Lecture on BG 2.58-59 — New York, April 27, 1966
So we have to learn that thing, that how we have to see the beauty of spiritual life. Then, naturally, we shall be refrained from material activities. Just like a child, a boy. He is all day mischief-making and playing, but if he is given some good engagement… There are now so many devices by the educational department, kindergarten system or this system or that system. But if he’s engaged, “Oh, form ‘A,’ form ‘B.’ ” So he learns at the same time ABC, and at the same time refrains from his mischievous activities. Similarly, there are things, kindergarten system of spiritual life. If we engage our activity in that spiritual activities, then only it is possible to refrain from these material activities. Activities cannot be stopped. Activities cannot be stopped. Just the same example, that the Arjuna… Rather, before hearing Bhagavad-gītā, he became inactive, not to fight. But after hearing Bhagavad-gītā, he became more active, but transcendentally active. So spiritual life, or transcendental life, does not mean that we are free from activity. Simply artificially, if we sit down, “Oh, no more I shall do anything material. I shall simply meditate,” oh, what meditation you will do? Your meditation will be in a moment broken just like even Viśvāmitra Muni, he could not continue his meditation. We have to always, cent percent, be engaged in spiritual activities. That should be the program of our life. Rather, in spiritual life you will hardly find any time to get out of it. You have got so much engagement. Rasa-varjam. And that engagement can only be possible when you find some transcendental pleasure in it.
So that will be done. That will be done. Ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgaḥ (CC Madhya 23.14-15). Spiritual life begins, first of all, śraddhā, some faith. Just like you are coming here kindly to hear me. You have got little faith. This is the beginning. Without faith, you could not spare your time here because here there is no cinema playing, there is no political talks, nothing of the… It may be, to some it is very dry subject. Very dry subject. (chuckles) But still, you come. Why? Because you have got some little faith, “Oh, here is Bhagavad-gītā. Let us hear it.” So the faith is the beginning. The faithless cannot have any spiritual life. Faith is the beginning. Ādau śraddhā. Śraddhā. And this faith, faithfulness, as much as it is intensified, you make your progress far. So this faith has to be intensified. The beginning is the faith. And now, as you make your faith intensified, so you become progressive in the spiritual path.(?) (life?) Ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgaḥ (CC Madhya 23.14-15). If you have got some faith, then you will find out some sādhu, sādhu or some saint, some sage, who can give you some spiritual enlightenment. That is called sādhu-saṅga (CC Madhya 22.83). Ādau śraddhā. The basic principle is śraddhā, and the next step is sādhu-saṅga, association of spiritually realized persons. That is called sādhu… Ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgo ‘tha bhajana-kriyā. And if there is actually association of spiritually self-realized persons, then he will give you some process of spiritual activities. That is called bhajana-kriyā. Ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgaḥ atha bhajana-kriyā tataḥ anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt. And as you are more and more engaged in spiritual activities, so, proportionately, your material activities and affection for material activities will diminish. Counteraction. When you engage in the spiritual activities, your material activities diminishes. But just mind that. Material activities and spiritual activities, difference is that… Suppose you are engaged as a medical man. You don’t think that “If I become spiritually engaged, then I have to give up my profession.” No, no. That is not. You have to spiritualize your profession. Just like Arjuna, he was a military man. He became a spiritualist. That means he spiritualized his military activity.
So these are the techniques. So ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgaḥ atha bhajana-kriyā tataḥ anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt (CC Madhya 23.14-15). Anartha means… Anartha means that creates my miseries. Material activities will continue to increase my misery. And if you adopt spiritual life, then your material miseries will be gradually decreased, and practically it will be nil. And when we are actually free from material affinity, then your real spiritual life begins. Athāsakti. You become attached. You cannot give up any more. When your anartha-nivṛtti, when your material activities are completely stop, then you cannot give up. Athāsakti. Ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgo ‘tha bhajana-kriyā tato ‘nartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt tato niṣṭhā (CC Madhya 23.14-15). Niṣṭhā means your faith becomes more firm, fixed up, steady. Tato niṣṭhā tato ruciḥ. Ruci. Ruci means you will simply hanker after spiritual things. You won’t like to hear anything except spiritual message. You won’t like to do anything except spiritual activities. You won’t like to eat anything which is not spiritualized. So your life will be changed. Tato niṣṭhā athāsaktiḥ. Then attachment, then bhāva. Then you will be transcendentally, I mean to say, ecstaticized. There will be some ecstasy. And that is the… These are the different steps for highest platform of spiritual life. Tato bhāvaḥ. Tato bhāvaḥ. Bhāva, that bhāva stage, is the right platform from where you can directly talk with the Supreme Lord.
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