(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 13 January 2013, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Sunday Feast Lecture)
There are three modes of nature in the material world: goodness, passion and ignorance.
Places in goodness, passion and ignorance. Places in ignorance are covered in dirt and smell foul. Places in passion is where everybody is trying to squeeze out a few more drops of enjoyment or like make some good investments; so we score and make some progress. Passion!
Goodness: peaceful, thoughtful, reflective. Food in goodness is that which gives health; it is sustaining, it is fresh and vegetarian.
Foods in passion: flames shoot out of the mouth and the ears and it gives you a kick.
Food in ignorance is kind of like, “How long has this been in the fridge? Can’t remember? When did we put it in there? Was it last week Monday or the week before? Anyway stick it in the microwave”.
“Sssshhhh. Zap. Ping!”
“Yummy, yummy!” Tasty food in ignorance!
So like this, the three modes of material nature are all around us. Goodness, passion and ignorance and that’s not all. They’re also inside of us. Oh yes, and sometimes what’s inside of us is not that same as what is outside of us. Sometimes outside, all goodness but we are in passion on the inside.
Suppose you are in passion internally and the place is in goodness. A beautiful lake with a swan in the forest, and you sit there and you’re in passion and you think, “God, you know, let’s see if the thing can fly!” (laughing). Throw a stone at him! Get some action, something going. You see, you get the idea. So it’s interesting how these modes of nature are within and out of us! They’re not always synchronized. Not always. So anyway, gradually it is said, according to the mode that one has attained, one will also have a certain faith. It’s like, money is the honey goes well with the mode of passion. You can see the idea.
One must associate with goodness. If we associate with goodness then we become peaceful. So, we must be in a peaceful place. Can’t live in a mad house; you will become mad! If you live in a bar, what’s gonna become of you? “I drink only orange juice.”
“Come on, have some tequila in that orange juice. Come on! Don’t be square. You can, tequila sunrise, come on. It’s good for the germs, you know. Thins the blood. Nobody will know, just a little. Medicinal purposes, in the tea”.
So there is, it takes time to get out of the lower modes as we grew up in the lower modes. That is just what happened to us. We grew up in passion and ignorance. It came into our life. It was spoon-fed and little-by-little, it just became part of our life.
Millions of little things actually, altogether. Millions of little attachment and all these little attachments bind us in so many things and they block us. So first, purification! Purification is the program. So Bhagavad-gita offers us a program of purification:abhyāsa yoga yukten cetasā nānya-gāminā paramaḿ puruṣaḿ divyaḿ yāti pārthānucintayan (Bhagavad-gita 8.8)
(He who meditates on Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, his mind constantly engaged in remembering Me, undeviated from the path, he, O Pārtha, is sure to reach Me.)
And one must practice this. That’s yoga. That’s actually yoga.