(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 10 May 2013, Simhachalam, Germany, Srimad Bhagavatam 9.6.50)
Transcribed by Jnana-samudra das
I have one more example about maya and in this case, maya is fishing and we are the fish. Fish have big eyes, as you know. So imagine, let’s get into fishing consciousness – we are swimming in the water and suddenly there’s this delicious worm.
Oh my God! Look at that – juicy, fat, tasty, irresistible – but oh oh oh… We’re not blind. We can see that this worm is hanging on a terrible hook – a monster of a hook. Think I’m stupid that I’m gonna bite into that hook? No way! Swim past but then look, look, look. What if I nibble a little off the side? I nibble nibble nibble, little nibble – nothing happens.
I’ve found a formula! I found a trick! How to be in maya without getting caught. Just a little… not too much. Controlled. But, the fisherlady, maya, she sees the floater – because the hook is on a thread and a floater is there – and it is moving. She knows a fish is now nibbling the bait and with an expert movement of the wrist, of one who has done it before, maya just suddenly moves the fishing rod, and, yes, one is dangling on the hook – fall down!
Little by little, some neglect slipped in. Little by little, we just allowed some standards to go down a little. “You can’t be fanatic, you know. It’s just E-numbers. Why must you make a big deal of that?” Little by little, we are becoming slack. Anyway, I go to mangal arati six days in a week. It’s pretty good. It’s a good effort. Like this, little by little, slackness in all directions gains ground and then, what comes next is material desire.
Material desire includes a desire for self-aggrandizement, “Oh, great me. Yes, this is the wonderful glories of myself” [boasting]. Then we become a little proud, a little envious and then we cannot tolerate someone else’s glories and before we know it, it slips out – some envy!
And before we know it, we unduly criticize a vaisnava and it’s just so embarrassing to go around and apologize. And well, you know, “Maybe it wasn’t really an offense… anyway, let it go… so what? I’ll try and avoid it in the future.” And little by little, if the offenses are not too great but just disrespectful, then gradually, whatever little taste we had gained in spiritual life becomes destroyed and spiritual life becomes dry and a burden!
And that combined with the slackness that was already there, we find that suddenly we are no longer deeply absorbed in transcendental knowledge. We are back on the slippery deck which we thought we had left behind long ago. And then, watch out for those waves – hold on… splash!! There you go…
In this way, one must be careful in spiritual life to keep himself safe on the spiritual platform.