Devotional Thoughts

Awakening of our original pleasure

Awakening of our original pleasure

Srimad Bhagavatam – 3.2.19

drsta bhavadbhir nanu rajasuye
caidyasya krsnam dvisato 'pi siddhih
yam yoginah samsprhayanti samyag
yogena kas tad-viraham saheta


You have personally seen how the King of Cedi [Sisupala] achieved success in yoga practice, although he hated Lord Krishna. Even the actual yogis aspire after such success with great interest by performance of their various practices. Who can tolerate separation from Him?

Uddhava is continuing his glorification of Lord Krishna by remembering His pastimes. The Supreme Lord being all good, even if an enemy is touched by Him, he will get benefit. It is said here that Sisupala was very successful in controlling the senses and he was quite competent. Yet he was envious of Krishna. Krishna, in the material world has given an opportunity for all living entities to exercise their freewill and the material energy is at their disposal according to law of karma – as you sow so you reap.

Krishna does not interfere with any of the powers that the different living entities acquire by yoga practice. Hiranyakashipu did so much tapasya, only because he wanted to become more powerful. The demons by tapas shakti want to go against all other rules of this material world. Significant point to be understood here is that Krishna does not interfere with a living entity, if by performance of tapasya he wants to get any amount of power let him get because that is why this material world is created. Material world is a free playfield for the jivas who want to be independent persons. Hiranyakashipu was so envious of Prahlada, but finally the Lord actually gave liberation to Hiranyakashipu and killed him. Whenever He descends into this material world His main purpose is to attract the living entities in different rasas and purify them and take them to the spiritual world.

Sometimes we say when this temple was very small it was all very nice and the devotees were personal. Now the temple has become very big, so many hundred devotees are there, that personalism is lost, everybody is very impersonal – this rule, that rule, all these things. That is the nature of the material world, anything becomes big it becomes impersonal. But in the spiritual world it is an infinite world, yet it is personal, because there is one person who is centering everything. Krishna is the center of everything. Krishna gives attention to every devotee in the spiritual world. We have to understand the Lord’s quality as most merciful. That way if you see even in this material world millions of jivas and yet in the heart of every jiva Krishna is there, every living entity is achieving every rasa in this material world, only by the sanction of the Supreme Lord, even if you have done karma ultimately the Lord has to involve in giving us what we deserve in the material enjoyment.

We cannot enjoy without the Lord’s mercy, the Lord is seated in our heart and because He has created this illusion; if He didn’t expertly create this illusion we cannot enjoy at all, because our natural enjoyment is in association of Krishna. So for illusion to go out ultimately only Krishna has to put the switch and the illusion will go off –

daivi hy esa guna mayi
mama maya duratyaya
mam eva ye prapadyante
mayam etam taranti te

For that of course the devotee has to show his sincerity that he wants to come out of the illusion. He has to give up this sense of enjoying in this illusion and develop the sense of enjoying the association of Krishna. He takes pleasure in acting for the Lord – whether with his mind, his body, his words – he develops a pleasure in relationship with the Lord. In the case of material pleasure we take pleasure in something and then in order to really feel pleasure the Paramatma has to interfere, create the illusion and make you feel pleasure. In the case of devotional service that conversion is not required because it is constitutional, that very activity of the jiva to serve the Lord is constitutionally very pleasing to the soul.

Therefore it is said Krishna consciousness is not an artificial imposition on the consciousness but it is an awakening of our original pleasure. Due to maya we are after these illusory pleasures. This is the arrangement of the material world, everything is illusion and everything is perverted reflection, there is no pure happiness, there is no pure pleasure in this material world, even if there is pleasure, that pleasure is illusory pleasure.

Prabhupada says we should learn how to behave, Krishna consciousness means enlightenment, means learn how to behave well – anachara, achara anachara. The jnanis say success of spiritual life is to have all jnana, how this works, how that works and all these things. And this is bhakti yoga. In bhakti yoga what is perfection, how to behave well. When we become transcendentally ethical people, we go back to Godhead, that’s all we require. Big knowledge is not required, what is allotted to us – my tiny senses, my enjoying capacity’s limit, my tiny senses but sense gratification is not the goal of spiritual life at all in the spiritual world.

In the spiritual world, Prabhupada says sense gratification is very insignificant. There the pleasure is that of relational pleasure with Krishna, loving relationship with Krishna. So this is the Krishna consciousness as opposed to mayawadi philosophy, as opposed to impersonalism.

In the material world, our material senses have to be controlled, just like Prabhupada gives example – a patient in the hospital is asked to diet so that he gets well and eats well. When we say sense control, control your senses and sense gratification, the purpose is you are enjoying it in a perverted way, you are sick now, you have a bhava roga, get cured, have regulated sense enjoyment and eventually give up this attitude of sense enjoyment in the material world, then your actual sense enjoyment will surface then you can enjoy the beauty of Krishna, embracing Vaishnavas, then you start enjoying all your senses transcendentally. Life is full of enjoyment for all the senses but bona fide enjoyment, pure enjoyment, constitutional enjoyment that is the big difference between mayawadi philosophy and Krishna consciousness.

(The above transcripts have been edited for better readability. However they have not been verified and confirmed by the original speaker.)

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