Srimad Bhagavatam 11.18.23-24 - Sense Gratification is filled with Miseries (download mp3)
by Srivas Thakur Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
tasman niyamya sad-vargam
mad-bhavena caren munih
labdhvatmani sukham mahat
Therefore, completely controlling the five senses and the mind by Krsna consciousness, a sage, having experienced spiritual bliss within the self, should live detached from insignificant material sense gratification.
bhiksartham pravisams caret
The sage should travel in sanctified places, by flowing rivers and within the solitude of mountains and forests. He should enter the cities, towns and pasturing grounds and approach ordinary working men only to beg his bare sustenance.
According to Srila Sridhara Svami, the word pura refers to cities and towns with shopping centers, markets and other commercial enterprises, whereas grama refers to smaller towns, lacking such facilities. The vanaprastha or sannyasi trying to become free from material attachment should avoid those who are working day and night for sense gratification, approaching them only to engage them in necessary acts of charity. Those who are preaching Krsna consciousness all over the world are understood to be liberated souls, and therefore they constantly approach the materialistic living entities to engage them in the devotional service of Lord Krsna. However, even such preachers should strictly avoid contact with the materialistic world when not actually necessary for advancing the mission of Krsna consciousness. The injunction is that one should not deal unnecessarily with the materialistic world.