(HH Kadamba Kanana Swami, 7th March 2012, New York) Lecture: Caitanya-caritāmṛta Part 3
In the beginning there is a little bit of oppression in our nature, but that is not our real nature since that is our false ego – the false role that we temporary accepted as our self. That one has to be kept boxed in and sometimes in a strait-jacket (or in control). That one cannot be given a free rein since it has to at least be kept on reins!
The eleventh Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam is offering the example of a horse. It is saying that:
‘Controlling the conditioned nature, is done like controlling a horse with the reins! And that one must cannot hold the reins tight all the time!’
Here’s this horse and it is bursting with power. You cannot only hold this horse back and make it only do slow steps. I mean sometimes you just got to give him the free rein, and let him have the full burst of power and fill his potential, and run! So in dealing with our conditioned nature we cannot just say:
‘Finished! I’m finished with you!’
That would be fanaticism, and that kind of fanaticism is the kind of situation where suddenly later on, on the path you will encounter, when you are walking then there is a dark force path and you go around the bend and suddenly you get mugged! When you look at the guy’s face – it’s you… it’s yourself! Then you get mugged by yourself! You encounter yourself later on, you get attacked, and yourself comes back with a vengeance – then you get those kinds of situations!
The eleven Canto gives the answer by using the example of the horse. So what does that mean by giving the reins? It means that sometimes we must engage this nature – we cannot deny it all, since we have got to use it. We have to find something to do where our nature is satisfied! So spiritual life is not: ‘denial… denial… denial’ – no. But isn’t this lower if you just engage this nature? Isn’t this karma-yoga? Is this the lower path? I mean isn’t it higher if you just make a sacrifice for Krishna? Isn’t it the best if you just do it for Krishna, what you hate the most? No leave it up to Krishna, since we do not need to search out what we hate the most, and do that as an offering for Krishna!
Don’t worry and just try to do what you like to do for Krishna and automatically in the cause of serving Krishna in that way the situation will change… We don’t need to search out what we hate the most since that comes on its own in the material world. But when it is sent by Krishna, then we must accept it by saying:
‘That’s all right. Now Krishna has sent this to me as a test for my purification. I must need it.’
If we search it out ourselves, then we are masochists, and we will be weak within ourselves in that position. The theme is being natural and engaging our nature but within the boundaries of Krishna Consciousness, and not just within the boundaries of what is authorised by Krishna, and then we will see that if we do so, we begin to discover many things within our nature that we didn’t know was even there… and in this mood of surrendering to Krishna, one goes outside of his preconceived ideas, because one is meant to take up things that one would never do!