Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Aug.20

August 20, 2009
A Slave to Sensual Pleasures

The body is the abode of all unhappiness, and a body in pain or illness is the climax of suffering. Body and pain are, indeed, inseparable, as are sugar and its whiteness. Even an able-bodied person cannot forget pain as a possibility. Just as the body has a shadow, equally unavoidable is the presence or possibility of illness. Even divine incarnations like Rama and Krishna had ultimately to discard the body. One cannot guarantee the well-being of one’s own body; and yet people lament over the death of a person. The threat of illness always makes one uneasy. The body has to bear pain itself; there is no proxy, nor can one take over another’s pain as proxy.
Whatever one has done so far has been in the interest of prapancha, that is, the body and matters related to it, or, in other words, sensual interests. Worldly authority of one kind or another, children, wealth, worldly action, popular acclaim – these are but different forms of sensual selfishness, and they invariably lead to sorrow. Every effort made so far has aimed at one earthly gain or another, imagining that it would bring one type of pleasure or another, but they are all illusory.
We should always remember that people are selfish by nature; not only they are basically not grateful for favours done, but quite likely to snarl if, on an occasion, we do not oblige them. Attachment to prapancha is no less perilous than clasping fire to the bosom. Naturally, therefore, all the trouble we have taken so far has failed to produce the happiness we strove for. However deep we probe into worldly activities, we shall never discover the pure, lasting happiness that we look for. Failure, sorrow, can be the only outcome.
Therefore we never come across nor hear of a person who has achieved lasting bliss through any worldly means. It is common experience that one has to adopt a servile attitude to one from whom we expect something; and one who becomes servile to sensual pleasures naturally loses true happiness. We get the fruit of the plant that we assiduously water and manure. Worldly life and sensuous pleasures are what we strive for; how can this yield contentment? A bitter fruit will not taste sweet however much you roll it in sugar; so, too, sensuous pleasures can never yield lasting happiness.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Aug.11

August 11, 2009

Contentment is Found Only in God
What appeals to our sense of logic and also tallies with our experience, can be accepted as the truth, disregarding opposing thought or advice. For this we must be sure that our logical faculty is reliable and experience broad-based. In today’s world we find that thoughts and intellect can be easily swayed; to maintain them against persuasion or opposition is by no means easy. Even right-minded persons may have their opinions challenged, modified, reversed.
I do not ask you to accept a statement merely because it appears in the scriptures, nor because I make it. But I put it to you, consider your own experience, and decide whether you wish for real contentment; and you will arrive at the conclusion that such real contentment is not to be found anywhere but in God, the Supreme Being. If so, determine that you will stick to this conviction, come what may. I shall narrate to you a true incident illustrating what firm determination can achieve. In a certain town there lived a man of about sixty, who employed his bright brain in deriding others, by putting disconcerting questions. Once a visiting sadhu was delivering a highly interesting address on devotion, and the audience was listening with rapt attention, when this man suddenly rose and put an utterly irrelevant question: ‘Sir,’ he said, ‘instead of talking about futile theoretical things like God and devotion, tell me about a matter of close concern; when will this country achieve political independence?’ The sadhu calmly replied, ‘We’ll talk about it later, but tell me, now you are pretty advanced in age, and there is no knowing when death may pounce on you; have you ever thought of achieving independence from the thousand and one bonds that will have to be severed, and the bodily ailments you may have to face, when death finally closes His clutches on you?’ This counter-question not only silenced him, but set him thinking. He called on the sadhu later and said, ‘I had never thought about those crucial points before; but now tell me what I ought to do.’ The sadhu said,’ Eschew talking for two years, and engage yourself in ceaseless nama-smarana.’ He followed the injuction resolutely, and when, after two years he met the sadhu again, he said with tears in his eyes, “Sir, intense nama-smarana has given me thorough contentment, and now I need nothing more”. * * * * *