Founder of ISKCON. His Divine
Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada
In this world, there is nothing so sublime and pure as transcendental knowledge. Such knowledge is the mature fruit of all mysticism. And one who has become accomplished in the practice of devotional service enjoys this knowledge within himself in due course of time. (Bhagavad-gita 4.38)
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How Lust is Born   12.01.2011

A lecture given by His Holiness Kadamba Kanana Swami Maharaja, 26th December 2010, Durban, South Africa

We’re reading from the Srimad Bhagavatam, 11th Canto, Chapter 14 entitled, “Lord Krsna explains the yoga system to Sri Uddhava” text number 27:

visayan dhyayataa cittam

visayesu visajjate

mam anusmaratas cittam

mayy eva praviliyate

 

Translation: The mind of one meditating upon the objects of sense gratification is certainly entangled in such objects, but if one constantly remembers Me, then the mind is absorbed in Me.

(Purport)

(Invocatory Prayers)

Austerity required in spiritual life

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said that for most people the heart and the mind are one and the same. So whatever is in the heart that is what is on our mind and also, whatever is in the mind will develop in the heart. So this relationship is identified by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu mentioned in the Caitanya Caritamrta. It is said,

aprarabdha-phalam papam

kutam bijam phalonmukham

kramenaiva praliyeta

visnu-bhakti-ratatmanam

 

Within the heart there is a large stock of sinful reactions and the result is that therefore we have a sinful inclination. Therefore the mind tends to- thousands of times a day- dwell on sinful activity and that may continue for quite a while, even while someone has understood that Krsna consciousness is actually the truth and that it is the ultimate goal of life. And one has become a saddhaka, a devotee who is practicing devotional service and yet sinful thoughts will harass us. Like one devotee went to Prabhupada and said, ‘you know I’m really trying to think of Krsna but always these sinful thoughts come up to my mind and I’m remembering the activities that I was doing before.’ And the devotee is saying to Prabhupada, ‘I’m trying to think of Krsna but I’m just constantly being drawn back to the material nature.’ Prabhupada said, ‘oh you’re remembering the sinful activities that you did before? That’s very good because it should remind you that you should never do these things again!’ But because we have a sinful inclination, so when the remembrance comes of previous sinful activities, we are contemplating that maybe we should do it again!

 So in spiritual life, one has to be prepared to undergo some austerities,

 tapo divyam putraka yena sattvam

suddhyed yasmad brahma-saukhyam tv anantam

 (Bhag. 5.5.1)

 It is said that this human form of life, tapo divyam, or austerity for a divine purpose is required.

 nayam deho deha-bhajam nr-loke

kastan kaman arhate vid-bhujam ye

 (Bhag. 5.5.1)

 It is said that this human form of life is not meant for sense gratification but it is rather meant for actually realising the goal of life. In the initial stages some austerity is required. The main motivation to perform that austerity will be knowledge because if one is not having love for Krsna then what can motivate us in spiritual life? Only the understanding that Krsna consciousness leads us to a better end and that material activity will just cause us more and more suffering. And that is transcendental knowledge. Therefore we need to become firmly fixed in transcendental knowledge.

 If we are merely practising Krsna consciousness on the basis of sentiment then we will not last. The material energy will create circumstances that will become overwhelming and we will fall down. We will be weak and we will not be able to maintain if we are simply practicing Krsna consciousness on sentiment because the process of devotional service may at times be very inspiring and at other times may be very austere. We are not always happy in the material world, even when we are practicing devotional service. Even when practicing devotional service we are still going through the alternating happiness and distress, which is part of material life and yes, in the middle of an ecstatic moment, we feel very strong in Krsna consciousness. But at the time when life gets difficult and when we are suffering, then spiritual life becomes reduced to just a duty, a difficult austere duty. At that time we are very weak and at that time we are prone to fall down, prone to deviate and we are an easy target for maya at that time.

 The rock of vaisnava aparadha

 Therefore we must make sure that we are wearing a nice protective armour. We must wear the helmet of Srimad Bhagavatam on our head. That helmet of Srimad Bhagavatam at least will keep our head straight, it will protect our head from becoming carried away by so many foolish thoughts. That will occur; the stream of thoughts…I have been preoccupied with some writing which has been lying on the shelf for too long but who knows, one day I will finish a little book. I did a book which is describing how we are living on a bank of a river and this river is the stream of my thoughts and naturally this stream of my thoughts is full of mundane thoughts. And if I allow myself to go along in the stream of these thoughts, then I might be swept up in a very fast current. And once you get grabbed by the current, then there’s not much you can do. Then there are many sharp rocks of vaisnava aparadha, rocks of not respecting devotees, rocks of not bowing down to a vaisnava…if we don’t bow down to a vaisnava and if we don’t submit ourselves before the vaisnavas and humbly request them to, ‘please bestow your mercy upon me, please guide me…’ If we approach the vaisnavas with pride, the result will be that we will become affected by lust.

 We see in the scriptures that when offences are made to devotees or when offences are made that a person becomes subjected by the material energy and that he falls prey to lust. One may think of the case of SaubhariMuni, who was seated in deep meditation. This was in Satya Yuga and in Satya Yuga meditation is the process and those who meditate are also quite powerful and Saubhariwas so powerful that by mystic power, he could remain under water and enter into deep meditation. Once, Subhari, besides meditating on the Lord, was also seeing the world around him. Therefore he was very familiar with under water life and so one day Garuda came there and Garuda, he took the biggest fish, the king of all the fish, and just ate that fish. So Saubhariwho had sort of watched the fish for a long time-besides meditating on the Lord- and had developed some attachment to the fish community and therefore Saubhari had felt hurt when that fish was devoured. He said to himself, ‘how could Garuda so brutally just devour this fish who was the protector of all the others. Such insensitivity is totally not befitting a devotee like a Garuda!’ and therefore he cursed Garuda that if he would ever come there again then he would die! However it wasn’t Saubhari’s position to judge Garuda who was by far his superior because Garuda was an eternal associate of the Lord, He is a liberated soul and therefore He is beyond any form of criticism. Garuda is on the complete, perfect platform and every single action that he performs is simply mercy- even if he eats a fish that’s also his mercy upon that fish. And by the way, since Garuda is not exactly in the human form but a kind of Kinnara, which is somewhere between a bird and a human, he has a special license to eat snakes and fish and things like that, which birds sometimes do.

 So the point though is that Saubhari, after having come to this stage of disrespecting a superior, shortly after, he again saw his fish community, with whom he was so affiliated and he saw how two fish were copulating (somehow engaging in sexual activity)-  I don’t know how fish exactly do that but anyway…Saubhari’s mind became distracted from his meditation and he started to think of sex life so deep and so strong that it just brought out a real intense desire for sex. And Saubhari came out of the water and he had been there for a long time and was all over gown by green weeds and so on and he went to the local king and he asked that king for a his daughter. The king was totally shocked! Here comes this old sage, totally overgrown by green plants and so on and asks for the hands of his daughter and he thinks, ‘oh my god! If I give my daughter this sage, she will die of a heart attack. And at the same time if I don’t give my daughter to this sage he might curse me and these curses of the sages are very powerful, so what am I to do?’ So Saubhari saw the hesitance of the king and he left and shortly after returned in a different form of a beautiful prince. Well the king had actually 50 daughters and these 50 daughters they suddenly started fighting with one another over who was going to marry this young prince that had come. So the king again had domestic problems and therefore he decided to resolve it by marrying all his daughters to Saubhari, who wound with 50 ladies and that kept him really busy for a while and he forgot all about his spiritual pursuits. Until after many, many years, one day he just thought to himself, ‘what happened? One moment I was absorbed in spiritual life and the next moment I was out there.’

 That’s exactly how it is. So the same dynamics take place in our life also. Maybe not quite as dramatic; some of us may think, ‘well I’ll try a little vaisnava aparadha and see if I wind up with 50 princesses!’ But that was not exactly the aim of this presentation; the aim of the presentation was rather to pint out how lust is born and that is going to be my topic in this lecture. It is a fact that offences can lead to that. And we night wonder why in this life we wound up so entangled in family life and it could just have been that in our last life we inadvertently have been critical of the vaisnavas. In the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu it is said that a devotee comes to the stage of bhava, which is a stage of ecstasy but within that stage of bhava there still is some sense of suffering and it is said that sense of suffering is there because there is still a trace of vaisnava aparadha in his consciousness and that is interesting.

 After contemplating on it I think that means that still some remaining tendency- not just reaction- but also some tendency to be careless, some tendency of not completely worshipping the vaisnavas; still some judgemental mentality in relation to other vaisnavas. And who is not judgemental? We are all judgemental, we are below bhava so we are even more judgemental and the judgemental tendency is very strong, (imitates) ‘what about this one, and what about that one, what about everyone…except me!’ That tendency is very, very strong, so strong. So this vaisnava spirit of becoming very generous, that is truly the way that we can rise above lust.

 The subtle nature of lust

 Lust is very tricky…I have one story about Gandhi. As we may remember Gandhi was into celibacy and Gandhi being into celibacy was also imposing that upon his followers. So one of his secretaries in the party, a big political leader, he was married but he had been celibate for over 20 years- separate bedrooms. Because he was influential politically, some political enemies wanted to corrupt this man so they arranged for a prostitute to sort of join the office as a secretary. And she was wearing the right kind of low cut dresses that are very favourable for a professional activity and as he was taking the notes… (laughter) she made sure that he got a proper look and so on and she made other postures and so on that really would agitate the mind of any man who has a slight tinge of the modes of nature. So he was agitated to the max…she was expert! But he never ever did anything with that prostitute. But that night when he was at home, for the first time in over 20 years he went to the room of his wife…!

So it’s a very interesting story I think because it shows how the source of agitation in one situation and it comes out in another! And it does show something about the dynamics of lust. And then think of us… (sings) ‘down town…and what don’t you see? Down town…’ so many things, so many impressions and down town comes to you! Yes, down load! (sings) ‘down load…’ yes and we can download and it just goes straight to our brain. It won’t be long before there would be a USB port implanted here (our brain) and you can download direct through your head. And this is basically what is going on…an endless stream of garbage is entering through our consciousness and we think, ‘well it doesn’t affect me! It doesn’t affect me! You know, I watch some movies sometimes- Bollywood productions- and it doesn’t affect me. When the dancing girls come on it doesn’t mean anything to me- nothing- even although some of them dance well.’ In some parts of the world we may describe as, ‘in an obscene way…’ In India it is totally okay but my mother would have called it ‘obscene!’ and if my sister would have dared to dance like that, they would have locked her in the house! Where I grew, things like that were in the obscene category. Not that it didn’t go on…that’s another story.

 Leaving that aside…but somehow or other, in India, in the land of dharma, where there are such exalted standards in the scripture, somehow or other these Bollywood movies are bona fide! They are totally bona fide! Even the most pious Hindu, after doing his puja and prayer, turns around and the next moment turns on the dancing girls! And the old, pious Gujaratis , ‘Jaya Sri Krsna,’ they are watching the girls do whatever they are doing! Such are the ways of the world! The interesting compartments that we have in our brain…does your brain also have compartment? Yes a devotional compartment- ‘Krsna! Krsna!’ surrender and everything- and then a sense gratification compartment and there a whole different thing goes on! We never think that these things are disturbing, ‘it doesn’t affect me…’

 Planting different seeds

 But we should understand the explanations of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu very thoroughly. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu gives us the process by which we can attain pure bhakti and He has outlined this process and He has particularly outlined this process in the most direct way in His teachings to Srila Rupa and Srila Sanatana Gosvamis. They are identified as the most important associates of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. But in the instructions to Srila Rupa Gosvami at the Dasasvamedha-ghata in Prayaga, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu started to explain the nature of devotional service and He began to speak about the seed, the bhakti lata bija, the seed of the creeper of devotional service. He said this seed is planted in the heart and then Çravaëa-kértana-jale karaye secana, one must water it and then this creeper will grow. And that is the part that we are kind of familiar with. Then He also begins to explain that along with this bhakti lata, the creeper of bhakti, other creepers begin to grow up that sometimes look a lot like bhakti and we might easily mistake them for bhakti and they are actually weeds that strangle the bhakti creeper and we say, ‘yes, yes, familiar, familiar, heard it before…’ but what I’d like to point out to you is that only is the bhakti creeper growing from seeds, the other creepers are also growing from seeds and what are those seeds? Well what happens if we plant some Bollywood seeds? Sure enough the Bollywood seeds are going to grow into a huge Bollywood plant! And what’s a Bollywood plant all about? Oh it’s a nasty thing! It’s a big bhakti strangler! A big, fat Bollywood plant can really distract us. And of course there are other types of movies; now there’s a whole new school of movies, ‘New York Productions’ and they are kind of really like…not Hollywood but New York…and they are sharp and on the cutting edge and full of tension and the people are beautiful but not too beautiful- they look like real life people! Somebody beautiful who you could meet not somebody who has just been created on screen and we know that this is not real life…but New York knows how to bring it so close to you that it’s almost real life but just a little better. But the beautiful girls there look kind of like the beautiful secretaries in the office.

 So like that temptations come in all forms of varieties. I am from Amsterdam and Amsterdam, as you know, has two main sources of income- one is drugs and they do well with that and the other one is prostitution and they also do very well with that. The motto in Amsterdam prostitution is ‘whatever it is that is hidden in your mind, deep down, that which you never told anyone about, that hidden desire that you have, we have it!’ that’s basically what it’s all about, ‘whatever it is, we have it! It has a price but it’s worth it…’ that’s Amsterdam for you, don’t go there! Just stay here and chant Hare Krsna. But that’s the way it is, that’s actually the way Maya works. As Bhaktivinoda Thakura has pointed out, maya is not only outside us but maya is also within. And that is the dangerous part, the most dangerous part because maya knows, she knows everything about us and she knows exactly our weak point, she knows that one thing that we can’t resist and that’s what she will bounce under our nose, ‘for uuuuu! Take?’ ‘No take it away! No, no, no! Not that! Take it away!’ ‘Yessssss, that! Your dream now available!’ ‘Well, I guess I could be Krsna conscious tomorrow, I mean you can’t be fanatic, you know what I mean? Maya for a day and tomorrow we will be serious again…’

 So careful we must e with this influence of the illusory energy. And therefore we must be careful with the seeds that we pick up. ISKCON had 11 gurus after Srila Prabhupada and one of them really got in trouble particularly in a way that he took away a whole project in America and at one point he started to preach Mayavada philosophy. And then someone, an old devotee said, ‘way in ’66 he always use to read, even after joining, Mayavadi books.’ The seeds were planted, the seeds had been in there for all these years and nothing happened…and then they came out! So that is the nature of material seeds. So we have to be careful with that; we should not think, ‘I’m above it…I’m not affected. I’m chanting my rounds…Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare…no I don’t feel any serious affliction of lust…it’s beyond me…Hare Krsna Hare Krsna…’

 The protection of Lord Caitanya’s mercy

 But Srila Prabhupada gave one lecture about Ajamila and he explained that Ajamila was a qualified brahmana. Somehow or other Ajamila fell down when he saw a sudra embracing a prostitute. But he was so qualified and then Prabhupada said, ‘what is our chance, who are not so qualified?’ and then we sit and think, ya…I mean coming from Amsterdam and coming from about anywhere in the world, I would say what Ajamila saw was kids stuff! A boy and a girl embracing…big deal, you know. If you fall down if you see that, well I don’t think you’ll make it till the end of the day! I’m sorry, not much chance! So how is it that generally most of us are not falling down? Is it that we are immune because we grew up with these things and we’re not so affected by it? No, that’s what the mind tells us. But that’s not why we are affected by it; the reason why we are not affected by it is because as Cupid is shooting his arrows at us, Caitanya Mahaprabhu is personally blocking them! And just left and right wiping out all the attacks of maya and it is within that protection only that we are still chanting. And right behind we are chanting, (dramatic) ‘Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna…I’m such a powerful bhakti yogi…Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama…I am so transcendental…I’m just not affected by the material energy!’ This is actually the reality.

 So somehow or other by the protection of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, we don’t fall prey to all the sinful seeds that we pick up accidentally. But if we start to pick them up on purpose then the Lord may at one point say, ‘well, if this is truly your desire, if you really want this…’ He will give us warnings , ‘don’t do it!’ but if we keep on going then at one point He says, ‘okay this is what you want? All right, take it, take it…try it, try it for some time and see what it’s like.’ So therefore in spiritual life one must be very careful. I’ll end now with a last verse from Jagadananda Pandita,

 krsna-bahirmukha hana bhoga vancha kare

nikata-stha maya tare japatiya dhare

 That when we are inclined to enjoy the material energy we should know that maya is standing nearby and she is ready, ready to slap us down. Her arm is already raised, so as soon as we slightly flirt with the material energy then maya will slap us down. Jagadananda Pandita is not talking about fall down. Fall down feels like you have it a bit under control and if you hold on tight and a little careful not to get too close to the edge it’s all right, but we didn’t calculate is that maya is there to slap us down! So that’s interesting.

 One must be careful in spiritual life

 This kind of a lecture is not a ‘pull your socks up’ lecture; some might think that this is a ‘pull your socks up lecture.’ But it’s a not a ‘pull you socks up’ lecture. It is a lecture that is, just see how the subtle ways are that maya is working in our life and just see how powerful the material energy is! And just see how careful one must be in spiritual life. In other words it’s not me sitting on a big seat lecturing all of you to pull your socks up; it’s me sitting with you in the same boat, rocking on the waves and sort of thinking, ‘well, watch out, watch out, watch out!’ and I’m telling myself, ‘watch out, watch out, watch out! Dont ever think that you’re high and dry, don’t ever think that you’re above it.’ Don’t ever think that, ‘I’ve made it so far that the rest is a breeze.’ As soon as we think, ‘now I’m advanced, now I’m almost there. A few more steps and I’ll have Krsna prema…’ So I’ll always remain humble and respectful to the vaisnavas by taking shelter of transcendental knowledge with the helmet of Srimad Bhagavatam, with the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu as an armour and shooting with our bow and arrow, aiming at the target and making very sure then we can be very successful in this battle with maya. In this way we can go back to Godhead this lifetime. Why not? It can be done by everyone, why not? Any questions, any comment?

 Question: Maharaja I just want to make a comment and question. Once I was speaking to my Guru Maharaja, Bhakti Tirtha Swami Maharaja, and I said to him, “Guru Maharaja, sometimes I lose my temper and I say stupid things and I regret it afterwards. So can you please give me some pointers on what I can do about it?” just for a brief second he thought and he said, “Madhu Mangal whenever you want to do something stupid and you lose your temper then remember that I’m standing right next to you!”

 (Maharaja reiterates comment)

 The question that I wanted to ask was, a devotee said that Kali actually infiltrates in ISKCON and he draws a wedge between the devotees and that’s where arguments and disagreement starts. Is that accurate or is maya that comes in?

Maharaja: Kali is an agent of maya ultimately. In the Srimad Bhagavatam it is described that along with the mental sons of Lord Brahma, who are different sages, adharma also appeared from Brahma. And then in line with adharma, Kali took birth as one of his sons. And kali married harsh speech. Kali in the Mahabharata is described as one of the lowest of celestials. And then it is described that once there was King Nala. King Nala was a wonderful and great personality and there was one issue, that King Nala desired Damayanti. Damayanti was also have all good qualities and she was having a svayamvara and he on the way to the svayamvara to ask Damayanti. Then on the way to the Svayamvara, Indra appears before Nala. So Nala offers his obeisances and says, ‘My dear Lord Indra, please accept my most respectful obesiances, how can I serve you?’

‘Ah, Nala,’ Indra says, ‘I am so pleased with your offering. I am so glad that you are so inclined to serve me. Could you do one thing for me?’

‘Yes, yes! Whatever you desire!’

‘Nala could you please go to Damayanti and tell her that I am desiring her to be my wife.’

And Nala said, ‘But I myself am on the way to the svayamvara to meet Damayanti and to ask her for her hand.’

Indra said, ‘you gave your word that you would do whatever I wanted. Then, are you going to break your word?’

So Nala went and Nala met Damayanti before the svayamvara and came as a messenger of Indra. And Damayanti looked at him and Damayanti was immediately attracted to him! And she looked at him and thought, ‘foolish boy, what is wrong with you? Don’t you see that you are meant for me?’ and she said, ‘no, you can tell Indra that I will not accept anyone else as my husband but Nala.’ So Nala on the way back was again stopped by Indra, ‘so, what did she say?’ and Nala was totally honestly telling everything that happened. So Indra understood that it came from Damayanti and not from Nala. Then on the day of the svayamvara, not only Indra came but also Agni came and also Vayu came and they all were attracted to Damayanti and they all wanted Damayanti and therefore on the svayamvara, they all took the form of Nala and they all looked like Nala! So there were 4 Nala’s! And Damayanti didn’t which one of them was Nala and she stood there with the garland not knowing which one to garland! So then she prayed to the Supreme Lord, ‘I pray that upon the strength of my chastity, that you may protect my chastity and that I may not garland the wrong man. So please guide me that I will garland the right one.’ So she garlanded and in this way it was Nala. And all the other Nala’s took their original, demigod forms. And they joined in the whole thing, they could see it was the will of the Lord and it was divine and they took in the mood of good spoors.

So Indra returned to the heavenly planets and everything was fine. Then, then Kali came and said, ‘how can you tolerate? This is an insult to the celestials that an ordinary mortal, that just a mere human being dared to enter into competition with the devas. Totally disrespectful! Nala should have withdrawn! Damayanti all right; she’s a woman, she might have had her emotions, but Nala should have observed the etiquette! And for breaking the etiquette, he must be taught a lesson! You please allow me, allow me to teach him a lesson…’ Indra said, ‘all right, tatastu, so be it!’

Then from that day on, Kali followed Nala around. Although it was not Kali Yuga yet, he had a license and he followed Nala around and when Nala was once neglectful in after using the bath, not washing his feet, Kali entered and Kali entered his consciousness and Kali was in the consciousness of Nala! And then Nala was also going through some pastime like Yudhisthira Maharaja- gambling match where he lost everything. And all along Nala thought that he was acting on his own accord and he was totally poor and he had nothing left. He had to leave his kingdom and went to the forest and Damayanti came and they were in the forest. And then Nala thought that, ‘I can’t offer Damayanti anything, I can’t protect her, I’m useless…’ and he just left Damayanti and he thought that that was a good decision and his own decision. But it is described in the Mahabharata that it was not his decision; that was the influence by Kali. And in this way, Kali possessed him and he made all kinds of ridiculous decisions but each time he thought that he was acting upon his own intelligence and this is how Kali works.

And thus, in this age, Kali is possessing everyone! It’s not just that we are surrounded by the age of Kali and ‘it is so bad, it is so bad, it is so bad, what are we going to do?’ We are possessed by Kali and a further proof of that is found in Yudhisthira seeing the symptoms of the age of Kali and he saw sons were unobedient to their fathers, husbands and wives were fighting…so the mentality had changed. Kali had entered into their consciousness. So this is what is going on; we are possessed by Kali and all along we thought that it was us. And so many things we are doing being possessed by Kali. But by chanting the 16 syllables of the holy name the influence of Kali can be destroyed.

Therefore Kali in this way is acting like an agent of maya. Maya is ultimately controlling the totality of the material energy and is more powerful than Kali also. Kali is also subjugated to maya. He is not beyond. So in that way Kali is secondary to maya.

That’s we say and do things and we say, ‘it’s me! It’s really me! I have to do this, I feel compelled to do it because it’s me!’ It’s not you, it’s not us…No. Yes Aatish?

Question: Maharaja you mentioned that if one flirts with the material energy maya slaps them dow. I’ve heard a couple of times someone say something like Prabhupada said that sense gratification can be compared to salt. Then what’s that in comparison to flirting with the material energy?

Maharaja: I don’t know of any occasion where Prabhupada had said that. You can research it if you can find any evidence where Prabhupada said that. Just in the range of my knowledge, one thought comes to mind that in the 11th Canto it is described that the mind and senses must be controlled just like one must control the horse by pulling the reigns. And there it is said that he reigns cannot always be tight so sometimes one has to relax the reigns a little bit. So there we see some indication that one cannot just be in a mood of oppressing sense gratification and that there is some room for sometimes relaxing the reigns. However, whatever relaxing we may do in terms of sense control, we can never, ever engage in sense gratification beyond the boundaries of the regulative principles. That’s forbidden territory. So whatever sense gratification is permitted within the boundaries of Krsna consciousness, yes…I mean one can eat one litre of ice cream prasadam and just walk away seeing double then that’s okay sometimes. But if you do that every day then you’ll find that if you try to take it to the limit and have the maximum permissible sense gratification, then after a little while you will find that the boundaries of Krsna consciousness will get very suffocating and that you feel, ‘I’ve outgrown this…’ it’s like clothes that have become too small, it doesn’t fit anymore. ‘I need some space to breeeathe!’ and then the risk for fall down is very great.

So therefore even in Krsna consciousness with permissible sense gratification one has to be careful. Even the grhastha asrama is sometimes described as the deep, dark well. Some people they go for that well and 1, 2, 3…here we gooooooo! Head down! (dramatic) straight down to the body! As far as we can down! But there’s also some steps in that well, and they just go down step by step and they don’t necessarily go to the bottom. That is wise, that is wise. So one doesn’t have to take it, this authorise sense gratification within the boundaries of Krsna consciousness to the limit, to the maximum permissible amount because then fall down will become very hard to avoid.

We don’t want to care about sense gratification, we want to go back to Godhead! Anyone who gets in touch with this movement, cannot, after he’s sort of joined, put going back to Godhead as a second priority. Every member, doesn’t matter what our asrama is, our priority has to be going back to Godhead this lifetime otherwise you are not a member of this movement! As simple as that! If you would like to count yourself as a member of the Hare Krsna movement, it means that you have to put going back to Godhead as your priority and then whatever else you cannot avoid in material flirtations, what can we do? We feel sorry for you! But have some authorised sense gratification.

Anyone else? Yes?

Question: Being a basic, physical activity why does sex life have a hold on the conditioned soul?

Maharaja: It’s not a basic, physical activity, it’s ultimately putting us in the place of Krsna because Krsna is the enjoyer in the pastimes with the gopis and now we are the enjoyer. So the enjoyment goes way beyond a physical, biological enjoyment and a few seconds of orgasms and all these kind of things. It goes way beyond all that. ‘I’m fulfilling the purpose for which I am in this material world…now I am as good as God…’ so it goes very deep to the roots of our being in the material world and therefore it touches us at our very roots. And that’s why the whole world is affected and Srila Prabhupada says, all the 8 400 000 species are affected by lust. This is really interesting- 8 400 00 species! Even the germs have sex desire! One bacteria attracted to another!

And if we see our own reality like that, that we are like bacteria attracted to each other, how petty can it get? Two bacteria hand in hand…my God! You cannot be more petty than that! (dramatic) ‘But I feel it….like it’s so strong…’ anyway, we may feel that it’s so strong but what will it give us? Love in this world, a few fleeting moments. Are we going to throw away eternity for that? What foolishness! How foolish can we be?

All right that was enough. Thank you so much. It was nice being here and telling you all these heavy things on a Sunday morning, I enjoy that (laughter). I don’t like soft, sweet classes, I like classes where I take my gloves off and show you the claws. So it was nice to be here for a short visit. I came particularly to encourage everyone about book distribution. The marathon is not over and I came to encourage everyone, and you are not exempt. Whoever you are, you can make a contribution. One contribution that can be made is that simply by taking 10 books yourself, if you are not a great book distributor then you are just like me; I’m also not a great book distributor but therefore I have decided that I will distribute books from the vyasasana. I see some of you here that haven’t taken books from me yet! So anyone who hasn’t taken books from me yet can take his 10 books, we’ll write you down and I’ll make sure that from that point on, everything happens- the monetary exchange and the books will reach you. And then you’ll have 10 books! And what you going to do with them? Well, you can do different things- you can distribute them the classical way and ask for a donation or somehow or other if you’re not expert enough to do that or not inspired to do that, no problem, then just give it to someone for their birthday. If you feel that you really don’t want to give a religious book to someone for their birthday and impose your religion upon anyone, well then my advice is to leave them in the waiting room of the doctor. And keep one with you and if you meet someone who is just a little interested, suddenly you see here’s a person, ‘oh by the way, here this is for you…’ and you will find that those 10 books will go. And when I come back in February, I will ask you what you did with those 10 books.

So I see lots of faces here, lots of them who didn’t take 10 books from me! And you can’t really let me go without taking 10 books. And I do have a flight to catch, so I’ll end now but I don’t expect that you will just walk away now after such a…I expect that you all will nicely come and leave your name here and we’ll write it down. In this way very quickly we can do a lot of books and I can boost up my score a bit so that it looks better (laughter) with your help. So help a swami, (laughter), that’s the program today! And I thank you very much for your participation in advance. Srila Prabhupada ki Jaya!

(Applause)

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