HH KKS: Therefore entanglement in the material energy must be avoided as much as possible, as much as reasonable. Vaishnavas may choose an ashram… they may choose any of the four ashrams and particularly a brahmacari is in a position of choice. A sanyassi, once the choice is made, has no choice…..there is no question of any change, even a vanaprastha can not go back, the vanaprastha has a choice to stay a vanaprastha or to become a sanyassi , but there is no choice of going back to the grhasta ashrama. A grhasta has a choice also, for vanaprastha and sanyassa, but can not go back to the brahmacari ashrama, it is not possible. So brahmacari..all choices are open and become a grhasta after that and then vanaprastha. But that choice is certainly not a matter of taste …not that what is my inclination, is my inclination to be in the grhasta ashrama, that a brahmacari should do some soul searching and find out what is my nature, what is my tendency and that he should apply some psychology to judge whether he sould be a brahmacari or a grhasta ..no……the first premise is that better stay a brahmacari……right…better stay free from entanglement, that is the preferred choice …because after all the goal of life, the goal of life is to return back to Godhead. So a brahmacari is organising his life to cent percent engage in activities to go back to Godhead , that is his duty …a brahmacari has no other business than to engage in activities which are directly related to going back to Godhead.…………….A grhasta may have to sometimes make so many material arrangements which are not directly part of devotional service…..just like Srila Rupa Goswami explains in the Nectar of Devotion in the Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu that the …dasya… refers to all the activities which are engaged in devotional service for the pleasure of Krishna including service to the deity, including chanting of the holy name including meditation of the Lord and all different services to the Deity and for the Vaishnavas, all these activities constitute devotional service in dasya…but not that activities such as bathing, the fundamental basics…..taking care of the body, these are not directly constituting the purificatory activities …they are secondary duties that are also to be performed ..but they themselves are not transcendental activities ………………………However when the person is transcendentally situated then such activities also become transcendental. So a grhasta has to do many more of such activities: Grhatsa has to maintain a house, has to do so many activities to maintain the house …..so all these things are part of the realm of material entanglement………….. now when that grhasta dedicates his life to the service of Krishna then even maintaining that big house for the service of Krishna and resting in that house for the service of Krishna and so on is also transcendental and can also be purifying …even then such a house is not detrimental to devotional service ….but the risk is there ….the risk is there that one is not using it merely for the service of the Lord but also for sense enjoyment …because such a house offers a large variety of sense enjoyment and therefore one can easily utilise that facility to take a little break from direct devotional service and engage in some sense enjoyment in the name of “I’m just keeping body and soul together.”
When it come to material existence that is actually the duty of a Vaishnava to maintain body and soul together… and that is as far as material duties ought to reach. Sometimes this is observed as being fanatic …when we are minimising material existence to merely keeping the body and soul together …but that is actually not a fact. From the pure spiritual point of view this is not at all the case. To do anything more for: ‘the body or for our temporary existence and to keep body and soul together’ is actually risking to return, risking bondage in the material world …therefore it is not recommended. A Vaishnava therefore would prefer a renounced postion, as Bharata Maharaja chose, right, but renunctiation in itself , then again is not at all glorified in the Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu …….. Rupa Goswami is pointing out that renunctiation is only slightly helpful in the beginning of devotional service , only slightly helpful in the beginning of devotional serice …so you wonder is it even worth it? …Rather ….devotional service is in itself the means to become free from material entanglement and that by becoming totally absorbed in devotional service . whether one is in a renounced position or whether one is in a ..another position ….it is actually not very essential at all…rather one should fill all his time with devotional service ….and that is the essence ….and so from that perspective looking again at the question whether Bharata Maharaja should have pulled the deer out or not….we can see that it doesn’t really matter..! (More in part 5)

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