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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Bhaktyaloka > Six Foults That Desteoy Bhakti > Laulya Ardent longing or greed


Ardent longing or greed


The meaning of the word laulya is restlessness, greed, and desire. Restlessness is of two kinds—restlessness of the mind and restlessness of the intelligence. The citta, or mind, has the propensity for following the dictates of the senses. When the mind follows the dictates of the senses and becomes absorbed in a particular subject, attachment or aversion arise. Therefore restlessness of the mind is of two types—restlessness due to attachment and restlessness due to aversion. In Bhagavad-gita (2.67) it is said:

indriyanam hi caratam        yan mano 'nuvidhiyate

tad asya harati prajnam        vayur navam ivambhasi

“As a boat on the water is swept away by a strong wind, even one of the roaming senses on which the mind focuses can carry away a man's intelligence.” Again in the Bhagavad-gita (3.34) it is said:

indriyasyendriyasyarthe        raga-dveshau vyavasthitau 

tayor na vasham agacchet        tau hy asya paripanthinau

“There are principles to regulate attachment and aversion pertaining to the senses and their objects. One should not come under the control of such attachment and aversion, because they are stumbling blocks on the path of self-realization.” In order to regulate laulya, in the form of restlessness of the mind, one has to take shelter of goddess Bhaktidevi. The instruction of Bhaktidevi is this: When the cause of the mind's restlessness is sense gratification and this restlessness is the main obstacle in the practice of devotional service, then all sensual activities should be dovetailed in the service of the Lord and the attachment to sense gratification should be transformed into attachment for the Lord. Then the mind becomes fixed in devotional service by taking shelter of that attachment. The eyes, the ears, the nose, the tongue, and the sense of touch are called knowledge acquiring senses. The hands, the legs, the anus, and so on are the working senses. When the objects of all these senses are associated with in a devotional mood, then the mind becomes fixed on the Lord. Taste, form, smell, touch, and sound—these are the objects of the senses. One has to arouse a mood of devotion in all these objects, and enjoy them, then devotional service is cultivated. Among the objects of the senses, aversion should be applied on any that are unfavorable for devotional service and attachment should be applied on any that are favorable for devotional service. But until the restlessness of the intelligence is vanquished, how will the restlessness of the mind be checked? When the restlessness of the intelligence is vanquished, the mind can regulate attachment and aversion for sense objects by the strength of the intelligence.

The intelligence is that which discriminates between the mind's good and bad propensities. That intelligence is of two types—resolute and many-branched. There is one type of resolute intelligence, and there are unlimited types of many-branched intelligence. As stated in Bhagavad-gita (2.41):

vyavasayatmika buddhir        ekeha kuru-nandana

bahu-shakha hy anantash ca        buddhayo 'vyavasayinam

“Those who are on the spiritual path are resolute in purpose, and their aim is one. O beloved child of the Kurus, the intelligence of those who are irresolute is many-branched.” Disturbances such as lust, desire to attain the heavenly planets, increasing activities that produce enjoyment and opulence, and rejection of the spiritual world all arise from the many-branched intelligence of irresolute persons. Therefore in the Bhagavad-gita (2.44) it is stated:

 bhogaishvarya-prasaktanam        tayapahrita-cetasam

vyavasayatmika buddhih        samadhau na vidhiyate

“In the minds of those who are too attached to sense enjoyment and material opulence, and who are bewildered by such things, the resolute determination for devotional service to the Supreme Lord does not take place.” Those whose intelligence is fixed in samadhi are transcendentally situated and have steady minds. Their symptoms are given in the Bhagavad-gita (2.55-56) as follows:

prajahati yada kaman        sarvan partha mano-gatan

atmany evatmana tushtah        sthita-prajnas tadocyate

duhkheshv anudvigna-manah        sukheshu vigata-sprihah

vita-raga-bhaya-krodhah        sthita-dhir munir ucyate

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: O Partha, when a man gives up all varieties of desire for sense gratification, which arise from mental concoction, and when his mind, thus purified, finds satisfaction in the self alone, then he is said to be in pure transcendental consciousness. One who is not disturbed in mind even amidst the threefold miseries or elated when there is happiness, and who is free from attachment, fear, and anger, is called a sage of steady mind.” These two verses from the Gita clarify the process of tolerating the urges of speech, mind, and anger as recommended in the first verse of Shri Upadeshamrita.

Now it should be known that there are two types of intelligence. The propensity to discriminate between good and bad under the dictation of the mind is called mundane intelligence, and the intelligence to discriminate between good and bad under the dictation of the soul is called spiritual intelligence. That is why in the Bhagavad-gita (3.42) it is said:

indriyani parany ahur        indriyebhyah param manah

manasas tu para buddhir        yo buddheh paratas tu sah

“The working senses are superior to dull matter; mind is higher than the senses, because the senses work under the dictation of the mind's propensities; intelligence is still higher than the mind, for intelligence is the propensity of the soul and therefore the master of the mind; and he [the soul] is even higher than the intelligence.” The intelligence also pervertedly accepts materialism only when under the control of the false ego. When under the control of the pure ego, in the form of identifying oneself as the servant of Krishna, the intelligence is always naturally pure. Therefore the Vedas establish that the knower of the body is intelligent. That spirit soul is higher than the intelligence, because intelligence is only the soul's propensity.

When a living entity realizes himself as a pure spiritual particle, then his spiritual ego, in the form of identifying himself as the servant of Krishna, naturally arises. At that time the intelligence in its pure form rejects materialism and accepts spiritualism. At that time a living entity has no desire other than the service of Krishna, and he rejects material desires as insignificant. In this position the living entity is known as sthita-prajna, transcendentally situated, or sthita-dhi, steady-minded. Being empowered by spiritual potency, the intelligence then becomes steady and controls the mind and heart by regulating them. Then the mind, under the direction of the intelligence, controls the senses by regulating them, and a favorable mood for devotional service manifests in the sense objects (indriyasya arthe). This is called indriya nigraha, controlling the senses in devotional service. Whatever arrangements are there for controlling the senses in the paths of dry knowledge and renunciation does not properly control the senses. In Bhagavad-gita (2.59) it is said:

vishaya vinivartante        niraharasya dehinah

rasa-varjam raso 'py asya        param drishtva nivartate 

“The embodied soul may be restricted from sense enjoyment, though the taste for sense objects remains. But, ceasing such engagements by experiencing a higher taste, he is fixed in consciousness.” This is real sense control. One should spiritualize the senses and control them with the mind, and one should spiritualize the mind and control it with the intelligence. By this process, laulya, in the form of restlessness of the intelligence and mind, is vanquished. When the intelligence is restless, the mind cannot be fixed. The restless intelligence wanders—sometimes in karma, sometimes in yoga, sometimes in dry renunciation, and sometimes in dry knowledge. To fix the intelligence in bhakti by giving up restlessness, the Shrimad Bhagavatam (11.20.32-34) prescribes:

yat karmabhir yat tapasa        jnana-vairagyatash ca yat

yogena dama-dharmena        shreyobhir itarair api

sarvam mad-bhakti-yogena        mad-bhakto labhate 'njasa

svargapavargam mad-dhama        kathancid yadi vanchati

na kincit sadhavo dhira        bhakta hy ekantino mama

vanchanty api maya dattam        kaivalyam apunar-bhavam

“Everything that can be achieved by fruitive activities, penance, knowledge, detachment, mystic yoga, charity, religious duties, and all other means of perfecting life is easily achieved by My devotee through loving service unto Me. If somehow or other My devotee desires promotion to heaven, liberation, or residence in My abode, he easily achieves such benedictions. Because My devotees possess saintly behavior and deep intelligence, they completely dedicate themselves to Me and do not desire anything besides Me. Indeed, even if I offer them liberation from birth and death, they do not accept it. The devotees naturally enjoy the pleasure of My service.”

Considering all this, the practicing devotee should give up laulya in the form of restlessness and attain fixed intelligence in devotional service.

Another meaning of the word laulya is greed. If greed is directed to other objects, then how can it be applied in relation with Krishna? Greed should be carefully engaged in the service of Krishna. Greed for material enjoyment should be conquered by the above-mentioned method. That is why it is said that persons who are overcome by lust and greed cannot become as pure through the process of yoga (beginning with yama) as they can by serving Krishna. As stated in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.6.36):

yamadibhir yoga-pathaih        kama-lobha-hato muhuh

mukunda-sevaya yadvat        tathatmaddha na shamyati

“It is true that by practicing restraint of the senses by the yoga system one can get relief from the disturbances of lust and greed, but this is not sufficient to give satisfaction to the soul, for this [satisfaction] is derived from devotional service to the Personality of Godhead;” because shamo man-nishthata buddheh—“absorbing the intelligence in Me constitutes mental equilibrium.” (Bhag. 11.19.36) By developing greed for Krishna's service, the Vaishnava's service, and chanting the holy names, there will be no greed for inferior things. One who becomes greedy by seeing the Vrajavasi's service to Krishna is very fortunate. By the mercy of that greed, he attains the qualification for raga-bhakti. One's material greed is vanquished in proportion to the development of greed for ragatmika service. If one has greed for nice foodstuffs, drinks, sleeping, smoking, and drinking wine, then one's devotion diminishes. Greed for wine, wealth, and women is most contrary to devotional principles. Those who have a desire for attaining pure devotional service should carefully give up such things. Whether for auspicious things or sinful things, greed for anything not related to Krishna is most despicable. Greed only in relation to Krishna is the cause of all auspiciousness. The greed attained by the mahajanas for topics of Krishna is mentioned in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.1.19) as follows:

vayam tu na vitripyama        uttama-shloka-vikrame

yac-chrinvatam rasa-jnanam        svadu svadu pade pade 

“We never tire of hearing the transcendental pastimes of the Personality of Godhead, who is glorified by hymns and prayers. Those who have developed a taste for transcendental relationships with Him relish hearing of His pastimes at every moment.” Another name for greed in relation to Krishna is adara, or respect. We will discuss this in detail later.

Another meaning of laulya is desire. Desires are of two types—desire for material enjoyment and desire for liberation. Unless one gives up these two types of desires, one can not practice devotional service. Shrila Rupa Gosvami has written in the Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (1.2.15):

bhukti-mukti-spriha yavat        pishaci hridi vartate

tavad bhakti-sukhasyatra        katham abhyudayo bhavet

“The material desire to enjoy the material world and the desire to become liberated from material bondage are considered to be two witches, and they haunt one like ghosts. As long as these witches remain within the heart, how can one feel transcendental bliss? As long as these two witches remain in the heart, there is no possibility of enjoying the transcendental bliss of devotional service.”

There are two types of material enjoyments—worldly and heavenly. Wealth, women, children, opulences, kingdom, victory, good food, good sleep, associating with women for sense enjoyment, good birth, and other pleasures are all worldly enjoyments. Going to heaven and drinking nectar there, as well as sense gratification free of old age are all heavenly enjoyments. When the heart is filled with the desire to enjoy, one cannot selflessly worship Krishna. Therefore unless the desire for enjoyment is completely uprooted from the heart, one's progress in devotional service will be obstructed. In this regard, there is one thing to be said: If all these material enjoyments are favorable to devotional service, then householders can accept them without sin. In that case all these enjoyments are not called enjoyments, but rather they are means of progress in a devotee's life. Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.2.9-10) has stated:

dharmasya hy apavargyasya        nartho 'rthayopakalpate

narthasya dharmaikantasya        kamo labhaya hi smritah

kamasya nendriya-pritir        labho jiveta yavata

jivasya tattva-jijnasa        nartho yash ceha karmabhih

“All occupational engagements are certainly meant for ultimate liberation. They should never be performed for material gain. Furthermore, according to sages, one who is engaged in the ultimate occupational service should never use material gain to cultivate sense gratification. Life's desires should never be directed toward sense gratification. One should desire only a healthy life, or self-preservation, since a human being is meant for inquiry about the Absolute Truth. Nothing else should be the goal of one's works.” Another name of dharma, or occupational service, is yukta-vairagya.

Desire for liberation must be rejected. There are five type of liberation; namely, salokya—living on the same planet; sarshti—having the same opulence; samipya—to be a personal associate; sarupya—having the same bodily features; and sayujya—oneness. Sayujya, liberation in the form of merging with the Lord, is hated by the practitioner of devotional service. Although salokya, sarshti, samipya, and sarupya are devoid of the desire for enjoyment, still they are undesirable. As soon as a living entity becomes free from material bondage by the strength of devotion, he immediately attains liberation. That liberation, however, is not the principle fruit of bhakti. The pure love for Krishna attained by liberated souls is the principle fruit of sadhana-bhakti. In this regard, Shri Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya makes the following appropriate statement in Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita (Madhya 6.267-269):

`salokyadi' cari yadi haya seva-dvara

tabu kadacit bhakta kare angikara

`sayujya' shunite bhaktera haya ghrina-bhaya

naraka vanchaye, tabu sayujya na laya

brahme, ishvare sayujya dui ta' prakara

brahma-sayujya haite ishvara-sayujya dhikkara

“If there is a chance to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead, a pure devotee sometimes accepts the salokya, sarupya, samipya, or sarshti forms of liberation, but never sayujya. A pure devotee does not like even to hear about sayujya-mukti, which inspires him with fear and hatred. Indeed, the pure devotee would rather go to hell than merge into the effulgence of the Lord. There are two kinds of sayujya-mukti—merging into the Brahman effulgence and merging into the personal body of the Lord. Merging into the Lord's body is even more abominable than merging into His effulgence.”

The purport is that the liberation of a devotee, in the form of freedom from bondage, is easily attained by the will of Krishna. That is why one should not pollute his endeavor for devotional service with desires.

It is the essential duty of the practicing devotee to carefully give up materialistic laulya.