(Kadamba Kanana Maharaja, 29 December 2011, Munich, Germany)
Material association is somehow or the other, always following us in this material world. Once Srila Prabhupada was speaking about the topic of ‘anarthas‘. ‘Arthas‘ means what brings benefit. ‘An-artha‘ means what brings no benefit. Translated from a more transcendental perspective, the word ‘anartha‘ means that which brings no benefit on the spiritual path, or a stumbling block in the spiritual path.
So then Srila Prabhupada said, “Yes, the body is an anartha.” So the entire body is such an anartha, because these bodies are somehow or another, now covering the spirit soul, and as a result, our natural propensities are limited. And therefore we are not satisfied. Our true nature is not satisfied.
However, there is a path of pure devotional service in this world. This is known as the path of pure goodness. Although this body may be considered to be like a lump of ignorance, still, by engaging it in the service of the Lord, it becomes transcendental. The classical example is the example of a bar of iron that is placed in fire, and it is said that this iron, when it is heated enough in the fire, begins to act like fire.
So in this way, even material things that are in itself products of ignorance and in itself limiting, can also become transcendental.