(H H Kadamba Kanana Swami, 27th March 2012, Cape Town, South Africa) Lecture: B.G. 2.17

Sometimes I make the point that before losing material desires one must lose faith in them. It maybe there but just lose faith in them. Faith in the sense of:

‘These things will make me happy. Now if I buy the biggest of the biggest and the best of the best then I will not be happy! I know that I’ll just be poor! I will still not be happy because this is the situation.’

So a vaisnava doesn’t have faith that the material things will bring real happiness. That doesn’t mean that we want to live in horrible conditions. We can see that some people live below the poverty line and whatever it maybe that is not fun. At night when the rats eat your toes, then you may think it’s a joke that but I have actually been to the places where the rats were nibbling on toes in the Calcutta temple.

You could either sleep in the temple room, where there were cockroaches. Not one or two of them but thousands of them, or maybe hundred of thousands. If you slept there then throughout the whole night you felt something, and so it is not peaceful trying to sleep there. But then I would try the veranda but that is the main highway for the rats who would go all the way to the kitchen. At times they would have little snack on the way, and nibble some toes, and somehow or other rats liked to nibbled your calves and your toes! One night a devotee woke up screaming when he found that a rat was sitting on his chest…

But we are not talking about the suffering in the material world. We are not looking for suffering either, but the idea that we are going to make the material world a perfect place is an illusion! All the materialists have that fault:

‘So far I have only had bad luck, but actually I think I’ve got it figure out. It took me forty years, but I’ve just seen the light and I know how to do it now.’

Of course when it works for a little while. Just see because maya helps:

‘Yes, yes!’

Now you know how it works. Just see how it works:

‘Yes oh, it works. It was confirmed. I have it figured out, yes!’

It is said:

‘Krishna-bahirmukha hana bhoga vancha kare
nikata-stha maya tare japatiya dhare,’ (Jagadananda Pandita, Prema-vivarta).

Jagadananda Pandita’s verse which says that if one has some flirtations with the material energy (not serious but just a little bit) such as:

‘I’ll be careful. I will not go too far. I’ll stretch the limits a little. We can be fanatics sometimes, but we can be human also. But I will be very careful and I won’t fall down.’

Maya is nearby and she will slap us down! Just as you get to the edge she will push you over! And that is what Jagadananda Pandita is saying which is an interesting point. . But if one is full of service to Krishna, then nothing can interfere!

That is why Srila Prabhupada was emphasising about devotional service. Somehow or other we must always be engaged in devotional service, all of the time. Hearing and chanting is the basis. In hearing and chanting we are directly meeting with Krishna! We can do so much devotional service by pushing around the material energy for Krishna. That we can do:

‘Battling it out and trying to get this done for Krishna. So much anxiety for doing all these things for Krishna.’

But then, it is just Krishna directly, which is just a relief. Stopping with the material energy for Krishna can be very stressful. Organising the Ratha Yatra, and collecting all the money. Arranging all the things and getting the permits and so on. Everything is great, there is no rain, but you didn’t calculate the wind, and the canopy almost blows off, which is an endless anxiety. So therefore dealing indirectly with the material energy in the service for Krishna is not always easy, that we all know!

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