Tempering the mode of Passion

by Krishna Chandra Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 12.8.45
sattvaṁ rajas tama itīśa tavātma-bandho
māyā-mayāḥ sthiti-layodaya-hetavo ’sya
līlā dhṛtā yad api sattva-mayī praśāntyai
nānye nṛṇāṁ vyasana-moha-bhiyaś ca yābhyām

O my Lord, O supreme friend of the conditioned soul, although for the creation, maintenance and annihilation of this world You accept the modes of goodness, passion and ignorance, which constitute Your illusory potency, You specifically employ the mode of goodness to liberate the conditioned souls. The other two modes simply bring them suffering, illusion and fear.

The words līlā dhṛtāḥ indicate that the creative activities of Lord Brahmā, the destructive activities of Lord Śiva and the sustaining functions of Lord Viṣṇu are all pastimes of the Absolute Truth, Lord Kṛṣṇa. But ultimately only Lord Viṣṇu can award liberation from the clutches of material illusion, as indicated by the words sattva-mayī praśāntyai.

Our passionate and ignorant activities cause great suffering, illusion and fear for us and others; therefore they should be given up. One should become firmly situated in the mode of goodness and live peacefully on the spiritual platform. The essence of goodness is to renounce selfish interest in all one’s activities and thus dedicate one’s entire being to the Supreme Being, Lord Kṛṣṇa, who is the source of our existence.

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