19 October 2020
Unseen shackles of the modes dominate all our activities
Hare Krishna! Devotees from 757 locations are chanting with us today. Gaura Premanande Haribol!
Devotees from all locations are still chanting. Now you should listen to the Japa talk. Are you all in Vaikuntha? It has been informed to you that you all can transform your home into a temple. Only our home is not a temple. Our heart is also a temple. We say it because the Lord resides in our heart. How can we confirm this? Lord has said in Bhagavad-Gita that sarvasya cāhaṁ.
sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo
mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca
vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo
vedānta-kṛd veda-vid eva cāham
I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas, I am to be known. Indeed, I am the compiler of Vedānta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.( BG 15.15)
The heart is transformed into a temple and simultaneously we should make our house a temple. The meaning of temple is Vaikuntha where the Lord resides. Vaikuntha is the Lord's home, it is also a home of Sri or it is termed as Jagannivas. Jagat means the whole universe, which resides in the Lord so He is also known as 'Jagannivas'. The Lord resides in Vaikuntha or Goloka. That Lord who resides in Goloka, or Vaikuntha or Ayodhya is king of Vaikuntha.
Ayodhya Vasi Ram Ram Ram Dasharatha Nandana Ram
Chant the name of Rama, the Lord of Ayodhya, the Son of Dasaratha.
When we install such a Lord who is Vaikuntha-vasi or Ayadhya-vasi or Pandharpur-vasi in our home then immediately our home becomes Vaikuntha. I have not explained much about this. Actually right now I am in the mood of three modes of material nature. That is why I am preparing for my contribution towards this explanation.
It is essential to understand and learn the three modes of nature. These three modes are a major part of Gyana-yoga which is explained in Bhagavad-Gita. Your spiritual knowledge is incomplete without learning these three modes. These three modes are closely related to nature. Or we can say that nature is made from all these modes.
daivī hy eṣā guṇa-mayī
mama māyā duratyayā
mām eva ye prapadyante
māyām etāṁ taranti te
This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it. (BG 7.14)
If we separate these modes from nature then it will become unnatural or transcendental. This nature consists of the three modes. The divine energy of the Lord or nature cannot be separated from these modes, else it will not be a material nature. It will not remain ekpad vibhuti, then it will be known as tripad vibhuti. There are two types of Kingdoms of the Lord. One is material and the other is transcendental or which is beyond this nature. It is also known as Vaikuntha or Divya Lok.
This world also has divisions according to these three modes of nature. The Lord has made the kingdom. He made nature - villages, cities etc. The places where there are forests, and where mode of goodness is prominent, sages reside in such places. Also the villages where austere, honest and gentle people stay, are places in the mode of goodness. The cities come under the influence of the mode of passion. In cities slums are present or there are villas of rich people. But there is a lot of dirty habits, laziness and predominance of sleep. These places are under more ignorance. Thus a few places come under the mode of goodness. Some are in the mode of passion and others in the mode of ignorance. When we transform our home into a temple then that house goes out of control of these three modes of nature. In such a house there is no place for mode of ignorance or passion. Mode of goodness is also not there. Since the most of the devotees present here are grhasta ashrami we always talk about grhasta ashram. Actually vanprastha ashrami and sannyasi are also present here. They are also listening, but the majority is of grhasta-ashrami so we again and again refer to grhasta-ashrami people. Stay at home and make your home a hermitage or a temple. You have always heard that one should become a grhasta-aharami and not a grah medhi. If you want to make your home a hermitage or temple then you have to follow some rules for food in that home. The world comes under the control of the three modes of nature. These three modes are present everywhere. Our food is also related to these three modes of nature. To understand this you should learn Bhagavad-Gita. A complete chapter is dedicated to the explanation of these modes of nature. Chapter 14 is known as ‘The Three Modes of Material Nature.’ In the other chapters from 13 to 18 these three modes are mentioned again and again.
As far as food is concerned , it also comes under goodness or passion or ignorance. Vegetarian food comes under the mode of goodness. It is said in English, 'You are what you eat'. If we want to know which food comes under ignorance then you should understand that vegetables, fruits are in mode of goodness and meat eating is in ignorance.
patram puspam phalam toyam
yo me bhaktya prayacchati
tad aham bhakty-upahrtam
If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit a water, I will accept it.
There is passionate and ignorant food also. You should understand that also by studying scriptures. Our mind is affected due to these three modes. These modes enter through our sense organs. Our sense organs and this complete world is full of sense gratification. These sense organs are connected with our body. There are a total of five sense organs. Out of these, five are known as knowledge acquiring senses. We get knowledge from sound, touch, form, taste and smell. This world is full of sense gratification and out of that a few sounds come under mode of passion or ignorance. Few sounds are in mode of goodness. We will hear these sounds through our ear , which is one of the knowledge senses. And manaḥ-ṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi the sounds that enter our ears reach our minds.
The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind. (BG 15.7)
The sounds that we hear, affect our thought process. Our mind thinks in the same way as what we hear. If we hear some topics in the mode of ignorance or if we engage ourselves in gossiping, then our mind becomes like that. This is about sounds then there is the sense of touch also. There are many, many different kinds of touches. There are mainly three types of touches - goodness, passion and ignorant.
Then next is forms that we see through our eyes. We have vision through which we see the outside scenes. With the help of vision one sees a scene. How many types of scenes are there? There are three types of scenes. Or there are three types of forms namely in goodness, passion and ignorance. After sound , touch, form next is ras or drinks. Food is also included in this or there are special categories of drinks also. We relish this through our tongue. They are also of three types like passionate, ignorant and in goodness. Sound, touch, form, taste then smell. We enjoy various smells through our nose. They are also of three types: passionate, ignorant and in goodness. In this way various inputs enter our body. Do you understand this language of output and input ? We plug in our sense organs with the outside world. We are in various different atmospheres. If the surroundings that someone has, does not offer a particular type of happiness, he goes there for sense gratification like pubs, cinema halls, and he plugs into such activities. Each sense organ has its own requirements. The eyes need forms, the nose needs smells, like that. All five ingredients have their own requirements. And these requirements sometimes are taken in excess.
atyaharah prayasas cha prajalpo niyamagrahah
jana-sangas cha laulyan cha sadbhir bhaktir vinasyati
Over-accumulation, over-endeavour, unnecessary talk, misapplication of rules,
association with nondevotees, and fickle-mindedness — devotion is destroyed by these six faults. (Nectar of Instructions, Verse 2)
It is said in Nectar of Instruction that our devotion is destroyed by overeating or over accumulation. Actually we should withdraw our senses from these. The eight categories mentioned in ‘Astanga Yoga ‘ are: He defined the eight limbs as yama (abstinences), niyama (observances), asana (postures), pranayama (breathing), pratyahara (withdrawal), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (absorption). The fifth category in this is the withdrawal it specifies that we should avoid such things which are unfavourable for our Krsna consciousness. The world is busy with work and what are they doing? They are over accumulating everything. Aahar, atyaahar
matir na kṛṣṇe parataḥ svato vā
mitho ’bhipadyeta gṛha-vratānām
adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisraṁ
punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām
Prahlad Maharaja said, “Because of their uncontrolled senses, persons too addicted to materialistic life make progress toward hellish conditions and repeatedly chew that which has already been chewed. Their inclinations toward Kṛṣṇa are never aroused, either by the instructions of others, by their own efforts, or by a combination of both.”
The world is going on like this. Over accumulation is going on continuously through various sense organs. But the Astanga Yoga method recommends withdrawal and sense control. Control all sense organs as the Lord has specified in the 18 chapter of Bhagavad-Gita:
śamo damas tapaḥ śaucaṁ
kṣāntir ārjavam eva ca
jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ
Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, knowledge, wisdom and religiousness – these are the natural qualities by which the brāhmaṇas work.
When the Lord has mentioned the qualities of Brahman he specified tolerance, peacefulness. It means mind control and sense control. The knowledge seekers should do this mind control, sense control and withdrawal.
The world is full of these three modes of nature. A few categories in this world are passionate, few are ignorant and few are in goodness. We experience the effect of these three modes everywhere. The three modes are present in the place where we stay or in the category of food we prefer. We can say that the whole universe is affected by the three modes. In heaven the mode of goodness is prominent and in middle the mode of passion is there and below in hell, darkness and ignorance is prominent. But this mode of goodness is also binding. As the Lord has said in Bhagavad-Gita
punar āvartino ’rjuna
mām upetya tu kaunteya
punar janma na vidyate
From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My abode, O son of Kuntī, never takes birth again. (BG 8.16)
The whole world is actually like a prison house. This way heaven is also a prison. There are different categories of prisons also like first class. Sometimes well known ministers are also put behind the bars and they are kept in a first class prison. They are in prison, but they are watching television, they get newspapers also and they have many facilities also. But still they are in prison. This way going to heaven is also like going to a first class prison. The mode of goodness is prominent there. You may ask that if it is a prison then where are the handcuffs? Where is the rope with which we are tied? All the three modes we studied are the ropes which bind the conditioned soul. Like Coronavirus is unseen. It is an invisible enemy. We cannot see it, but it is present around us. Similarly the binding of these three modes of material nature is also existing like ropes of a puppet show. The person showing the puppet show has ropes in his hands that’s why he is able to present the puppet show. This passion and ignorance are our handcuffs. We are not independent. The Lord says, 'not even blade of grass moves without my sanctions'. And the Lord gets this done through the material nature.
This material nature, which is one of My energies, is working under My direction, O son of Kuntī, producing all moving and nonmoving beings. Under its rule this manifestation is created and annihilated again again. (BG 9.10)
Through the medium of material nature the Lord performs all various activities. He never does it. He gets it done by the material nature. The demigods also control us. They are not the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
chāyeva yasya bhuvanāni bibharti durgā
icchānurūpam api yasya ca ceṣṭate sā
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
The external potency Māyā who is of the nature of the shadow of the cit potency, is worshiped by all people as Durgā, the creating, preserving and destroying agency of this mundane world. I adore the primeval Lord Govinda in accordance with whose will Durgā conducts herself. ( Brahma Samhita 5.44)
This is said about Durga. All Durga’s efforts are as per the Lord’s wishes. Even the demigods are also not independent. Krsna is only independent.
ekalā īśvara kṛṣṇa, āra saba bhṛtya
yāre yaiche nācāya, se taiche kare nṛtya
Lord Kṛṣṇa alone is the supreme controller, and all others are His servants. They dance as He makes them do so. (CC Ādi-līlā 5.142)
Lord Krsna is only Paramesvar and all others are His associates. Demigods are assigned to various departments. They are heads of departments and thus they control us.
We will transform our home into a temple means we will destroy the mode of goodness, passion and ignorance within us. We will throw them out or we will not allow them to enter. We will not make our home a home theatre. Then it is in passion mode. Then it’s a cinema house, and not a Krsna temple or Rama temple or Gaur Nitai temple. Or it is not a Narsimha Bhagawan mandir.
je-dina grihe, bhajana dekhi,
grihete goloka bhaya
carana-sidhu, dekhiya ganga,
sukha sa sima paya
One day while performing devotional practices, I saw my house transformed into Goloka Vrindavana. When I take the caranamrita of the Deity, I see the holy Ganges waters that come from the feet of Lord Vishnu, and my bliss knows no bounds.( Verse 6,Shuddha Bhakta charan renu m from 'Sharanagati by BVT)
Bhaktivinoda Thakura sings this bhajan -When devotees arrive in my home and do kirtan
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
Then my home becomes Goloka Dhama. Then it is not a materialistic home. It is Vaikuntha or Goloka Dhamas. It will become free from the three modes of material nature. Wherever there is a Visnu temple or any other temple then it is not in this world. They are out of these three modes. If you want to make your house a temple then you have to understand the rules. You should rise early. If you have Deities at home and you are sleeping at the time of Brahma muhurat then it will not be a temple. Like that you will have to change all your activities accordingly, including food. You should regularise sleep also. Sleep is essential for us. No one can sustain without sleep. Sleep is essential; you cannot exist or survive without it. We cannot live without food and sleep. There are rules about food and sleep regulations are there. You may have defence mechanism from theft or safety precautions. You should do it within limits. But you cannot put lot of efforts on this. 'Ati sarvatra varjayet' Too much should be avoided. Balance your activities.
yogo bhavati duḥkha-hā
He who is regulated in his habits of eating, sleeping, recreation and work can mitigate all material pains by practicing the yoga system. (B.G. 6.17)
This accumulation of everything should be avoided. Mating is a big activity. If you really want to make your home a temple then there are rules for mating also. We should krsnise or spiritualise these activities as per scriptures. We should learn and understand them. We have taken a vow to will follow four regulative principles. No meat eating, no gambling, no illicit sex. Illicit sex means, one which is not as mentioned in the scriptures. There are rules, timing frequency for this. We should follow whatever is given in scriptures, or explained by sages and acharyas. If we do not follow this then it is breaking of vow. Transforming our house in a temple depends on these factors. How are they regularised ? Because eating, sleeping, mating and defence everything happens in the home. You should follow the rules given for the seekers. If you follow rules then the home transforms into a temple. It will not become a temple by just physically keeping an altar and Deities. You have to do many other things in the 24 hours. You have to follow rules and avoid unfavourable things.
anukulyasya sankalpah pratikulyasya varjanam
raksisyatiti visvaso goptrtve varanam tatha
atma-niksepa-karpanye sad-vidha saranagatih
"The six divisions of surrender are: accepting those things favorable to devotional service, rejecting unfavorable things, the conviction that Krsna will give protection, accepting the Lord as one's guardian or master, full self- surrender, and humility." Narada will gradually explain these principles of devotion in the remaining sutras. (CC Madhya 22.100)
You should discuss in the home what is favourable and what is unfavourable for devotional services. The leaders of the home, wife and husband should discuss this.
guhyam ākhyāti pṛcchati
bhuṅkte bhojayate caiva
Offering gifts in charity, accepting charitable gifts, revealing one’s mind in confidence, inquiring confidentially, accepting prasāda and offering prasāda are the six symptoms of love shared by one devotee and another. (NOI Text 4 )
There should be dialogue and understanding between husband and wife that we want to make our home a temple. All right I will stop now.
I do not think there is time for any questions. For sure you will have many, many questions on this topic. Like : we want to do this, but this is a problem. We do not understand how to do it. Sometimes family members are not favourable then you cannot think of making a temple. Your chanting is also not allowed. Some may not be ready for vegetarian food if they want to have meat. These are all problems. The members of family perform as per their mode of nature. There is lot of variety in family members. Some may be passionate or ignorant. And our friends, colleagues and neighbours also affect us. And this modern civilisation is also affecting us. Kaliyuga puts distractions in everything. Sarva sadhana badhaka
That’s why you will have many questions. So you discuss within family, or with your councillor. Or refer to the scriptures. As Mahatma Gandhi narrated his experience whenever he had some queries, many times he has experienced this, the time when he had some doubt, and then next time he opened a scripture or Bhagavad-Gita then he got the answer there. He was very curious to know what this is. Should I do this or not then he got answers like this. Or when we are very anxious or eager or very enthusiastic to know the answer then the Lord makes necessary arrangements.
You will get the answer. Maybe I will give you an answer or your god brother or god sister will give you or counsellor or ISKCON temple authorities may provide you an answer. And Bhagavad-Gita and Bhagavatam kept in your house are also your guru. In Marathi language there is a quote ‘Granth hech Guru’. Scriptures are also our guru and they are. Find out from scriptures.
Athato brahma jijnasa
The first aphorism of Vedanta Sutra: "Now is the time to discuss the Supreme Absolute Truth, Brahman.
And each question has an answer. The world is complete. The answer is ready before queries arise in your mind. Answer exists only connection with it is required. And if you are fortunate then you will come to know the answer automatically. Or the Lord will give you necessary wisdom to understand it. (Vedanta-sutra 1.1.1)
dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ
yena mām upayānti te
To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me. (BG 10.10)
The Lord is also our Guru. Lord is Caitya guru.
Vasudev sutan devan, Kans chaanoor mardhanan, Devakee paramaanandan, Krishnan vande jagat gurun.
Lord will send vartya pradarshak guru or a siksa guru or a Dikha guru for you. Lord has made all the arrangements for your questions. You will get all answers. But you should ask proper questions. If you are a fool then you will keep on asking irrelevant questions. May Lord give you proper wisdom.
My mother used to take me a temple when I was a child. Then in the temple she asked me to pray. I would ask what I should pray for. She told me to pray, ' Lord please give me intelligence'. Then the Lord gave me wisdom to join Him. I joined ISKCON and got Radha Rasbihari. Then my aunt was a little bit upset at the Lord as to why HE had given such wisdom. I had not asked for such wisdom. Anyway it is a long story. You write your questions in the chat box.