KKS – Melbourne Australia 2004
We have to come to the point where we are simply dedicated servants of the desires of the Supreme Lord, hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam bhaktir ucyate, we have to come to the point where we are only serving Krsna, the master of the senses and put our senses in the service of Krsna’s senses- all for His pleasure. So this is practice. Therefore, devotional service involves a certain amount of austerity, especially in the beginning. There is no doubt about it. And we are feeling the pinch of austerity because austerity is not our strongest point and nobody likes it that much and this is not exactly the age where austerity is in the forefront. We didn’t come to the country of austerity either. Australia- whatever it is, it’s not the most austere country on the planet.
Here people, they like, a bit, you know, of comfort, nothing wrong with that, something is quite acceptable. It’s not the country where most people live under a tree. Some do- in the outback, if you can find trees over there.
But in India, we see that people are living a different way of life. It is sometimes known as tapa bauma, the land of austerities. Everyone is austere, life is austere. If you go on the Indian train, you get all experiences of austerity- everything all at once!
And some people are performing amazing austerities in the train, amazing! I saw one man sit for 17 hours non-stop on top of the door! I thought, this should go in the Guinness Book of records. I mean, 17 hours of door sitting- moving door sitting, not just door sitting on the train! And you know if you fall off, you’re out on the rail tracks, so quite exciting.
Austerity comes natural in India life in so many ways. I will not elaborate on that but I think many of you, hearing by the smiles and the responses are quite familiar with what’s going on over there.
The point is this, is that, even in India, people are not by far as austere as there ancestors. Oh no. The times are also changing there. Things have come and so many other good things in life. ‘Now, without AC, how can we live? Oh, no. Too austere.’ So times have changed. So, whatever may be. But the point of austerity really in spiritual life, is that we adjust our own desires, to the desires of the Lord;

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