(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 22 May 2014, Prague, Czech Republic, Bhagavad-gita 7.20)
Question: We have those other material desires and still we should engage in devotional service with determination. Can you specify more elaborately what does this point it mean, that we should engage with determination?
It means that even when we have material desires, we do not act upon them. Even when there is pride, we are not going to feed that pride. We are trying to act humble. Even when there is anger, we try to control it. Even when there is greed and atyahara, the desire to have many things that we do not really need, we try to control the senses and not buy so many unnecessary things. In this way, we just follow the path of bhakti. It is stated in the purport here:
yajeta purusham param (Srimad Bhagavatam 2.3.10)
It actually says that whether you have material desires or you do not have material desires, engage with great determination in the process of pure devotional service. So, having material desires, engage in pure devotional service, follow the pure process of devotional service with great energy, then everything will come and all the material desires will go away.
Or, I have my other more simple example. If you have material desires, get an empty cardboard box and put all your material desires in there. Then write with the big marker, “My material desires. Do not touch!” Put a rope around the box and put the box on the shelf. Then, get really busy in devotional service. Of course, sometimes you are going to look at your box, “My material desires,” but you are still very busy.
Then one day, one day, when you are not so busy with service, the mind says, “Today, I’m going to play with my material desires…” You take the box off the shelf. You open it up and like, “Who took all the material desires!? Half are gone! I mean, this box was full. Now it is only half-full! Who took all these material desires!?” Who do you think took all these material desires? Have you not heard… that Krsna is a thief? So Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita:
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ (Bhagavad-gita 18.66)
Just surrender unto me. Abandon all varieties of activity, just do my activities and I will deliver you from all the reactions of your sinful activities. What are these reactions of these sinful activities? Material desires. Krsna will deliver us from them. Like that, like that.