Fighting The Gust Of Lust

Srimad Bhagavatam 07.15.19-22 - Fighting The Gust Of Lust (download mp3)
by Hrishikesh Ananda Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

 SB 7.15.19
asantustasya viprasya
tejo vidya tapo yasah
jñanam caivavakiryate

Because of greed for the sake of the senses, the spiritual strength, education, austerity and reputation of a devotee or brahmana who is not self-satisfied dwindle, and his knowledge gradually vanishes.

SB 7.15.20
kamasyantam hi ksut-trdbhyam
krodhasyaitat phalodayat
jano yati na lobhasya
jitva bhuktva diso bhuvah

The strong bodily desires and needs of a person disturbed by hunger and thirst are certainly satisfied when he eats. Similarly, if one becomes very angry, that anger is satisfied by chastisement and its reaction. But as for greed, even if a greedy person has conquered all the directions of the world or has enjoyed everything in the world, still he will not be satisfied.

In Bhagavad-gita (3.37) it is stated that lust, anger and greed are the causes of the conditioned soul's bondage in this material world. Kama esa krodha esa rajo-guna-samudbhavah. When strong lusty desires for sense gratification are unfulfilled, one becomes angry. This anger can be satisfied when one chastises his enemy, but when there is an increase in lobha, or greed, which is the greatest enemy caused by rajo-guna, the mode of passion, how can one advance in Krsna consciousness?

If one is very greedy to enhance his Krsna consciousness, this is a great boon. Tatra laulyam ekalam mulam. This is the best path available.

SB 7.15.21
pandita bahavo rajan
bahu-jñah samsaya-cchidah
sadasas patayo 'py eke
asantosat patanty adhah

O King Yudhisthira, many persons with varied experience, many legal advisers, many learned scholars and many persons eligible to become presidents of learned assemblies fall down into hellish life because of not being satisfied with their positions.

For spiritual advancement, one should be materially satisfied, for if one is not materially satisfied, his greed for material development will result in the frustration of his spiritual advancement. There are two things that nullify all good qualities. One is poverty. Daridra-doso guna-rasi-nasi. If one is poverty-stricken, all his good qualities become null and void. Similarly, if one becomes too greedy, his good qualifications are lost. Therefore the adjustment is that one should not be poverty-stricken, but one must try to be fully satisfied with the bare necessities of life and not be greedy. For a devotee to be satisfied with the bare necessities is therefore the best advice for spiritual advancement. Learned authorities in devotional life consequently advise that one not endeavor to increase the number of temples and mathas. Such activities can be undertaken only by devotees experienced in propagating the Krsna consciousness movement. All the acaryas in South India, especially Sri Ramanujacarya, constructed many big temples, and in North India all the Gosvamis of Vrndavana constructed large temples. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura also constructed large centers, known as Gaudiya Mathas. Therefore temple construction is not bad, provided proper care is taken for the propagation of Krsna consciousness. Even if such endeavors are considered greedy, the greed is to satisfy Krsna, and therefore these are spiritual activities.

SB 7.15.22
asankalpaj jayet kamam
krodham kama-vivarjanat
arthanartheksaya lobham
bhayam tattvavamarsanat

By making plans with determination, one should give up lusty desires for sense gratification. Similarly, by giving up envy one should conquer anger, by discussing the disadvantages of accumulating wealth one should give up greed, and by discussing the truth one should give up fear.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has suggested how one can conquer lusty desires for sense gratification. One cannot give up thinking of women, for thinking in this way is natural; even while walking on the street, one will see so many women. However, if one is determined not to live with a woman, even while seeing a woman he will not become lusty. If one is determined not to have sex, he can automatically conquer lusty desires. The example given in this regard is that even if one is hungry, if on a particular day he is determined to observe fasting, he can naturally conquer the disturbances of hunger and thirst. If one is determined not to be envious of anyone, he can naturally conquer anger. Similarly, one can give up the desire to accumulate wealth simply by considering how difficult it is to protect the money in one's possession. If one keeps a large amount of cash with him, he is always anxious about keeping it properly. Thus if one discusses the disadvantages of accumulating wealth, he can naturally give up business without difficulty.