Spiritual life does not mean that we do not live in this world. Krishna consciousness is not the type of renunctiation to enter into a cave. My favourite example is Meella Repa, a Tibetan ascetic who lived in the medieval times and spent his whole life eating grass soup. I once read his biography and in the biography I read that due to eating the grass soup he turned green! Which kind of convinced me that he was not a role model! I was considering: “All good and well but grass is for cows that is quite clear!” I figured that out!

I realised that in other words that spiritual life could not be something so artificial. I felt that spiritual life must be a life where all human expression can be accommodated. If we can not be natural and our personality can not be expressed in Krishna consciousness, I would not have considered it, complete or our original state of consciounsess of the living being. Of course we can appreciate that at present that in the conditioned state there is material contamination and as a result now there may be all kinds of attachments and habits that are not part of our true nature….
At one point of my life when I was fifteen I was quite addicted to cigarettes and there was one school teacher who was giving this big talk to all of us in the classroom and the woman said that: “Now that you are young, now you should stop this smoking, now you still can, now you are not so addicted yet”.
And some of us were saying “Well” and I was one of those “Well I don’t know I think too late already!”

So I knew obviously that it wasn’t natural but it was very much part of my life. So many things may have entered into our life that are actually not our nature but we have become dependent on so many things.
So in Krishna consciousness there is certainly a process of cutting , the sword of transcendental knowledge one must cut the knot of karma. Which basically means everyone life after life develops a certain attachment with the material energy, due to association, and just at the point of time where we have come that has left a particular knot in our heart, and therefore everyone has his own individual knot…. and at this point the knot in the heart is still there.

We see that Krishna was making Arjuna go way beyond all his wealthy considerations: “You are mourning for what is not worthy of grief, my Dear Arjuna”
In other words you are giving so much importance to so many things that have no importance . So that may be there in us also. There is that tendency to give that importance to many many things in this world that are not so important.
So some cutting may have to be done in our life. But the primary aspect of devotional service is not “cutting down” so much , restricting ourselves: there are certain principles, the regulative principles of freedom, so there is such a thing as accepting restriction , prohibitions, all the prohibitions they are there in spiritual life: they only serve one purpose : To become a pure devotee of Krishna. To always remember Him and never forget Him. That is our objective!

The stress of Lord Chaitanya’s movement is not on the prohibtion .
if this was a movement that was based on prohibition in the forefront, the regulative principles on the forefront , it would be very difficult in this age of kali to make this a worldwide movement, and it would even be very difficult for us to embrace it ourselves. This movement is running especially on ecstasy!
It runs on ecstasy!. ……..
This ecstasy gives so much inspiration to chant. Then chanting becomes something very wonderful. ….Taste and desire can make us go beyond our limitations. So when it is stated that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu will through His mercy: the lame can cross mountains , the dumb will recite eloquent poetry and the blind will see the stars and luminaries in the sky, then we understand these things become possible, because by becoming part of the Sankirtana movement of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, there is the Ecstasy!!!

(Kadamba Kanana Swami, Amsterdam Queensday 29/04/2005)

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