(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 14 May 2015, Melbourne, Australia, Srimad Bhagavatam 3.9.42)
Question: Why does maya make it so difficult for the jiva to attain Krsna when Mahaprabhu is wanting to give Krsna prema so easily?
Srila Prabhupada was explaining in one lecture which I happened to be listening to three days ago that maya is like the police. So maya is there for the criminals! Prabhupada said, “If you are a criminal then maya will give you so much trouble but if you are not a criminal, then there is no problem.” It is like when you are not a criminal, the police will not give you any difficulty. But when we are actually criminals, who are actually ignoring the laws of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and causing disturbances then we are not innocent, we are guilty. We are criminals, we are causing suffering to others, we are causing a lot of suffering in the world therefore maya is arresting us. Time is up and is sort of punishing us.
We may say, “Maya, why are you doing this to me? You know, I am the nicest guy in the world. Why do you not leave me alone? It is not fair. I am completely sincere.” Whereas we are not so sincere. Actually, we are thoroughly corrupted so it takes purification. Not even just purification of bad qualities but it even takes purification of our motivation. Even our motivation is not so pure.
Sometimes people accuse us and they say like, “Escapist! Escapist! Take responsibility! Get a job! Get married! Go get a job! Escapist!”
Of course, you reply, “Demon! How dare you say such a thing about a vaisnava? You know what you are doing? You are blaspheming the vaisnavas! Demon!” (laughter)
But the truth of the matter… maybe there is a little bit of an escapist in us. Work in a job from Monday to Friday, from nine to five? It is easier to live in the temple and say, “Oh sorry, Prabhu, I came two hours late for my service. I had to chant my rounds, Prabhu.”
It is pretty easy, you know, to walk into any temple in the world and ask for prasadam? Just rock up in time. So in some ways, we live very sheltered lives. It is quite comfy compared to the struggle for existence in the material world. So is our motivation that pure? Did we really only come because we want to serve Krsna and surrender our lives to Krsna? Or did we come because we did not like to work? We did not like so many other things and now we are here in the temple and life is good.
I was in one temple in East Africa in 1979.
Yeah, it was like, “Did the life members bring the fruit already?”
“Yes, they did.”
“Oh, are there any mangoes?”
“No, only papayas.”
“Only papayas! Oh gosh. Any programs today?”
“Yes, there is a program at the Gupta’s.”
“Oh, the Gupta’s! I am going to that one. Mrs Gupta, I mean she is a whiz in the kitchen.”
Is this the sankirtan yajna? Is this the preacher who is going to every town and village? svargāpavarga-narakeshv api tulyārtha-darśinah (Srimad Bhagavatam 6.17.28): He is ready to go to hell or to heaven, he is equal-minded, preach Krsna consciousness. Is that us? Or are we more like in a comfort zone?
We can reflect on these things sometimes and we can question our own motivation, “Am I here just to serve Krsna or am I here because in some ways, it is easy?” So, even motivation needs to be purified. So how sincere are we? So, we are criminals. Still, some criminal tendencies are there. Even when we are dressed up like this (in devotional attire), it does not mean that all the criminal tendencies are gone. So when maya sees some criminal tendencies, there she is again, pouncing with her potencies, and we fall down…
Haridas Thakur had no material desires. Maya tested him and then after duly testing him, she found he was free and she surrendered to him. So the pure devotee is beyond. Srila Prabhupada used to say, “You can fall down but I cannot.” The pure devotee is fully transcendental. So we are converted criminals. So that is why maya is still policing us.