What to do and What Not to do

What to do and What Not to do
Act or Don’t Act. Work or Don’t Work. Renounce or Don’t Renounce. Be Attached or Don’t Be Attached.

Act or Don’t Act – The soul cannot be inactive, so it is always looking to serve someone.

The fruitive worker is active to accumulate for the purpose of sense gratification and extended sense gratification.

The impersonalist artificially thinks of being inactive, with the selfish interest of becoming one with the Supreme.

The mystic yogi with half-open eyes ceases all material activities with the selfish interest of acquiring mystic perfection.

The devotee acts for the satisfaction of Krishna without any self interest. The parts of the body act for the satisfaction of the whole body, not for self-satisfaction. Similarly, the living entity who acts for the satisfaction of the Supreme whole is the perfect sannyasi and yogi.

Work or Don’t Work – Krishna says, “If I did not work then the world would go to ruin”. He also says, "Work should be done for the satisfaction of Vishnu, otherwise work causes bondage in this world." A devotee works for the satisfaction of the whole without any self-interest. His criterion of success is the satisfaction of Krishna.

A person in Krishna consciousness or in the mode of goodness does not give up earning money out of fear that he is performing fruitive activities. Nor does he hate anything which troubles his body. He works without fearing the troublesome effects of this duty. He may work in a factory but does not associate himself with the work of the factory, or with the workers of the factory. He simply works for Krishna. Thus, by giving up the results to Krishna, he is acting transcendentally and is always satisfied.

"One who is unattached to the fruits of his work and who works as he is obligated is in the renounced order of life, and he is the true mystic, not he who lights no fire and performs no work." (Bg 6.1)

Renounce or Don’t Renounce – The impersonalist engages in dry renunciation because he sees everything around him as false. This in turn develops into having a hard heart. In order to return to Krishna, one’s heart needs to be very soft. Therefore, a sannyasi should not renounce sacrificial duties. He may perform a marriage ceremony to encourage a disciple to advance in Krishna consciousness, even though he himself has renounced family life.

Be Attached or Don’t Be Attached – In our preaching work we deal with so much property and money, but because these dealings all pertain to the Krishna consciousness movement, they should never be considered material. That one is absorbed in thoughts of such management does not mean that he is outside of Krishna consciousness. If one chants 16 rounds every day, his dealings with the material world are to be considered non-different from the spiritual cultivation of Krishna Consciousness.

One who acts in Krishna consciousness under superior direction is called yukta. The technical term is yukta-vairagya. As long as we are in this material world we have to act; we cannot cease acting. Therefore, if actions are performed and the fruits are given to Krishna, then that is called yukta-vairāgya. Actually situated in renunciation, such activities clear the mirror of the mind, and as the devotee gradually makes progress in spiritual realization, he becomes completely surrendered to Krishna.

"Things should be accepted for the Lord’s service and not for one’s personal sense gratification. If one accepts something without attachment and accepts it because it is related to Kṛṣṇa, it is also a form of renunciation, called yukta-vairāgya."

When reporters inquired from Srila Prabhupada on arriving at one airport, "Why are you traveling to your temple in such a luxurious car?" Prabhupada replied: "Actually Krishna deserves a lot more opulence, but this is the best you have here, therefore I am using it for Krishna."

We see in Srila Prabhupada’s own life that he would reside in one place which was full of opulence, but then travel to India, to Mayapur, and live in a mud hut. It was the same for him because he was completely renounced and utilized everything in Krishna’s service. If everything is to be used in Krishna’s service, that includes all opulence in this world. Devotees are the biggest sense gratifiers because they want nothing less than the spiritual world.

However, as long as we are not pure, our devotion is tinged with material desires and our mood is, "A little bit for me and little bit for Krishna", which is not yukta-vairagya. That balance of yukta-vairagya is not some artificial manoeuvering, but rather it is something that will come automatically from the heart in due course of time – if one is sincere.

Hare Krishna!
Dhirasanta dasa


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