The forest of material enjoyment

By Candramauli Swami - 13.9 2022

jivasya samsrtir bahvir
yasv anga pravisann atma
na veda gatim atmanah


There are varieties of material existence for the living entity according to the work he performs in ignorance or forgetfulness of his real identity. My dear mother, if anyone enters into that forgetfulness, he is unable to understand where his movements will end.


Once one enters into the continuation of material existence, it is very difficult to get out. Therefore the Supreme Personality of Godhead comes Himself or sends His bona fide representative, and He leaves behind scriptures like Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam, so that the living entities hovering in the darkness of nescience may take advantage of the instructions, the saintly persons and the spiritual masters and thus be freed. Unless the living entity receives the mercy of the saintly persons, the spiritual master or Krishna, it is not possible for him to get out of the darkness of material existence; by his own endeavor it is not possible. [End of Srila Prabhupada’s purport.]

HH Candramauli Swami: Material energy endlessly changeable! The living entity decides to do his business somewhere else. He leaves the spiritual world comes to the material world and then thinks he can make a profit by that change in consciousness. Material energy or the material world, the energy that makes up the material world sometimes is compared to a gigantic, dark, deep, unlimited forest. If you go into the forest and you don’t know anything about the forest or even if you are in the forest it is a very difficult place. It is dark, there are many paths, much danger in the forest also cold, excessive cold, excessive heat, wild animals, mosquitos, so many unexpected things, big holes, wells that are covered up. So many things! Yet the living entity goes into this material energy trying to make a profit.

It is explained in the fifth canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam in the fourteenth chapter – it is called the forest of material enjoyment. What is the enjoyment. Enjoyment in the forest is simply a hard struggle. Therefore according to how one approaches the material enrgy or how one connects with the material energy one is struggling in a different way. Here Srila Prabhupada pints out that it is darkness. Darkness indicates ignorance, forgetfulness. Ingorance is also mentioned in the translation. That the living entity is in utter forgetfullness of what? Who he is , his real identity.

Of course without even understanding that there is no question of understanding ones relationship with the Supreme Lord. So of course the ignorance begins with the bodily consciousness, the bodily conception of life, aham mametti – everything is mine and that I am endlessly a man or woman or from this country or that culture, I am intelligent, old, young, so many things, on and on. You can list it endlessly – what I am. But all these things are external to the living entities existence.

So in as far as the material existence the living entity tries to find some enjoyment because the nature of the living entity is ananda, happiness, pleasure but he is trying to find pleasure where pleasure doesn’t exists. So therefore in this hard struggle for existence the living entity is subjected to so many forms of ignorance and illusion. They just bewilder their life more and more in creating greater and harder struggles.

You might say the material energy is catergorised in three catergories – the mode of ignorance, the mode of passion and the mode of goodness. Any of these thre modes are still considered to be an example of ones ignorance, even the mode of goodness. Srila Prabhupada was talkng about happiness in this material world. He was describing how there is no happiness in this material world.

So one devotee said to Srila Prabhupada, Srila Prabhupada what about the mode of goodness. Sometimes we understand that there is happiness there.” Prabhupada said that the main quality of the mode of goodness is knowledge. So that knowledge means that you understand that there is no happiness. That is the understanding of that knowledge.

So even in the mode of goodness there is ignorance – ignorance of ones real identity and ones real activity. Of coures the lower modes of material nature such as the mode of ignorance is destructed by nature and it is sinful. It causes the living entity so much unlimited forms of suffering. In the mode of ignorance there is not even material happiness or even any spark of material happiness. One simply preforms activities that are self destructive – physcially, spiritually, emotionally, in all aspects – intoxication, excessive sleep, madness, laziness.

In the material world people also have different categories of activities that are considered to be what we say good but even in the material world if you are lazy nobody likes you. It is one of the worse qualities – laziness. It destroys, Srila Prabhupada said, “Laziness destroys all of ones god qualities.” Of course when it comes to spiritual life there is no question of laziness because from laziness you get absolutely nothing.

Therefore one has to always be ethusiastic. We can’t say these are qualities. They are just characteristics and symptoms of a person who is in that particular mode. And it causes one unlimited suffering. Somehow if one comes in the mode of passion or if someone is situated more in the mode of passion than they are in the mode of ignorance. Nowadays the modes are so mixed you can’t distinguish actually the qualities separately. You have to say the mixed modes of material nature.

Sometimes we say now the mode of goodness is conspicuous by its absence. We don’t find that so much nowadays. Mostly it is a hard struggle to acquire and to gain material things. Which is the mode of passion. The mode of ignorance is destruction. The mode of passion is selfish, it is selfe centered. It sees oneself as the object of activities and the goal of that activities to satisfy the selfl

If you want to loof for any good qualities in the mode of passion you can find one but even that is selfish in its endeavour and that is creativity. Creativity is somewhat in the mode of passion. Those who are creative by nature and can use good intelligence to bring about material creation, creativity, technology, great inventions. So many things. People think this is wonderful. It is still motivated by self interset or even extended self interest from ones family or from ones country. So these two lower modes simply keep the living entity in great illusion.

The mode of goodness is a little better but still one is illusioned by material happiness and one thinks that one has somehow or the other achieved success in life by acquiring material things, by having good qualities, by being able to do things that are beneficial on a material level for others – philanthrophy and other activities. But still that mode will casue one to get another birth, a better birth. But what is the use of a better birth because a better birth just creates a better illusion that, “I am okay.” That is all.

Actually those who are suffering more understand the truth about the material energy and that the material energy is simply suffering. So Prabhupada expalins that the living entity cannot get out ogf these three modes by his own endeavour.

We see today there is so much attempts by various groups, spiritual and otherwise to elevate themselves away from the suffering material existence sometime even to practice spiritual life but unless, it says here, one has to accept mercy coming from higher authority. Srila Prabhupada gives three categories – the Lord, the spiritual master and saintly persons. They provide the way out.

Srila Prabhupada says here, they leave behind – the Lord comes or His bona fide representatives come and they leave behind scripture, Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. These are the blueprints for the way out of material struggle but the applications of the principles that govern these great scriptures have to be taught by the spiritual master. This is were the essential principle comes in. One cannot simply read scripture and expect to achieve the goal. One has to understand scripture according to those who have realized scripture and not just simply try to understand it from a limited perspective. One can read scripture and get an understanding but unless one has the understanding of application – therefore knowledge has to come to the point of realization or application.

So we find even in devotional service although the guru is there, the spiritual master is there, the scriptures are there still we find sometimes it becomes very difficult or sometimes very slow in making spiritual progress. Therefore one has to realize things in relationship to how they apply. They are obstacles. There are difficulties on the path of spiritual life.

It is described that there are nine stages. The first stage is to take shelter, the second is to associate and through that association one gets initiation. Then Prabhupada said initiation means beginning. It is not like the end. I got my name. I have a Guru and now I can just take it easy. He does everything. Just like Prabhupada used to say, Krishna was on the chariot but He told Arjuna, “You fight. Although My mercy is available you have to take advantage of My mercy by making the endeavor.”

So in the same way we have to apply the principles but there are so many obstacles. The next stage after bhajana-kriya, after taking initiation is that one gradually through the process of devotional service under careful guidance of the spiritual master removes the anarthas. These are the obstacles, anarthas.

Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur, Srila Visvanatha Cakravati Thakur explain what are these anarthas. I like to just mention what these anarthas are because I think that sometimes we don’t know clearly what are the obstacles or the blocks. Although we are chanting the holy names and though we are associating with devotees and though we are executing the process still these anarthas remain there.

There are four categories of four, sixteen anarthas explained by the acaryas. The first one is philosophical misconceptions – not understanding certain spiritual principles that need to be applied correctly in order to get the mercy of the Lord or to apply them in such a way that one is actually freeing themselves from the anartha.

The first is not understanding who you are. As long as the living entity is still under the bodily conception of life in any aspect – sometimes we say, “Oh, here is a Russian devotee and here is an Indian devotee and here is an American devotee.” A devotee is a devotee. Sometimes we might say devotees from Russia or devotees from America. But to give a label to a devotee! A devotee is actually free from all designations, even the designation of bodily concept. And that is connected with country. We get so much absorbed in, “I am this, from this country. I am Italian so I like pizza.” So many things! I am Italian so I can say that. You can criticize me on that one. So I have a justification for making that statement. But the point is we get so caught up in this bodily concept that comes with nationality. It is also an anartha in the sense that there is still some tinge of misidentification. We have to be free of that jivera ‘svarupa’ haya – krsnera ‘nitya-dasa’ [Cc Madhya 20.108-109]

All living entities are actually parts and parcels of Krishna. Krishna explains in Bhagavad-gita, “When you thus learn the truth you will know that all living being are My parts and parcels. They are in Me and they are Mine.” To have that vision or to practice that type of consciousness is the means to get out of this bodily concept of life. When we see the external environment what do we see? We have to see with sastra-caksu. We have to see according to scripture no according to vision. Therefore one has to see according to the direction given by the absolute principle and not according to ones contaminated…

How do you purify consciousness? Just like when we take darsan of the Deity. Bhaktisiddhanta one time was standing in front of the Deity and he had forgotten to bring his glasses – Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaj – so one of his disciples said, “Maharaj should I get your glasses?” He said, “No, what is this question of seeing? We come before the Lord to let the Lord see us. We have to be in such a consciousness that the Lord actually sees us.” What can we see? Of course we can see something but that is not darsan. Darsan is being in proper consciousness when we come before the Deity and the Lord is pleased by His devotee.

So purification of consciousness is that you will see the Deity when you hear the holy name, the glorification, the glories of the Lord, when you become purified through the process of hearing. Then you can see.

santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti
yam syamasundaram acintya-guna-svarupam
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
[Bs 5.38]

Prabhupada explains that the eyes they have this mascara or kajal which beautifies the eyes and that is love. When love is there the eyes actually become beautiful then one sees according to what is there or at least to some degree. So in the same way through the process of hearing and chanting the holy names of the Lord we purify the consciousness. And when we go before the Lord then we can see the Lord. The Lord reveals Himself according to that consciousness. So this identity of identifying oneself with the body, this is the first misconception.

The second is the misunderstanding of the Supreme Lords position in relationship to the material energy and in relationship to the living entities. So one has to understand that the nature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that the Lord is the controller of the material energy and we are His eternal servants both in the conditioned stage and in the liberated stage. So that is also philosophical misconception, not to understand correctly the position of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

The third is not to understand the sadhana that is connected with… Sadhana bhakti, preliminary principles and execution of devotional service and prema bhakti – the rules and regulations for executing devotional service according to scripture, and one has to apply according to the teachings of the spiritual master and make corrections according to that person’s guidance. So one has to follow scripture and learn the process of sadhana bhakti. Sadhana bhakti is vaidhi bhakti rules and regulations and from vaidhi bhakti one develops spontaneous loving devotinal service or raganuga bhakti. But even on the raganuga bhakti there are principles that one executes according to that type of devotional service. And one follows those principles also. Although it is spontaneous it is also understood in relationship to the scripture, not otherwise.

And the last philosophical misconception is, not understanding the relationship between other spiritual philosophies and pure devotional service such as Mayavad or other – karma misra jnana, karma misra bhakti and jnana misra bhakti. Actually pure bhakti and of course even those philosophies that have very little bhakti such as impersonalism. So that’s an anartha – to not understand the relationship between bhakti and other spiritual teachings. One has to clear away these philosophical misconceptions and then one can move further. That is four of the anarthas.

The second category is anarthas that are caused by pious activities – attachement to material enjoyment, attachment to mystic power, attachment to endeavours to reach the heavenly planets and also attachment to liberation. You may say, “Well I am not attached to any of those things.” If we are interested in material happiness or material arrangements. “I need this materially. I need to have this materially.” We have to judge the relationship to our service. As Srila Prabhupada said if one wants physical comfort in the material world it is very difficult to execute bhakti because it is not always physically comfortable especially in certain places.

So one has to not be attached to any material arrangement. Prabhupada made a very strong statement once that was quite shocking. He said, “Many of my disciples will achieve Svargaloka.” And what is Svargaloka? Heavenly planet or the enjoyment of the heavenly planet! Prabhodananda Sarasvati just condemns that. He calls it akasa-puspayate. He condemns that. He says that the desire to enjoy heavenly delights or elevation to the heavenly planets is like some phantasmagoria. You read about it in the scriptures but it is just so euphoric.

One who has been blessed by the mercy of Lord Caitanya sees that kaivalya or liberation and material happiness are just like poison. It becomes very repugnant. So Krishna will test. Maya will test us to see whether we want Krishna or whether we want some facility in this material world and still want Krishna consciousness. And that test will come.

Prabhupada answered a question once. Hrdayananda Maharaj asked Prabhupada a question, “What is the most dangerous thing in taking the sannyasa order of life?” Prabhupada said, “If you are out preaching and you go to someone’s house and you see, “Such a nice house they have and such a nice wife. Gee, if I hadn’t taken sannyasa I could have had all that.” He said, “You are not qualified to take sannyasa.”

So if one looks back to material energy in any way and thinks, “There is something I missed. There is still some happiness there that I am looking for.” What happens is when you engage in devotional service Krishna supplies things in order to facilitate your service. You get money. Money comes in our society, so much money. But Prabhupada said, “If you don’t use every paise for the service of the Lord we become implicated in material reactions. Every paise should be used for the service of the Lord or whatever is needed to maintain oneself but not beyond.

At an individual level the two biggest stumbling blocks in Krishna consciousness are: attachment to the opposite sex and attachment to wealth. Srila Prabhupada said that those who are stalwart devotees on the path of devotional service – he mentions this in the second chapter of the first canto, verse seventeen in the purport – he explains that this attachment has caused even the greatest stalwart devotees to slip from the path of devotional service.

So Krishna sends followers, facilities, money and Krishna sends so many things that when they are not seen in relationship to Krishna are actually stumbling blocks or opportunities to slip in ones devotional service. Therefore one has to be free from any conception that there is any happiness in the material world. Prabhupada explains that this is a prerequisite for making advancement. That is one is still thinking that there is something here for me even though I haven’t got it or I haven’t done it right. Then one cannot make tangible progress on the path of spiritual life.

Krishna says, atleast I know of two occasions, in Bhagavad-gita He says, duhkhalayam asasvatam [Bg 8.15] It is temporary and is full of misery. And nitya asubha, same thing He says in the ninth chapter of Bhagavad-gita.

So being here in Mayapur, this is the spiritual world. Just like there is a big sign as you walk near the samadhi, Prabhupada’s statement, “Mayapur is the spiritual world.” But we have to have spiritual consciousness. We are in the spiritual world so we should align our consciousness with spiritual in the same way. If we still have material consciousness. If we are still trying to enjoy Krishna, Bhaktivinode Thakura explains that people sometimes they see Krishna as one part of their enjoyment, they may take up spiritual life and I also do this, I also do that. I enjoy Krishna, I enjoy this or I enjoy that, but then there is a little higher that, Krishna is my only object of enjoyment. I am only trying to enjoy Krishna that is all. It is a little better. At least you will get faster realization of your illusion if you have that mind.

That illusion is another illusion that we are meant to be enjoyed by Krishna, not that we are supposed to enjoy Krishna. Prabhupada said Krishna consciousness is enjoyable but to taste the happiness in Krishna consciousness one has to be free from the enjoying spirit. Happiness in Krishna consciousness comes by surrendering service. So therefore one should execute the devotional service in that mood, not seeing the results of the activities for ones enjoyment, because for as long as we are still trying to enjoy the results of our activities we become implicated in this consciousness that I am the enjoyer.

And you will get tested. Especially if you do something wonderful or something noteable. Somebody says, “Oh Prabhu/Mataji, so nice. You are such a nice devotee. You did such nice service. All glories to you.” You think, “All glories to Prabhupada.” I did something – 90% for Prabhupada and 10% for me. Krishna likes to glorify His devotee but the devotee does not like to take credit for anything no matter what it is. As soon as we take credit we become implicated. And then maya seeing that tempts us more and more with opportunities for material enjoyment.

So this is an anartha. Any aspect of material existence, even liberation! Liberation means what? To be free from all material suffering! A devotee considers that the suffering that one encounters in devotional service – Bhaktivinode Thakur sings one beautiful song and he ends the song – he says what is my happiness in Krishna consciousness? He says, “My happiness in engaging in devotional service is the sufferings I get when engaged in Your service my Lord.” That is pretty elevated consciousness. Why? Because I can offer something! Not that we try for suffering but we don’t try to avoid it either.

Actually a devotee doesn’t suffer anyway. Prabhupada explains the difference between the materialists suffering and a devotees suffering. The devotee does not take suffering seriously. He simply takes it as an opportunity to surrender more and he tolerates the difficulties that come with being in the material body and being in the world.

Whereas a non-devotee when suffering comes their whole life gets turned upside down. Just like sometimes a person will get a notice that it is time to leave the world. You have terminal cancer or some other disease. You have so much time to live. So the materialist will go through so much mentally – “Why is this happening to me.” The first stage, “It is not true. It is just not true. There is some mistake.”

Finally after exhausting all possibilities they find out, realize that it is true then, “Why me?” Then finally after going through the, “Why me?” “Okay what do I do now?” Lost! Completely lost.

There was a TV show in America many years ago. I think it was called, ‘Run for Your Life.’ Therein some powerful guy got a notice that he had one year to live. So they had another TV show for another year. In the first episode he was diving off mountains and he was surrounded by beautiful girls and then he is going scuba diving with beautiful girls, then he is driving fast cars with beautiful girls. So every show is he is doing something really adventurous, exciting and different with beautiful girls. The show became so successful that he got an extension on his life. (Laughter.) The doctors gave him a few more years to live. So the show continued like that.. People like that because it keeps them in greater illusion of the reality of existence. But when a devotee is put in a difficult situation,

tat te ‘nukampam su-samiksamano bhunjana evatma-krtam vipakam
hrd-vag-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te jiveta yo mukti-pade sa daya-bhak [SB 10.14.8]

This is a mantra. We might say that it is second to the Hare Krishna mantra, because in order to execute devotional service on has to accept difficulties as the mercy of the Lord. That verse explains that when one accepts difficulties as the mercy of the Lord the result is that one prays to the Lord, “My dear Lord what you gave me is just a small token of what I actually deserve.”

Prabhupada in one lecture says, you may have been a murderer in a previous life. Somehow or the other you have come to Krishna consciousness and you cut you finger. That is the reaction. The suffering has been mitigated to the least amount because the spiritual master and the Lord allow us to engage in devotional service by removing our past. But Prabhupada says if you commit sinful activities after one accepts initiation you should know you are being subjected to the effects of the material energy once again.

It is not like, “Well I am initiated. There is no more karma. There is only a little. If I do something wrong it is not so bad.” It is not so bad. Yes, in one sense but if one has the wrong consciousness and is not trying to overcome these things. One still has the desire to enjoy then one again will get the reaction of material suffering as a token. It is still a token because Krishna takes care of His devotee but it is a slap and that slap is good.

Therefore sometimes Krishna arranges for a devotee to undergo some difficulties. We can use many examples and how devotees have accepted difficulties as opportunities to spread Krishna consciousness. Devotee does not look towards the material energy for any type of happiness whether it is facility, ability. Whatever comes by, it is all given by Krishna in order to use in devotional service. If one takes these things as ones success in devotional service, just like money comes, position comes, followers come or praise comes and one takes it for themselves then that can lead to a fall down.

Visvanatha Cakravati Thakur explains that is called taranga-rangini – to accept the accolades or the benefits that one gets in devotional service as indications of ones advancement. The indication of ones advancement is real purification of the heart. When the heart becomes purified that is the process. The heart becomes purified by hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord. Therefore the anarthas, I just mentioned eight of them, there are eight more. But I will mention the anarthas that come by impious activities.

That is attachment to things unrelated to Krishna consciousness,
deceitfulness, envy, faultfinding and a desire for fame, desire for prestige. These are considered to be impious. Things that cannot be used in Krishna consciousness such as sinful activities, envy – envy is the cause of the living entities fall down in the material world. Prabhupada explains that the living entity is envious of Krishna and now we are envious of each other. Faultfinding, deceitfulness and desire for fame, these are the four anarthas that come by way of sinful activities.

Then the last category of anarthas are the offences. Offences to the holy name, offences to the Deity. Now that doesn’t mean – “I don’t worship the Deity, I am not a pujari.” Offences to the Deity means that if you are in the temple there is a certain etiquette that should be followed and if we don’t follow that etiquette in front of the Deity there is also digression from etiquette which can lead to offences. Just like it says – talking loud before the Deity; chastising somebody before the Deity; turning ones back towards the Deity – they are offences. It is all listed in the ‘Nectar of Devotion.’ So these are one of the anarthas – to be free from the offences.

That last two are the most severe – offences to the Vaisnavas and offences to other living entities. So one has to carefully avoid these anarthas. And these sixteen anarthas cause the six enemies: lust, anger, greed, illusion, pride and envy to exist. And these six enemies called the six waves, waves of: hunger, thirst, birth, death and old age and lamentation and illusion.

Bhaktivinode Thakur explains that there is a fast process to crush the anarthas. Of course we have to deal with each anartha but there is a very quick way to accelerate that process of removing the anarthas – harinam sankirtan. One who absorbs himself in chanting the holy names – Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. The holy name and chanting and dancing and associating with the Vaisnavas helps one to quickly remove these anarthas.

So here we are in Mayapur, we are here to actually honor Lord Caitanya. And the best way to honor Lord Caitanya we know is to chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. It is simple, sublime but most powerful. Not just powerful, extreme powerful. Lord Caitanya’s mercy coming in the form of harinam sankirtan. So I will stop here. Any questions or comments?

Question: Maharaj we are advised to chant and be happy and at the same time w are advised especially since we are trying to surrender to Krishna to give up the enjoying spirit. Is there any contradiction? Of course there is no contraction. What is the art of chanting and being happy, enjoying serving Krishna but also giving up the enjoying spirit?

HH Candramauli Swami: Chant and be happy – there is a purport to that. That means if you are looking for happiness somewhere else outside of the holy name. It is hard to get happiness in the holy name. So chant and be happy means to make exclusively your happiness in chanting the holy names for glorifying the names of the Lord in association with Vaisnavas. If we are chanting and if we are somewhat still inclined to other types of happiness it is hard to get that mercy from the holy name, that happiness that we are looking for.

Comment: So if we are happy chanting Hare Krishna, if we are really happy chanting Hare Krishna then we are engaging in the surrendering process.

HH Candramauli Swami: Prabhupada said devotees should be happy. This movement is to make one truly happy. Real happiness is the souls relationship with the Supreme Lord in devotion. [Sanskrit.} This movement is meant to make the whole world happy through the process of harinäm, chanting the holy names of the Lord and engaging in devotional service. Why do we do so many other things? Because we have to purify our consciousness in order to chant the holy names.

Comment: I am asking you the question because I have an ongoing discussion with a Godbrother who maintains that even when we are happy in Krishna consciousness that that is maya. (Laughter) and I say, “Come on.”

HH Candramauli Swami: Is it maha-maya or is it yoga-maya?

Devotee; He says that we should chant and be miserable or something. I am not sure what he is all about.

HH Candramauli Swami: I think that was the old days on Krishna
consciousness. It was like if you are happy – uh oh, you are not supposed to be happy. Only Krishna is supposed to be happy. He is happy when we are just unhappy. Doesn’t make sense does it?

Devotee: No. Thank you.

Devotee: Can I make a comment?

HH Candramauli Swami: Sure.

Devotee: Srila Prabhupada writes in one purport that one who is not happy in Krishna consciousness he is a great rascal.

HH Candramauli Swami: Prabhupada said if you are not happy you are in maya. Usually if you are in maya it is a symptom of rascaldom. Happiness is actually the nature of devotional service. It awakens that happiness. When we engage in devotional service we purify the heart. The heart is by nature blissful. So happiness manifest itself automatically through the purification of the heart, through the chanting of the holy names of the Lord and by engaging in devotional service.

So if we are not happy we should be doing something. Sometimes people say to me that they have got so many problems. I say, “Just chant Hare Krishna.” “But that doesn’t solve my problem. I have this problem.” “Just try chanting Hare Krishna. See what happens.”

Prabhupada writes in one place that we have our temples anywhere in the world. If there is some difficulty we cant just sit down and chant Hare Krishna. That is why we come to Mayapur because it is the concentration of the mercy of the Holy name. With the association of so many wonderful Vaisnavas it allows that holy names mercy to be so much readily available, so strong it is. Then we taste that and when we go back to our respective services wherever we are in the world we can remember that and bring that realization, realizing what we realized and then try to practice that wherever we are.

Question: You mentioned the sixteen anarthas. Does that mean form anartha-nivrtti to prema we are eliminating all those?

HH Candramauli Swami: Bhaktivinode Thakur says the stage beyond
anartha-nivrtti is nistha, becoming fixed. He says before you can go to nistha you have to get three quarters or seventy-five percent of your anarthas destroyed. Now the anathas for philosophical misconceptions are destroyed in bhajana kriya. The anarthas for pious and impious activities are destroyed on the platform of ruci.

Offences can carry all the way to prema. We hear about Jaya and Vijaya, how they actually committed offence even though they were in the spiritual world. Offences are the hardest ones to get rid off because even those who are very high on the spiritual platform have to be careful not to commit offences. It is easy to commit offences. Therefore once 75% of the anarthas are removed then one can move to the stage of steadiness in devotional service.

Otherwise the anarthas cause on to remain unsteady. And with unsteadiness there is no real taste. Taste is just too flickering. We can get that taste constantly when we are steady in our spiritual practice but to remain steady we have to be free from at least three quarters of the anarthas. Especially certain anarthas; the anarthas of committing offences to Vaisnavas, envy and attachment to things unrelated to devotional service. These are anarthas that can cause great distress in our spiritual life.

Envy that is with things unrelated to Krishna consciousness. “I like to chew pan but I still chant Hare Krishna.” I remember when we first joined the Hare Krishna movement we used to offer betel nuts to the Deities. I guess they do here. In western temples they stopped doing that because devotees where getting betel nut prasadam. So it wasn’t too good. So if one gets attached to that or if one gets attached to watching movies or anything that you really cannot dovetail in devotional service.

Question: The offences, which are like the most dangerous?

HH Candramauli Swami: Which is the most dangerous from all offences? Vaisnava aparadhas! The chanting of the holy name can free on from offences except Vaisnava aparadhas. If one is continually subjecting themselves to committing offences against devotees, Caitanya Mahaprabhu speaks or writes, He says, “If that person is still chanting the holy name, My holy name destroys that person.”

So if they are committing offences against Vaisnavas the holy name drives that person out of Krishna consciousness.” Because Krishna doesn’t tolerate that! So one has to be most careful in that particular aspect in out interpersonal dealings. The association of devotees is like a double-edged sword. We come to Mayapur for association and that is the most wonderful thing but if we are not careful in dealing with the Vaisnavas that same association cause us to fall down if we are not careful. So therefore Lord Caitanya taught the principles of,

trnad api su-nicena taror iva sahisnuna
amanina mana-dena kirtaniyah sada harih [Cc Adi 17.31]

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati says that is your svarup. Then someone asked him what is our svarup he chanted this verse and said that is your svarup. That is your eternal position. But we have to be very careful in the association of Vaisnavas – careful and enthusiastic to serve their lotus feet. Then if there is some mistake it is not so serious, but one should be careful. All devotees! Not that I honor the so-called senior devotees but the other devotees they are not so important. Krishna doesn’t see like that. Even if you commit offences to the non-devotees also, materialistic persons. We don’t hate anyone. We take issue with what they do but not with them.

A Vaisnava is one who is compassionate towards others. So in order to preach one has to show concern to others even if they do not like what we are doing and criticize what we are doing but to the person there should not be any enmity or envy otherwise we can’t really preach affectively. We can commit offense to non-devotees because Krishna is in the heart of every living entity. Krishna is there. When you offend someone you offend Krishna because He is in his or her heart.

Once someone asked Prabhupada, “ When we pay our obeisances to each other what does that mean?” Prabhupada said, “You are actually paying obeisances to Krishna in the heart of that living entity.” IT is there is Srimad-Bhagavatam. So you are offering respects to both Krishna and to that soul. When we honor another devotee we are honoring Krishna also.

So if we are very careful in the association of devotees executing the process enthusiastically but be careful not to offend. Therefore Vaisnava etiquette is the ornament of a devotee. How a devotee behaves is how a devotee is seen. If we follow the etiquette it is less likely we will commit offences. What is the etiquette? It is mentioned throughout the scriptures. Does that help? Just remain enthusiastic. But enthusiasm is intelligence applied to activities. That is enthusiasm. Not just activity. … if intelligence is there activity itself is not considered enthusiastic even if it looks enthusiastic. If it is not applied in an intelligent way it may just be an expression of ones false ego. Yes Vasudev?

Vasudev: Thank you Maharaj. We hear occasionally that when we offer obeisances we offer obeisances like you just said we offer obeisances to the Supersoul within that living entity but it would seem to me if that was the case we would offer our obeisances equally to everyone but the etiquette is that we offer according to if on is initiated or not or if one is a sannyasi or not. Primarily it seems that we offer to the living entity rather than the Supersoul.

HH Candramauli Swami: If you are following the etiquette according to how to honor you are not going to go around paying your obeisances to all the non-devotees. Of course you could do that but it is just not going to be practical to do that. It is not the etiquette also but you honor a person by behaving in such a way, the proper way. Therefore Bhaktivinode Thakur explains – “Somehow I live in this world because I give respects to all.” So respecting everyone is Vaisnava but how to show the respect may differ from different types of persons.

So it is explained in Bhagavatam that for those who are more advanced we offer obeisances and offer service and hear for those who are equal we make friends and share Krishna consciousness together and for those who are in a lesser position we show compassion. That means we try to elevate them up in Krishna consciousness. If you follow that etiquette it says in that same verse in the fourth canto eight chapter thirty fourth verse in Bhagavatam – if you follow that etiquette you will never be subjected to the sufferings of material nature – just by following that etiquette – how to behave towards other living entities. So we should practice that but you are honoring that Supersoul if you are following the proper etiquette in terms of giving respect. You are because you are following the Lord’s instructions. Okay? Anyone else have a question? Mataji?

Question: Hare Krishna. The nature of the living entity is to seek pleasure ananda-mayo ‘bhyasat – so we are all seeking happiness but the trouble is obviously most people are looking for happiness in the wrong place, in material things but as it is our nature to seek pleasure is there fault in try to find happiness in Krishna consciousness?

HH Candramauli Swami: Is it a fault? If you want to be happy just serve and surrender and happiness comes automatically. It is not that you have to look for it. It is in the process itself. If you are looking for it you may not find it. It comes by service. It comes by surrender and service when we execute the process by serving to please, when Krishna is pleased, Prabhupada said then you become pleased.

So the instructions of the spiritual master are many but if we follow the instructions accordingly and apply the principles also accordingly – if I am looking for something other than to serve I may not get the benefit of Krishna consciousness. If I am looking for recognition or if I am looking for happiness or if I am looking for anything. Just try to serve. That is all.

Try to serve to please. That is all. anukulyena krsnanu-silanam [Cc Madhya 19.167] Serve Krishna, serve Krishna’s devotees with the desire to please. In that mood you will become happy because the principle of happiness aside from the fact that it comes automatically with that mood is that when someone is pleased by something you do you also become pleased. That is love. If I do something to make you happy and I see you become happy by what I do I become happy. It is natural. But if you please the Lord automatically He is going to reciprocate.

So our tendency is to sometimes act in that consciousness looking for happiness but you don’t have to look for it. It is there. It will come just by your service and surrender. So what are the means? Enthusiasm, determination and patience. If we serve with these principles, be enthusiastic, be determined to continue despite obstacles and reversals and to be patient. What does it mean to be patient? It means when Krishna is ready He bestows His mercy. If we don’t have patience in Krishna consciousness – Prabhupada said a woman gets married. Now she has a husband and she thinks where is the child? Well has to take some time before the child appears.

So everything is there but it takes time. So the fruits of our devotional service may not come immediately, the happiness that we are looking for. If you stay with the process it comes as long as we are enthusiastic and patient. Does that answer you question? Thank you. So I think we are out of time. Thank you very much. Srila Prabhupada ki jai!