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Fighting Material Desires

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
20 July 2013, part 2


Question: You mentioned that it is important to remove material desires from the root—how can we do that?

Yes, it is necessary to remove material desires. If you understand what is favourable to devotion and what is unfavourable to devotion, then when you do something that is not favourable to devotion, when you make some mistake, you must nip it in the bud—you must remove any material desires. Gurudev told also that this world and the other world are very different; if you have even a little bit of desire for this world, it will be very difficult for you to get to the transcendental world.

If you still have some material desire, you must remove it. But the question is how you can do it. If you gradually engage yourself in more service, if you engage yourself more and more in practising life, in Krishna consciousness life, if you keep yourself busy with service, then material desires will automatically be removed from your life. And Gurudev is always merciful—he always tries to help us, he is always at our back, he always gives us shelter, so if you have a good desire, a strong, great desire to serve the Lord, to serve your guru, then gradually all bad desires will leave your heart.

It happened in devotees' lives. For example, in Mahaprabhu's time Srila Sanatan Goswami had some desire—he wanted to kill himself. Some other devotees also had some desires for something, but finally they succeeded through their service—they finally could follow the proper line. Sometimes devotees are seen to make some mistakes, but after that they understand their mistake and correct themselves—they engage in real activities and finally get to their destination.

The problem here is the ego. If somebody tells you something, gives you some advice and you think, "I know more than you! I understand more than you!"—then this is ego and pride. Pride comes before a fall. That is the problem.

Matsaryata (jealousy, jealous mood) is also very bad. You have everything—anger, greed, etc.—but you must use it properly.

কৃষ্ণসেবা কামার্পণে, ক্রোধ ভক্ত-দ্বেষিজনে,
লোভ সাধুসঙ্গে হরিকথা ।
মোহ ইষ্টলাভ বিনে, মদ কৃষ্ণ গুণগানে,
নিযুক্ত করিব যথা তথা ॥

krsna-seva kamarpane, krodha bhakta-dvesi-jane,
lobha sadhu-sange hari-katha
moha ista-labha bine, mada krsna guna-gane,
niyukta kariba yatha tatha

"I will engage lust by offering it in Krishna's service. Anger I will direct towards those who are envious of the devotees. I will be greedy to hear the topics of Hari in the association of devotees. I will feel illusioned without achieving my worshipable Lord. I will be maddened while singing the glories of Krishna. In this way I will engage these enemies in their proper places."

(Sri Prema-bhakti-chandrika, 22)

For example, you have anger, but you must use that anger in the way that the Lord Himself indicates. How should you use anger? If you can use anger for the service of the Lord, then it is good. For example, if somebody criticises your guru or some devotees do something bad, you can become angry at that time. In the same way, you must use greed, attachment, etc. "I could not practise properly! I could not do my service properly! I have not been able to do anything for my guru, for the Lord." This kind of attachment should come. If you think, "Oh, I am doing everything! I am doing this, I am doing that"—this is very bad. "I have given so many things for the service to my guru and the mission!", "I have done so many things"—such feeling can come through service actually, but it is very bad to think like this. "I have not been able to do anything for my guru!"—such mentality should come. Therefore, if you have this kind of desire, this kind of feeling, then whatever material desires you may have will be removed from you gradually. The only thing that is very difficult to remove is matsaryata (jealousy)—it is very bad and very harmful for your activities, harmful for your practising life. You think grudgingly, "Oh, he (she) does it and I cannot!"—but you must realise why you cannot do it. If somebody can do something and you cannot, do not become jealous. You must practise properly, and actually Gurudev told that wherever you are you must maintain your spiritual life properly every day. You must maintain your spiritual life properly, that will be good for you, that will be beneficial for you.


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