Srimad Bhagavatam 11.04.11 - Lord is Most Misunderstood (download mp3)
by Purushottam Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
asman apara-jaladhin atitirya kecit
krodhasya yanti viphalasya vasam pade gor
majjanti duscara-tapas ca vrthotsrjanti
Some men practice severe penances to cross beyond our influence, which is like an immeasurable ocean with endless waves of hunger, thirst, heat, cold and the other conditions brought about by the passing of time, such as the sensuous wind and the urges of the tongue and sex organs. Nevertheless, although crossing this ocean of sense gratification through severe penances, such persons foolishly drown in a cow’s hoofprint when conquered by useless anger. Thus they exhaust the benefit of their difficult austerities in vain.
Those who do not accept the devotional service of the Supreme Lord can be considered in two categories. Those engaged in sense gratification are easily conquered by the demigods through various weapons such as hunger, thirst, sexual desire, lamentation for the past and vain hoping for the future. Such materialistic fools, infatuated with the material world, are easily controlled by the demigods, who are the ultimate supplying agents of sense gratification. But according to Sridhara Svami, persons who attempt to subdue the desires of the material senses and thus avoid the control of the demigods without surrendering to the Supreme Lord are even more foolish than the sense gratifiers. Although crossing the ocean of sense gratification, those who perform severe penances without service to the Lord eventually drown in tiny puddles of anger. One who simply performs material penances does not actually purify his heart. By one’s material determination one may restrict the activities of the senses although one’s heart is still filled with material desires. The practical result of this is krodha, or anger. We have seen artificial performers of penance who have become very bitter and angry through denial of the senses. Being indifferent to the Supreme Lord, such persons do not achieve ultimate liberation, nor can they enjoy material sense gratification; rather, they become angry, and through cursing others or enjoying false pride they uselessly exhaust the results of their painful austerities. It is understood that when a yogi curses he diminishes the mystic power he has accumulated. Thus, anger gives neither liberation nor material sense gratification but merely burns up all the results of material penances and austerities. Being useless, such anger is compared to a useless puddle found in a cow’s hoofprint. Thus after crossing over the ocean of sense gratification the great yogis who are indifferent to the Supreme Lord drown in puddles of anger. Although the demigods admit that the devotees of the Lord actually conquer the miseries of material life, it is understood here that a similar result is not to be obtained by so-called yogis who are not interested in devotional service to the Supreme Lord.