(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 03 April 2016, Durban, South Africa, Sunday Lecture at NJP)
Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya Lila chapter 19 is a chapter dedicated to the biography of Rupa Goswami and how he receives instructions from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. What it begins with and which is interesting, is ‘lip service’. The term ‘lip service’ is found there. It is said that 500 years ago, most devotees, upon hearing transcendental instruction, were rendering only lip service. I kind of like that! I thought it was really something because that was 500 years ago and we thought that things were still very pure and had not become watered down as it is now. But even then, it was mainly lip service.
So what are we doing now and how do we make the change? How do we rise above the weakness of the heart? The last purport of the 15th chapter deals with weakness of the heart. First of all, it is said that weakness of the heart consists of philosophical misconceptions. When there is philosophical misconception, then there must be weakness of the heart.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur gives us a more elaborate explanation. He explains that another cause of lethargy is ignorance. So we must hear somehow or other. But we must make the effort, we have to push the button to listen to the recording, or drag the body to a lecture, or open the book to read. That much we have to do. We have to take some initiative even when it feels difficult because then we can overcome the weakness of the heart.
Another cause of weakness of heart is simply aparadha, making offenses. We are careless – we are disrespectful to the Lord, to the devotees and to the holy name. Various anarthas (impurities) are in our hearts, anarthas such as desiring to be worshiped or hankering for name, fame and glory; pretending to be better than we are; pretending to be greater than we are. But this is a business mentality. It means we are trying to get more profit than we should therefore we misrepresent things for gain. Lying has become the standard because generally speaking, it looks better when we colour it with a lie. Thus we lie even when we do not have to because it is just a habit. All these things have now become part of our nature.