Srimad Bhagavatam 01-10-11-12 - Maya is Relentless and so should be our Bhakti (download mp3)
by Sridama Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
hātuṁ notsahate budhaḥ
kīrtyamānaṁ yaśo yasya
sakṛd ākarṇya rocanam
tasmin nyasta-dhiyaḥ pārthāḥ
saheran virahaṁ katham
The intelligent, who have understood the Supreme Lord in association with pure devotees and have become freed from bad materialistic association, can never avoid hearing the glories of the Lord, even though they have heard them only once. How then could the Pāṇḍavas tolerate His separation, for they had been intimately associated with His person, seeing Him face to face, touching Him, conversing with Him, and sleeping, sitting and dining with Him?
The living being’s constitutional position is one of serving a superior. He is obliged to serve by force the dictates of illusory material energy in different phases of sense gratification. And in serving the senses he is never tired. Even though he may be tired, the illusory energy perpetually forces him to do so without being satisfied. There is no end to such sense gratificatory business, and the conditioned soul becomes entangled in such servitude without hope of release. The release is only effected by association with pure devotees. By such association one is gradually promoted to his transcendental consciousness. Thus he can know that his eternal position is to render service unto the Lord and not to the perverted senses in the capacity of lust, anger, desire to lord it over, etc. Material society, friendship and love are all different phases of lust. Home, country, family, society, wealth and all sorts of corollaries are all causes of bondage in the material world, where the threefold miseries of life are concomitant factors. By associating with pure devotees and by hearing them submissively, attachment for material enjoyment becomes slackened, and attraction for hearing about the transcendental activities of the Lord becomes prominent. Once they are, they will go on progressively without stoppage, like fire in gunpowder. It is said that Hari, the Personality of Godhead, is so transcendentally attractive that even those who are self-satisfied by self-realization and are factually liberated from all material bondage also become devotees of the Lord. Under the circumstances it is easily understood what must have been the position of the Pāṇḍavas, who were constant companions of the Lord. They could not even think of separation from Śrī Kṛṣṇa, since the attraction was more intense for them because of continuous personal contact. His remembrance by His form, quality, name, fame, pastimes, etc., is also attractive for the pure devotee, so much so that he forgets all forms, quality, name, fame and activities of the mundane world, and due to his mature association with pure devotees he is not out of contact with the Lord for a moment.