Atyahara, to accumulate more than the necessary. 5th August, 2012, Miami

Dear devotees,

I am back in Miami, and very happy for being able to connect with many of you in South America and to go on with our marathon.

Today we will recall a bit about Srila Rupa Goswami's Upadesamrita, more specific the second verse explanation, that talks about the 6 activities that take us away from devotional service.

Atyaharah prayasas ca prajalpo niyamagrahah
jana-sangas ca laulyam ca sadbhir bhakti vinasyati
Lets recall the topics said on this verse, explained by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur in a book called Sri Bhaktialoka. One of the topics touches us deeply at our sensual addictions, almost in a shameful way. Atyahara is not only about eating too much, but about more general aspects such as accumulating anything more than we really need.
The essential topic is the control over the senses, like it is said the first verse of this same book: That the person stable, able to control the different impulses of the senses and the mind is qualified to be a devotee and to share the Bhagavad Gita message.

It is where the tongue can only be controlled if is all offered to Krsna and accepting this prasadam. But the question is: What kind of food should we offer to Krsna? The answer is that all that comes from the food industry is absolutely far from the level of quality to offer God. If you only offer to Krsna different types of junk food (from the food industry), it will not be completely accepted.

The offering to Krsna must be pure and prepared by people of favorable consciousness.
We know that a kitchen where non vegetarian food is cooked is no longer satvika and what is cooked there no longer meets the requirements of a favorable offering. So what to say about industrialized food that we don't even know its origin or the way it was prepared? We must be alert with all this.

The industrialized food is full of chemicals that adds fragrance, color, to make it more tasty... Who thought that the same fruits Krsna created needed to be have extra flavor? The Lord Himself had created the most wonderful variety of flavors, smells and textures in all vegetables, fruits, grains that was given to us. I want to tell you a story I remembered about this topic:

There was a very simple shoemaker that lived with his wife and kids in a village, and he worked very hard to keep his family. He was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu and lived under the shelter of a banyan tree.

One day, while the shoemaker worked under the shade of the banyan tree, Narada the sage came to visit him. The shoemaker was very happy to receive such an important visitor. After greeting him with great joy in his home, he asked Narada if he could receive the Darshan of Lord Vishnu. Narada answered positively. Said: I have just met with Lord Visnu and he sent me here to visit you. Why did the Lord send you to visit me? Asked the shoemaker. He said to me you had a question to make, answered Narada. Confused by such an unexpected situation, the shoemaker said the first question that came into his mind: What was Lord Visnu doijg when you met him?

Lord Visnu knew the shoemaker's mind, because he is situated in the heart of all the living entities and He knows them better than themselves... He knew what the shoemaker's question was, and He wanted to teach Narada Muni a lesson to so He told him how he should answer the shoemaker's question. Narada then answered the shoemaker: Well, when I visited Lord Visnu, an elephant was passing though the eye of a needle. The shoemaker then thought for moment and said: well, only Lord Visnu could do such thing. You really believe me? Asked Narada. Don't you think such a thing can be impossible? For Lord Visnu nothing is impossible, said the shoemaker.
Look at this world! It is full of miracles: The Lord makes the sun stand up each day and the night shines every night. He makes the wind flow, the clouds float in the sky and the rivers run to the sea. So the shoemaker looked to the ground and recognized a seed that had fall from the banyan tree. Look, the shoemaker told Narada, inside this seed there is a banyan tree, so big as the tree it came from, it is only waiting to come out. If Lord Visnu can put a banyan tree inside a seed, he surely can pass an elephant through the eye of a needle.

Narada listened to the shoemaker and was surprised by his wisdom, because he could see the presence of God everywhere. Even though he was a very simple man he knew inside a seed sat a tree, in the way that Lord Visnu is inside all His creation. This way we can see God's creation is complete. We don't need to add hard chemicals. This aspect is not only related to Atyahara, but also with the intelligence, we must consider what kind of food we offer to Krsna and eat. That is why I give so much emphasis on the healthy products, organics because it is the most clean and of the best quality so we can offer to God. Because most of the food at the markets nowadays are bad quality, or cause deep harm to your health, like refined sugar for example, which is not pure sugar, but it is full of chemicals and whitener that makes it addictive. We cannot say organic food is something sophisticated, but it is an active necessity for our health.

We must consider that 20 or 30 years ago pesticides were not used like they are now, and there were no interventions in the genes of food. It has becoming a subject of lack of intelligence, because it is poisoning the Earth, the underground water, and consequently affecting the future of food. This way we can understand the cause of many diseases of these days. For this reason we must be very aware of the type of food we offer to Krsna. And that means a lot of sacrifice, but the devotee is willing to do any sacrifice to please his Lord. Hard work must be part of a devotee's life, it is healthy for the spiritual life.

The search for results with mistakes does not make any benefit. We must work hard for our children to have healthy food, homemade and offered to Krsna, because if you consume only industrialized food full of additives, you will end up addicted to it. If we don't work hard to generate organic and healthy food, we cannot talk about controlling our senses. And if we do not control our senses, they control us.

Back to Atyahara, the esential point is to not collect more than the necessary, to not wish for more than what is required. We enjoy this world in many ways, we cannot avoid it, because this world is made to be enjoyed in a way or another. You see a beautiful landscape and you enojoy it, you eat a fruit and you enjoy it. We are always enjoying, it is part of life, but beyond the joy offered to us by the world, we must control our senses. How? Taking the prasadam offered to Krsna. Only Krsna's remnants in all levels can purify us. But when we are situated in a worldly modality, of “satisfying what my senses want” we go away from yoga and all the mystical details lose sense. And this worldly modality will only bring us more constant anxiety and frustration.

You must understand the essence of this whole message and apply it by time, place and circumstance. Because fanaticism is also a type of atyahara. This material existence is full of suffering. It is horrible. That is why we must leave all addictions of sense satisfaction and fight to satisfy Krsna and to be identified with Krsna's pleasure. This mentality of sense gratification is very unhealthy for the physical aspect as well as for spiritual life. We must try to always keep simple in our ways of living. For example, in India the traders can make a lot of money, but always try to keep a simple life style. The thing is that we must work hard and be simple, this way we can do something good for others... and if you make something, automatically your life turns healthy and happy.

A devotee is always worried in controlling his senses to be able to make a better offering to Krsna, and in a very concrete way to control the mind and the senses is to focus deeply in the service we realize; where it is possible to be dedicated with all our heart and enthusiasm. This way the mind is kept entertained and happiness is developed around devotional service, because this is what is going to keep us going in this life. If we seek only for commodity in life and all our actions are guided by this, so we are walking on the wrong path. We must be motivated by the tapasya, by sacrifice and happiness. Sacrifice to conquer the most elevated goal.

There are things in life that develop very slowly, we must understand that. But if we fight for the ideals of life, we will be willing to sacrifice anything to it. Many services are connected to the development of great patience in extreme degrees. Patience is necessary at every moment. And we must develop patience for everything. A father must be a good example for his son everyday, every year... always.

There is no sense to put our ideals aside only to satisfy the impulses of our senses. The only salvation we have to keeps us is the preaching and the singing of the Holy Name. This keep us connected. Make your life an example of preaching. A preacher is not only someone who tells something or explains the philosophy very well. A preacher is a pure activist, a pure idealist... that day by day fights to live within his ideals through practicing what you preach. The only thing that can maintain us everyday is to wake up very early, to offer our prays to Krsna and to preach hard. Only this way we can turn more serious and dedicated and more and more happy.

The life of a devotee who works hard is very much protected by the constant guide of parampara. The constant guide of Srila Prabhupada, of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur... of Srila Rupa Goswami. We can see them as a living example of all we are talking about. They all were and are fighting for the same cause. We must be very happy and proud of being part of this wonderful mission of senses controlling.

We can see in the world how people are out of control, acting in the most unreasonable way, with no intelligence and consuming everything that is offered by the system.
We do not want to be part of it. A devotee fights to bring light to the Vedas for those who no longer wish to live in ignorance. That is why it is so important to preach vegetarianism to people.

A vegetarian preacher is very blessed, because each new vegetarian means another person controlling her senses that which in turn relieves harm to the others living beings. Prabhupada feels very pleased by it. It is by that that the bless comes. Prabhupada was always enthusiastic to vegetarianism preaching in all ways. And the most practical way to preach and promote vegetarianism is to offer prasadam to people.

We must always remember that our consciousness and heart must long to be enjoyed by Krsna. For that is why we want to control our senses, to purify and to be able to someday be enjoyed by Krsna. Preaching and making something for Krsna with the heart makes us act as instruments. This is what we long for. If we don't do anything that will help us become qualified to be enjoyed by Krsna, our life turns completely empty. That is why we must be very thankful to Srila Prabhupada that gave us this life style.

Our preaching must be adapted to time, place and circumstance without changing its essence. And you must set the rules and regulations to control the senses. Atyahara is not adaptable to time, place and circumstance especially in the life and practice of a grhasta, nobody will tell you the limits of what to do or what you don't have to do. It is you the one who must keeps your enthusiastic feeling fighting to control the senses. If we abuse the facilities we get we will end up becoming totally unprotected. The way to maintain protection is to remember that everything comes from Krsna and He is the origin and the end of everything we have and do, He is the final enjoyer of all.

Everything we have comes from the Grace of Krsna, even the smallest cent in your pocket comes from the Grace of Krsna. Laksmi Devi surrenders to the lotus feet of Krsna. So, we will always be tested. But you can save yourself by remembering that everything comes from Krsna and being willing to receive only His mercy. Remember that spiritual life is made of details:

Every little detail can make you go forward to Krsna, or every little detail can make you slowly fall. So if you are feeling any lack of enthusiasm in your spiritual practicing, it means that you are not being really profound. You are not meditating deeply when you sing the Gayatri, you are not crying internally while singing your rounds, you are not being thankful or praying when accepting the prasadam, you are not asking the Lord enthusiastically to keep you engaged in service. You are not paying attention to the details, and the details are what make up the day. This way you can evaluate if you are surrendering or not. And always, always, always keep yourself protected from pride. Because pride is the symptom before the fall.

Keep your senses strong in devotional service. Protect your senses surrendering them to Krsna by all kinds of devotional gifts: like sadhana bhakti, prasadam, worship to the deity, responsible and enthusiastic devotional service. If you are not disciplined life turns ever more difficult. For this reason you must train and qualify yourself. The occidental culture does not teach the true qualification and the sacrifice, it only teaches us to enjoy since the beginning and to turn completely unconscious of the affects of thoughtless enjoyment. Krsna said in the Bhagavad Gita (6-16):

naty-asnatas tu yogo sti
na caikantam anasnatah
na cati-svupna-silasya
jagrato naiva carjuna

Oh Arjuna, there is not possibilities to become a yogi if you eat too much or too little, if you sleep to much or not enough. Because to eat and to sleep are day by day subjects, so we can even say that if not controlled we are diverting daily from the appropriated course of things.

That is the way, my dears, you must maintain yourself day by day, connected to the mission of your heart, that our Srila Prabhupada brought.

Here ends today’s message. Always very happy to share with you, I leave you all my affection. If you have questions you can make them through Pancatattwa Das.

Jay Srila Prabhupada.

Your always well-wisher
Swami B. A. Pramadvaiti

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario