(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 11 February 2009, Srimad Bhagavatam 11.6.11)
Some people think that this world is a gift from Krsna to us, “Krsna was so kind that he made this material world for us so that we can have a good time!” That thought is going on and in the middle of it, some disaster happens and then suddenly it is not such a nice world anymore, “How is this possible? How can this happen?”
A more sober person who is not so passionate can see things as they really are. A passionate person is so full of desire to enjoy that a passionate person projects that desire to enjoy upon the world, upon everything and then he or she sees wonderful things everywhere! And then, an ordinary girl looks like the Goddess of Fortune!
In the fourth canto of Bhagavatam, remember King Puranjana. He meets this lady in the forest and he is immediately and totally convinced and he said, “My dear Goddess of Fortune, what happened to your lotus flower, have you dropped it in the forest somewhere?” Because the Goddess of Fortune is supposed to carry a lotus flower and this lady was not carrying a lotus flower but she looked like the Goddess of Fortune… so just see! So in other words, projecting, turning her into the Goddess of Fortune which she obviously is not. She is not Lakshmi but he wants Lakshmi so he sees Lakshmi!
A lady wants a prince and ordinary Joe comes around the corner but she is convinced, “Oh, here is Prince Jo…” for a while but it doesn’t last that long!
Those in the mode of passion project upon reality. They project their own desires upon reality and colour it and make it really nice but the truth of the matter is that the material world is not designed for happiness and there is nothing that can fix it… NOTHING! It is like a broken car, it cannot be fixed.
Fix a broken car?? Forget it! It is not even worth it because as soon as you fix one thing, another thing breaks. The material world is like that, it cannot be fixed! So devotees are described as pessimistic about material life, they don’t believe that you can create a perfect happy situation in the material world.
Happiness and distress will come of their own accord, sometimes you get one and sometimes you get the other. Therefore knowing that, a devotee does not put his hopes into the material energy. It doesn’t mean that we do not want some comfort and nice things to happen to us, but we are not going to put all of our hopes in there. The devotee understands, “My real happiness is not here in this material world, my real happiness is in the spiritual world. My real happiness is in the relationship with Krsna!”
The truth is, “We will never be happy in this world!” I know it is a very hard thing to say and not everyone may agree with it but if you don’t agree with it then know: THIS IS MAYA, illusion! This is the work of maya, this is what maya does!