“The embodied soul may be restricted from sense enjoyment, though the taste for sense objects remains. But, ceasing such engagements by experiencing a higher taste, he is fixed in consciousness.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.59)
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रस-वर्जं रसो ऽप्य् अस्य
परं दृष्ट्वा निवर्तते
rasa-varjaṁ raso ‘py asya
paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate
“Don’t you think we are asking too much of newcomers to the bhakti-yoga path? I am referring specifically to the restrictions. The positive side, pravritti, is certainly nice. That might be the initial appeal.
“Someone is walking along the street, going about their day, when they hear singing as they are passing by. It is a group of devotees chanting the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
“Some initial questions relate to the presence and the purpose. ‘Just what are these people doing here? What is their objective? When did they start and when will they stop? Perhaps I can help with the cause.’
“That person soon learns that the chanting is taking place as a way of life, that the recommendation is for every person to do the same. It is something like a perpetual worship presence. Instead of going to church once a week and being on your best behavior, afraid of eternal condemnation, worship God in all His glory, in a blissful way, without impediment.
“If a person desires to become a serious student, though, there will be some hardship. For instance, they will be advised to avoid television. This is maya, you see. It will distract you from the higher purpose. The corresponding Sanskrit word is anartha.
“Take any of the restrictions. You don’t have to focus on television and news media. How is someone going to follow the rules? It seems crazy to expect a person to shift overnight, to abandon attachments they have held since birth.
“Isn’t there a verse in Bhagavad-gita talking about the pretender? Basically, someone is trying to be renounced, but the mind is constantly focused on that thing being avoided. It is not real renunciation. The attachment is still there. How do we prevent this from happening?”
There are two ways to view the restrictions. The initial experience may be negative. Identify everything from the manifest world and apply discernment with caution. I will avoid this. I will avoid that. It is similar to the Sanskrit of “neti neti”. The Supreme Lord is not this and He is not that.
While there is attention to avoiding the negative, there is simultaneous immersion in the positive aspects of the culture. The distinction with the bhakti way is that it can take up the entire day, instead of merely a few portions.
That is to say, I can be connected to Bhagavan from morning until night. The link is in consciousness, and so the discipline is known as yoga. As Shri Krishna explains, the education is blissful.
पवित्रम् इदम् उत्तमम्
सु-सुखं कर्तुम् अव्ययम्
pavitram idam uttamam
su-sukhaṁ kartum avyayam
“This knowledge is the king of education, the most secret of all secrets. It is the purest knowledge, and because it gives direct perception of the self by realization, it is the perfection of religion. It is everlasting, and it is joyfully performed.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.2)
There is a transformation along the way. Those things which were previously forbidden by rule now have little appeal to me. I simply don’t want to engage. I have found something better. I instinctively realize the negative influence to the anartha, and so I avoid it without having to be told.
The something better is a higher taste. It is param drishtva, which is seeing in a superior way. I have found the fountain of youth in terms of work. Whether death is on the horizon or I have managed to fend off old age for a few years, I am the same in spirits, always connected to the all-attractive one, who is the source of everything.
Whether death soon expected,
Still remain connected.
Such that eternally bound,
This life of bliss found.
Whereas on anarthas keeping an eye,
Now without needing to try.
Because higher taste of experience so,
Not required mechanical to go.
Radhe Radhe ❤️ oshriRadhekrishnaBole ❤️ Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Jay Jay Shree Siya Ram