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The path of spiritual life is stated in the Vedas to be like the edge of a sharpened razor

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Expressions researched:
"The path of spiritual life is stated in the Vedas to be like the edge of a sharpened razor" |"the path of spiritual realization is just like the sharp edge of a razor"

Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 3

The path of spiritual life is stated in the Vedas to be like the edge of a sharpened razor. A little inattentiveness may at once create havoc and bloodshed, but one who is a completely surrendered soul, always seeking protection from the Lord in the discharge of his entrusted duties, has no fear of falling into material contamination.
SB 3.9.24, Translation and Purport:

The Lord's potencies are innumerable. As He lies down in the water of devastation, I am born as the total universal energy from the navel lake in which the lotus sprouts. I am now engaged in manifesting His diverse energies in the form of the cosmic manifestation. I therefore pray that in the course of my material activities I may not be deviated from the vibration of the Vedic hymns.

Every person engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord in this material world is prone to so many material activities, and if one is not strong enough to protect himself against the onslaught of material affection, he may be diverted from the spiritual energy. In the material creation Brahmā has to create all kinds of living entities with bodies suitable to their material conditions. Brahmā wants to be protected by the Lord because he has to contact many, many vicious living entities. An ordinary brāhmaṇa may fall from the brahma-tejas, or the power of brahminical excellence, due to his association with many fallen, conditioned souls. Brahmā, as the supermost brāhmaṇa, is afraid of such a falldown, and therefore he prays to the Lord for protection. This is a warning for one and all in the spiritual advancement of life. Unless one is sufficiently protected by the Lord, he may fall down from his spiritual position; therefore one has to pray constantly to the Lord for protection and the blessing to carry out one's duty. Lord Caitanya also entrusted His missionary work to His devotees and assured them of His protection against the onslaught of material affection. The path of spiritual life is stated in the Vedas to be like the edge of a sharpened razor. A little inattentiveness may at once create havoc and bloodshed, but one who is a completely surrendered soul, always seeking protection from the Lord in the discharge of his entrusted duties, has no fear of falling into material contamination.

There are many instances in which someone acting in Kṛṣṇa consciousness suddenly changes. In the Upaniṣads it is stated, therefore, that the path of spiritual realization is just like the sharp edge of a razor. The example is very appropriate. One shaves his cheeks with a sharp razor very nicely, but as soon as his attention is diverted from the activity, he immediately cuts his cheek because he mishandles the razor.
SB 3.26.23-24, Translation and Purport:

The material ego springs up from the mahat-tattva, which evolved from the Lord's own energy. The material ego is endowed predominantly with active power of three kinds—good, passionate and ignorant. It is from these three types of material ego that the mind, the senses of perception, the organs of action, and the gross elements evolve.

In the beginning, from clear consciousness, or the pure state of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the first contamination sprang up. This is called false ego, or identification of the body as self. The living entity exists in the natural state of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but he has marginal independence, and this allows him to forget Kṛṣṇa. Originally, pure Kṛṣṇa consciousness exists, but because of misuse of marginal independence there is a chance of forgetting Kṛṣṇa. This is exhibited in actual life; there are many instances in which someone acting in Kṛṣṇa consciousness suddenly changes. In the Upaniṣads it is stated, therefore, that the path of spiritual realization is just like the sharp edge of a razor. The example is very appropriate. One shaves his cheeks with a sharp razor very nicely, but as soon as his attention is diverted from the activity, he immediately cuts his cheek because he mishandles the razor.

Not only must one come to the stage of pure Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but one must also be very careful. Any inattentiveness or carelessness may cause falldown. This falldown is due to false ego. From the status of pure consciousness, the false ego is born because of misuse of independence. We cannot argue about why false ego arises from pure consciousness. Factually, there is always the chance that this will happen, and therefore one has to be very careful. False ego is the basic principle for all material activities, which are executed in the modes of material nature. As soon as one deviates from pure Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he increases his entanglement in material reaction. The entanglement of materialism is the material mind, and from this material mind, the senses and material organs become manifest.

Correspondence

1970 Correspondence

It is said in the scriptures that spiritual life is just like handling a sharpened razor. If we handle it nicely we become cleanly shaved, but a little inattention causes bloodstain.
Letter to Acyutananda -- Los Angeles 14 June, 1970:

Similarly I am initiating just now one student from Armenia. Most probably I shall send him either to the Soviet countries or to Egypt. Our preaching in Japan is going on nicely. Similarly in Sydney it is going on nicely. So by the Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura we are expanding all over the world and we are getting good response. Now for India I am counting upon you. So far you have done it is very satisfactory to me, but we should always be careful about our responsibilities. It is said in the scriptures that spiritual life is just like handling a sharpened razor. If we handle it nicely we become cleanly shaved, but a little inattention causes bloodstain. So you will always remember these maxims and depend on Krsna and the Acaryas, and make your life progressive.