Desire must be there. The ant has desire; Lord Brahma has desire; I have got desire; you have got desire. This is artificial, to make desireless. That is not possible. Therefore bhakti means to purify the desire

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Expressions researched:
"So desire must be there. The ant has desire"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

O the ant, he has to go, to pick up one grain of sugar, by going hundred miles in his capacity, but it will go. That is desire. You have got experience. You put little sugar here. You don't invite ants, but they'll come. They'll come. They'll get immediately information. Just like from Europe many people came in America-gold rush desire. So desire must be there. The ant has desire; Lord Brahmā has desire; I have got desire; you have got desire. This is artificial, to make desireless. That is not possible.
Lecture on BG 16.13-15 -- Hawaii, February 8, 1975:

So last night we discussed about the demons' thinking. Āśā-pāśa-śatair baddhāḥ. He does not know "So long I shall be aspiring more and more, I am getting entangled more and more within this material world. Because Kṛṣṇa is so kind, he has given me freedom to enjoy this material world, but according to my work, I am becoming implicated. So long I'll have a pinch of desire for enjoying this material world, I'll have to accept a typical body." This is the law of nature. When you'll actually be free from all material desires, then it is called mukti, mukti, liberation. That is liberation. So that standard of mukti, mukti standard or mukti platform, is bhakti-yoga.

"No desire" does not mean no desire for serving Kṛṣṇa. That is real desire. Other desires are artificial. That is material. But the desire to... That is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness. When all our desires are for serving Kṛṣṇa... Desires you cannot give up. That is not possible. Desires will remain there, but at the present moment, in the conditional stage, the desires are being misused. That is the defect. Therefore the definition of bhakti means anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam (Brs. 1.1.11). Śūnya means zero. That is called nirvāṇa. The Buddha philosophy advocates nirvāṇa, no more desire. That is their philosophy. "By desire, you are becoming implicated, so make all your desires extinct. Then there will be no more feelings of pains and pleasure. Desirelessness."

But that is not possible. Desire must be there. Because I am living there, living being, I must have desires. That is the symptom. A stone has no desire, but a living being, however small, insignificant ant, it has got desire. The insignificant ant gets information that in the other corner of the room, which is one hundred miles for the ant... Because the world is relative, relative world, so this length of the room, from this corner to the other corner, for an ant it is hundred miles, yes, because the world is relative according to the size, atomic size, the distance. Now we have got speedy aeroplane. The distance has reduced. Distance from Honolulu to India, if you go by land it will be ten thousand miles, but... It is ten thousand miles, but the speedy aeroplane has reduced. So relatively... Everything is relative. This is called relative world. Dar... What is...? Professor Einstein, he has proved the law of relativity. So the ant, he has to go, to pick up one grain of sugar, by going hundred miles in his capacity, but it will go. That is desire. You have got experience. You put little sugar here. You don't invite ants, but they'll come. They'll come. They'll get immediately information. Just like from Europe many people came in America-gold rush desire. So desire must be there. The ant has desire; Lord Brahmā has desire; I have got desire; you have got desire. This is artificial, to make desireless. That is not possible.

Therefore bhakti means to purify the desire. That is bhakti. Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam.
anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ
jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam
ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānu-
śīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā
(Brs. 1.1.11)

Tat-paratvena nirmalam. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktam (CC Madhya 19.170). I am desiring now with upādhi, designation. I am Indian; I am desiring in a way. You are American; you are desiring in another way. Similarly, cat is desiring another way. The dog is desiring another way. Everyone has got desires, different types of desire. Child is desiring some way or other. The boy is desiring another way. So the desire is on account of this body, different desire. So when we become transcendental to the bodily concept of life, then we come to the spiritual platform. In that platform the only one desire is how to serve Kṛṣṇa. That is required, not to become desireless but to purify the desire. That is bhakti.

Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam (CC Madhya 19.170). Nirmala means without any dirt, cleansed completely, crystal clear. That is required. The senses will be there, the mind will be there, the intelligence will be there, I'll be there—everything will be there, but we have to cleanse the desire, purify the desires. Āśā-pāśa-śatair baddhāḥ. Here, the demons, they're also desiring, but baddhāḥ: they are becoming conditioned. But a devotee, he's also desiring, but he's mukta, means liberated. Therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, yajñārthe karmaṇo 'nyatra, karma-bandhanaḥ: "You work for performing sacrifice, performing sacrifice." Sacrifice, yajña... Yajña means to satisfy the Supreme. That is sacrifice. I sacrifice my own convenience. I take all kinds of troubles... There is no trouble. It is pleasure, just like the mother takes all kinds of trouble for the little child, but she does not think that is trouble. That is pleasure. When you do something out of love, that is pleasure. That is not trouble. So in the transcendental platform, devotional service, anything you do, that is pleasure. That is not trouble. Just like you are dancing here. Actually, bodily, there is some trouble because you are perspiring, but you are not feeling the trouble; you are feeling pleasure. Otherwise how you can dance? This is the transcendental platform. So the demons are bound up by material desires, and the devotees-apparently there is desire, but there is no bondage. This is the difference. There is no bondage. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam (CC Madhya 19.170).

So the Māyāvādī philosophers, they cannot understand. They are thinking that "Why these people are taking so much trouble, dancing jumping?" They cannot under... Therefore they feel displeasure. They feel disturbance because they are not purified. So āśā-pāśa-śatair baddhāḥ. The demonic principle is to become bound up by their desires, but if you are on the spiritual platform, then all your desires means loving service to the Lord. That is wanted. So the demons' desires is described here. There is nothing to be explained. We have got practical experience in the material world. They are always thinking, idam adya mayā labdham: "Now, today I have earned five hundred dollars" or something more or less. Mayā labdham means "I have got it." Imaṁ prāpsye manoratham: "Again I shall get tomorrow so much money, and my bank balance will increase to such and such strength." Idam asti: "I got so much, and so much will be added, and the balance will increase." Idaṁ me bhaviṣyati punar dhanam: "In this way I will increase the amount of my wealth more and more."

There is no question of "how much love I have increased for Kṛṣṇa." That is bhakta, bhakti. But where there is no bhakti, they are thinking of this material increase. Asau mayā hataḥ, thinking others are enemy... Actually, in the higher status of life, a devotee does not think anyone as enemy. Samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām (BG 18.54). Samaḥ. He knows that "Nobody can become my enemy unless Kṛṣṇa desires. So why shall I think of him as my enemy? Kṛṣṇa has desired him to act as my enemy just to correct me, just to make me more advanced in spiritual life. So why shall I take any action upon him as enemy?" Of course, this stage is meant for very highly elevated devotee. That is not meant for ordinary devotee. But the fact is this: "How one can become my enemy? If I am Kṛṣṇa's servant, how one can become my enemy? If one is acting as my enemy, it is Kṛṣṇa's desire. I have got some defect, and he is correcting me." Therefore it is called samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām (BG 18.54). That is the topmost devotee's conception.

But when we are preaching, we have to come to the second stage. There are three stages of devotional life. The first stage, or the lower stage, the middle stage, and the top stage. So this kind of conception, that "Nobody is my enemy," that is on the topmost stage. That is not to be imitated. When you are preaching, you have to come to the middle stage. Even if you are on the top stage, you have to come on the middle stage because you have to discriminate: "Here is a devotee; here is a demon." On the top stage there is no such thing as demon and devotee. The top stage, the devotee sees: "Everyone is engaged in Kṛṣṇa's service. Simply I am not engaged." This is topmost devotee's vision, that "I am lacking Kṛṣṇa's devotion."

Just like Rādhārāṇī thinks that "All others, they are engaged in Kṛṣṇa's devotion, but I could not." Caitanya Mahāprabhu said. Caitanya Mahāprabhu said that "I have not a pinch of devotion to Kṛṣṇa. Then if you say, 'Why you are crying?' that is to make a show." Caitanya Mahāprabhu said that "I am crying for Kṛṣṇa just to advertise Myself that I have become a big... But actually I have not a pinch of devotion to Kṛṣṇa." "No you are so great devotee. Everyone says." "No. Everyone may say, but I am not." "Why you are not?" "Now, because without Kṛṣṇa, still I am living. That is the proof that I have no love for Kṛṣṇa." This is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's statement. "If I had any drop of love for Kṛṣṇa, how I could live so long without Kṛṣṇa?" Śūnyāyitaṁ jagat sarvaṁ govinda-viraheṇa me. So this is love of Kṛṣṇa, that "How can I live?"—separation from Kṛṣṇa. This is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's philosophy. And the Gosvāmīs followed them. They never said that "Now I have seen Kṛṣṇa." Never said. The Gosvāmīs... Caitanya Mahāprabhu also said that "I was dreaming Kṛṣṇa. Why you got Me awakened? I lost the chance." But the Gosvāmīs, they said that

he rādhe vraja-devike ca lalite he nanda-sūno kutaḥ
śrī-govardhana-kalpa-pādapa-tale kālindī-vane kutaḥ
ghoṣantāv iti sarvato vraja-pure khedair mahā-vihvalau
vande rūpa-sanātanau raghu-yugau śrī-jīva-gopālakau

They were simply feeling separation. In Vṛndāvana they lived, but they never said, "Last night I saw Kṛṣṇa was dancing." Never said. They said that "Kṛṣṇa and gopīs, Rādhārāṇī, where you are all?" He rādhe vraja-devike ca lalite he nanda-sūno kutaḥ: "Where you are?" Kālindī-vane kutaḥ govardhana-kalpa-pādapa-tale: "Either on the..., near the Govardhana Hill or on the bank of the river Yamunā, where you are?" This is called bhajana, devotion in separation, feeling separation. So in this way we shall increase our aspiration more and more. That is required. That āśā, that hope, that expectation, will lead us to the topmost platform of devotion.

So instead of thinking always like this demon that "I have got so much money. Now I shall get further amount of money and it will be like so much money. He is my enemy. I have killed one of them. The other enemy..." This is going on actually, in the material field. So we have to rectify. We have to rectify. Āḍhyo 'bhijanavān asmi: "I am the richest man. I have got so many friends, all aristocratic." Abhijanavān. Janavān, dhanavān. Dhanavān means possessing wealth, and janavān means possessing men, strength, popular strength, and strength of money.

So Caitanya Mahāprabhu said that na dhanaṁ na janaṁ na kavitāṁ vā jagadīśa kāmaye. These are the bhakti path. The demon is thinking, "I have got so much money. I have got so many friends, and so many relatives, so many family members." Caitanya Mahāprabhu is denying that na dhanaṁ na janaṁ na sundarīṁ kavitāṁ vā jagadīśa kāmaye (Cc. Antya 20.29, Śikṣāṣṭaka 4), just the opposite: "I don't want any material friends or followers, neither I want money. Simply I want to serve You. Simply I want to serve You." So in these three verses everything is... Word meanings are there. So these are the demonic propensities, and the very thing can be changed into devotional service, and then we become devotee or demigod. So I am going tomorrow. So here you shall try to become devotee, not to think like demons. That will not help us. Then āśā-pāśa-śatair baddhāḥ. We'll remain bound up in material bondage. You cannot stop desires. That is not possible, but purify the desire. Purify the desire. Purify desire means that the same hopes, hope against hope, just to improve your position as devotee... That will help you to make your life successful. Thank you very much.