(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 23 August 2012, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Srimad Bhagavatam 4.29.55)

There is a price to pay for everything in this material world. You get nothing for nothing! Everything has strings attached which can be very entangling. I remember that when I stayed at the Amsterdam temple, at one point the government wanted to charge us for having a television! We said, “We don’t watch television!” and they replied, “That doesn’t matter, you have the right to watch television so you have to pay for those rights.”

This is the nature of the material energy. The material energy always has a relationship with other things – if you have a house and then you have to paint it and repair it. You get attached to it and before you know it, you have to make a phone call so then you need a telephone but there are other complications with the telephone. So,

ūrdhva-mūlam adhaḥ-śākham

aśvatthaṁ prāhur avyayam (Bhagavad-gita 15.1)

This entanglement of material existence is just like the banyan tree described in the 15th chapter of the Bhagavad-gita which is upside down with so many branches and from each branch, new roots are growing. In Kolkata botanical gardens, there is an enormous banyan tree and this tree is so huge that you can go inside it! The banyan tree has aerial roots that grow in the tree and in the ground as well as the ends so you can no longer see where the original trunk is. New aerial roots are wrapped around other aerial roots and they look like the trunk – the entanglement of the banyan tree is like the entanglement of the material energy.

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