Simplicity and Humility are Keys for Spiritual Advancement

Srimad Bhagavatam 11.08.20 - Simplicity and Humility are Keys for Spiritual Advancement (download mp3)
by Krishna Chandra Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 11.8.20
indriyani jayanty asu
 nirahara manisinah
varjayitva tu rasanam
 tan nirannasya vardhate

By fasting, learned men quickly bring all of the senses except the tongue under control, because by abstaining from eating such men are afflicted with an increased desire to gratify the sense of taste.

In South America there is a saying that when the belly is full the heart is content. Thus, one who is eating sumptuously is jolly, and if one is deprived of proper food one’s appetite becomes even more voracious. An intelligent person, however, does not fall under the control of the tongue, but rather tries to make progress in Krsna consciousness. By accepting the remnants of food offered to the Lord (prasadam), one gradually purifies the heart and automatically becomes simple and austere.

In this connection, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura states that the business of the tongue is to gratify itself with the varieties of flavor, but by wandering in the twelve holy forests of Vraja-mandala (Vrndavana), one can be freed from the twelve flavors of material sense gratification. The five principal divisions of material relationships are neutral admiration, servitude, friendship, parental affection and conjugal love; the seven subordinate features of material relationships are material humor, astonishment, chivalry, compassion, anger, dread and ghastliness. Originally, these twelve rasas, or flavors of relationships, are exchanged between the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the living entity in the spiritual world; and by wandering in the twelve forests of Vrndavana one can respiritualize the twelve flavors of personal existence. Thus one will become a liberated soul, free from all material desires. If one artificially tries to give up sense gratification, especially that of the tongue, the attempt will be a failure, and in fact one’s desire for sense gratification will increase as a result of artificial deprivation. Only by experiencing real, spiritual pleasure in relationship with Krsna can one give up material desires.

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