His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Question: Why are there still miseries in a practitioner's life despite the fact they practise spiritual life?
You must understand what practising is, what bhaktyanga, or devotional practices, are.
সাধুসঙ্গ, নামকীর্ত্তন, ভাগবতশ্রবণ ।
sadhu-sanga, nama-kirtana, bhagavata-sravana
"One should associate with devotees, chant the Holy Name of the Lord, hear Srimad-Bhagavatam, reside at Mathura and worship the Deity with faith and veneration."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 22.124)
It means engaging in service. How? Follow bhakti-anukul (accept what is favourable to devotion), do sadhu-sanga, read books, do Nama sankirtan, Bhagavat sravan, you must come to the mangal arati, come to the morning class, sing morning bhajans, evening bhajans, cook for the Deities, offer the bhog, and so on.
These are all described in the scriptures. You can read Chaitanya-charitamrita (Sanatan-siksa) and see how you should practise Krishna consciousness, what the sadhan-pranali (method) is. Everything is written there very clearly.
Guru-pada-asraya is very important—you must know what Gurudev says and follow his instruction. Practise properly under the guidance of a bona fide Guru and do what is necessary. When you go to a doctor, the doctor gives you a prescription, and you must follow it—you must follow the prescription that Gurudev gives you, must do what Gurudev tells you is necessary to do. That is called sadhya-sadhana-tattva (the way to attain the goal). Without practising you will not get the goal, it is a simple matter.
Actually, material enjoyment like eating and sleeping will always be there in our life, but we have got this human body not for eating, sleeping, and so on. If you make some good prasadam, you will enjoy it so much, but if you call a pig and give that prasadam to it, the pig will not be happy—it will be happy if you give it a bucket of stool. When we were in a forest or a jungle, we were happy in a tiger's body, or an elephant's body, even a dog sleeping in the street is happier than you are. You must understand that this kind of enjoyment will always be there in your life, no one will take it away.
Question: How to get the determination to do service?
I have already told it—it comes gradually through constant practising.
You should not only enjoy in your life—you must leave your own interest and always think about Krishna, serve Krishna, cook for Krishna, and so on. Practise properly, it is good for you. Too much material enjoyment is not so good for us, we must leave material enjoyment.
Question: Is the medicine not different for each person?
Yes, the medicine is different for each person, and it will depend on the kind of a devotee, on the kind of a practitioner you are and on how many per cent devotion you have. That, in its turn, depends upon sraddha, faith—the kind of devotion you get depends on how much faith you have in your Guru, in practising Krishna consciousness. It is necessary to see that first.
In Srimad Bhagavad-gita, Arjun had some illusory environment, that is why he could not understand what to do. If you are involved with the illusory environment, if you are always covered by the illusory environment, you will not be able to understand things clearly. Then, you should see how much faith you have in your Guru, the devotion you get will depend upon that—"শ্রদ্ধা-অনুসারী ভক্তি-অধিকারী, sraddha-anusari bhakti-adhikari."
You must always avoid offences in your practising life: seva aparadh, jiva aparadh, Vaishnav aparadh, Nama aparadh, dham aparadh. We must avoid these offences.
You can also come here from time to time. You only come for Gaura Purnima, but some time try to come in advance for the Vrindavan parikrama in Kartik, for the Puri Dham parikrama. You can hear the classes, go to the holy places, you will get some association and hear the glorification of the Dham, and this is how you will practise properly—you can always remember the Dham, remember everything. It will be good for you.
—We all want to do that!
Yes, actually you need desire—when you have desire, mercy will come.
Hearing is necessary. Always do sravanam and kirtanam. Through hearing, hearing, hearing material desires, material attachment will be removed from your heart, offences will go away from your heart. Through hearing (sravan) and chanting (kirtan) you can progress and can be benefitted in your spiritual life. And it is necessary to do it regularly—not only once a week when you make a programme, that is not right. You must do it every day!
যে দিন গৃহে ভজন দেখি ।
ye dina grhe bhajana dekhi
On the days when I see devotional service taking place in my home, I feel that Goloka has manifested there.
'Suddha-bhakata-charana-renu' by Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur
You must practise every day—at every moment, all the time.
কি শয়নে, কি ভোজনে, কিবা জাগরণে ।
ki sayane, ki bhojane, kiba jagarane
Whether you are sleeping, eating, or resting, always chant the Name of Krishna.
(Sri Chaitanya-bhagavat, Madhya-khanda, 28.28)
যদি আমা'-প্রতি স্নেহ থাকে সবাকার ।
yadi ama'-prati sneha thake sabakara
(Sri Chaitanya-bhagavata, Madhya-khanda, 28.27)
Mahaprabhu told everybody, "If you have love and affection for Me, then constantly, without stopping, chant the Holy Name, without stopping do service—then you will get Me." Just as you eat every day, you go to the bathroom, go to the toilet every day, you must also practise properly every day.
Sri Visvanath Chakravarti Thakur also told this. Suppose you suddenly feel you need to go to the toilet, but you are in a car, so you have to wait. Three-four hours pass—you are waiting, waiting, you cannot go to the toilet and feel so much pain in your stomach. When you finally go to the toilet and pass stool, you get so much relief. So, just like this, you must give up, renounce material things, then you will easily feel relief. Always remove material desires from your heart, then you will get relief.
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