No illicit sex, no meat-eating, no gambling, no intoxication. This is tapasya, voluntarily accepting... Those who are practiced to all these bad habits... So they will feel some pain, but you accept that pain. Then this pain will be over

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"no illicit sex, no meat-eating, no gambling, no intoxication. This is tapasya, voluntarily accepting... Those who are practiced to all these bad habits... So they will feel some pain, but you accept that pain. Then this pain will be over"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

We have to practice tapasya, penance. Simple thing: no illicit sex, no meat-eating, no gambling, no intoxication. This is tapasya, voluntarily accepting... Those who are practiced to all these bad habits... So they will feel some pain, but you accept that pain. Then this pain will be over, this material pain. Just like sometimes for curing some disease the doctor says that injection or surgical operation. That is painful, but to cure the disease we should accept that thing.
Lecture on BG 4.10 -- Vrndavana, August 2, 1974:

This is the world. Even father will be enemy, what to speak of others. If you become Kṛṣṇa conscious, the whole world will be your enemy. You must be prepared for that. So therefore you require tapasya. Tapasya means voluntarily agree to suffer. That is called tapasya. Voluntarily. Suffering is there, but why not suffer for Kṛṣṇa? Everyone is unhappy. Everyone is in suffering condition. Who is not suffering? Everyone is suffering.

Tri-tāpa-yatana. Adhyātmika, adhibhautika, adhidaivika. Three kinds of sufferings are always going on. Why you are running fan? Because suffering. There is heat. So where is no suffering? This is called adhidaivika, the scorching heat, scorching, I mean, severe cold. There must be always. We are suffering now due to scorching heat, and when the... We are thinking, "If it is become cooler..." And when it is cool, then also we suffering. Then we think, "If there is some heat." When there is winter, we are hankering after heat, and when there is summer, we are hankering after cooling.

So this is going on. We cannot be happy. First of all we must know that. There is no question of happiness here. We are simply hankering. "If, it would have been very nicely cool." And when it is cool, then you'll think, "If it had been nicely hot..." The same thing. Carvita-carvaṇānām. Carvita-carvaṇānām means chewing the chewed. We have tasted heat and cold both, but we are desiring. "If it would have been like this, if it had been like that, if it..." But never come to the conclusion that either heat or cool, we have to suffer. Mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya. That is explained by Kṛṣṇa. So long you have got this, this material skin, then this heat and cold you'll have to suffer. Mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya śītoṣṇa-sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ (BG 2.14). The śīta, the summer, the winter, or the summer season, neither of them are sources of happiness. But you are thinking like that. "If it would have been like this, if it would have been like this."

Therefore kāṅkṣa, akāṅkṣa. So if you become transcendentally situated, brahma-bhūta (SB 4.30.20), there will be no more akāṅkṣa. There will be no more hankering either for this or that. Because he knows... That is called jñāna. So after jñāna... That is required. Jñāna, in the human form of life, this knowledge is required. The animals cannot have jñāna. The human beings can have jñāna. This is knowledge, that "So long I'll possess this material body, I'll have to suffer. I'll have to suffer." Unless you come to this conclusion, there is no progress.

If we remain attached to these bodily pains and pleasures... Of course, nobody wants pains, but for pleasure you take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Of course, gradually you'll come to knowledge. That is not our aim. Our aim is that the pains and pleasure; so-called pleasure—actually pain—this will continue so long we have got this body.

Therefore we have to practice tapasya, penance. Simple thing: no illicit sex, no meat-eating, no gambling, no intoxication. This is tapasya, voluntarily accepting... Those who are practiced to all these bad habits... So they will feel some pain, but you accept that pain. Then this pain will be over, this material pain. Just like sometimes for curing some disease the doctor says that injection or surgical operation. That is painful, but to cure the disease we should accept that thing. Similarly, if you want to become free from this material body, then you should accept, accept this pain. This is not pain. It is simply imagination. Actually, it is pleasure.

So... Because we have no knowledge, therefore jñāna-tapasā. And if there is knowledge and if there is tapasya, penance, then pūtā, purified. You become purified. Therefore it is said, bahavo jñāna-tapasā pūtā mad-bhāvam āgatāḥ. Then you come back to home, back to Godhead. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is for teaching how one can be detached from this material existence and voluntarily accepting some so-called, I mean to say, sufferings. We should be steady. But actually, there is no suffering. It is simply imagination.

Just like there are many meat-eaters. We do not eat meat. What is our suffering? It is simply imagination. If you ask the meat-eater that "Don't eat meat," he'll think, "Oh, it is horrible." He'll say horrible. Yes, actually they say. Even big, big man.

The Lord Zetland, he also said, "Oh, no, no, this cannot be done. This is our life." Lord Zetland to some of our godbrothers, he said, "Can you make me brāhmaṇa?" "Yes, we can make you brāhmaṇa. You give up these..." "No, no. This is not possible. Horrible."

It appears to be horri... Because we are so much absorbed in māyā. As soon as you ask anybody that "You cannot eat meat," he'll think it, "Oh, it is horrible." As soon as you say, "You cannot drink, you cannot have any intoxication," he thinks, "This is horrible." But actually it is not... This is māyā. It is not horrible, but we are thinking horrible. We are not eating meat. Are you dying? No. We have got so many nice foodstuffs. Why shall I eat meat? So paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate (BG 9.59). So our philosophy, our Vaiṣṇava philosophy, we do not say only that "Don't eat this," but "Eat this." We do not enjoy this, but enjoy this.

We give one alternative. We are not simply zero. The Māyāvādī philosophy is zero. We say that "Make this side zero, and take this positive side." Just like here,

vīta-rāga-bhaya-krodhā
man-mayā mām upāśritāḥ
bahavo jñāna-tapasā
pūtā mad-bhāvam āgatāḥ
(BG 4.10)

They gave up this, but that does not mean he became zero. Zero is śūnyavādi, voidism. No, you cannot remain in zero. That is not possible. If you accept this void philosophy, to make everything zero, that is artificial. Then again you'll fall down. Because you cannot remain in zero. The Māyāvādī philosophers, they want to... Or the Buddhist philosophers, they want to make things zero. That is not possible. You cannot remain in zero. Because you are ānandamayo 'bhyāsāt (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12). You want ānanda, pleasure. Pleasure cannot be in zero. That is not possible. Is it possible? To make things zero and you'll enjoy? No, that is not possible.