greatest obstacles using body mind machine that we have effectively is comparing unnecessarily with others. So rather comparing with others we understand ourselves and compare with ourselves that way we can move on the path of self-realization and then we can become more materially and spiritually effective.
Thank you very much!

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Chaitanya Charan das

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