My Dear Soul Mate,
It’s been a long time since we had a chat. How are you?
Are you regular with your Bhagavata parayana, nama japa, pooja, and kirtan? Are you maintaining your health to do bhakti? Don’t be careless about your health. The Lord has explained this beautifully in the eleventh canto of Srimad Bhagavatam.
We have taken this body only to attain God. At the time of departure from this body, we should attain the feet of Lord Krishna in complete peace. Till then, this body has to be kept in good condition. We need to keep ourselves free from headache, knee pain, frequent fever, and other such diseases.
This body doesn’t need too much food. At the same time, unnecessary food is harmful. Healthy food is always good. The disturbances caused during meditation can be overcome with a few asanas. The evil effects produced by mantra, graha (planetary positions) and poisonous reptiles can be removed by mantra japa, fasting, and worship of the deities. But mental vasanas like lust, anger, jealousy and avarice will not go away easily. Don’t get disheartened because they haven’t gone away yet. It takes a long time to be rid of these vices.
The Lord tells Uddhava in Srimad Bhagavatam,
pAdhya mAnOpi madbhakthO vishayair ajithEndriya: |
prAya: prakalpyA bhakthyA vishyair nApi bhooyathE ||
(Srimad Bhagavatam 11:14:18)
In the beginning, my devotee will struggle to control his senses. Though he is genuinely devoted, he tends to stumble, lose his balance and fall for lust, anger, gold, sin, etc. Later, he himself will regret.
However, he wouldn’t be involved in these vices like how he used to during the time he wasn’t devoted to God, and its intensity is sharply reduced.
To the extent to which he chants the name of the Lord, listens to His stories and remembers His virtues, to that extent he will be able to win over his senses. Even beyond this, he may be often troubled by a few disgusting qualities, due to the strength of the impressions from the previous births, which will shatter his poise.
To come out of these vices, he has to stay near saints who have had the darshan of the Lord and serve them. The vices would then only leave him.
It is not an easy task to cross this ocean of samsara. Do your sadhanas and be patient.
yan nAmAkrithibhir grAhyam panchavarnam apAdhitham |
vyArtthEna api arthavAdhoyam thvayam panditha mAninAm ||
yOginOpakva yOgasya yunchatha kAya utthithai: |
upacharkair vihanyEtha thathr Ayam vihithO vidhihil |
yOgadhAranayA kAmschith upacharkAn vinirdhahEth ||
kAmschin mAmAnudhyAyena nAma sankeerthanAdhibhi: |
yOgEshwarAnuvrithyA vA hanyAth ashubhathAn shanaihi ||
(Srimad Bhagavatam 11:28:37-40)
I have only written the essence to you. I have written to you as I somehow felt the need to share all this with you. With who else can I share all this? The world will now call a fool, you who are always thinking about the Lord and living for His sake. But don’t worry. After death, they themselves will realize who has been a fool.
By Sri Swamiji
Originally published in MadhuraMurali monthly magazine