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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Devadasa > ChapterIX

Chapter - 9


Although after the death of his father Devadasa was forced to engage in various activities like ordinary materialistic people, after his marriage he began to work like an actual materialist. Yet Devadasa was not like an ordinary materialist. He was pious. He maintained his family life in such a way that he could progress on the path of spiritual life. He was least interested in selfishness. He never deviated from his duties for the sake of self-interest. He never considered his loss as at all a loss. If he was convinced that by his loss others would be benefited, he immediately accepted it. It is the desire of every materialistic persons that whatever he will do he should be victorious. It is the nature of every materialist to become victorious in all kinds of activities beginning from buying a small item up to great enterprises. Only one person becomes victorious whereas another person is defeated. If everyone wins in the field of his activity then who will loss? Those who are always eager to win like this, if for any reason they loose then they become extremely angry and distress. However if a person considers both victory and defeat as equal then he no longer suffers the pangs of anger and distress.


The thoughtful Devadasa always contemplated in various ways regarding the material existence. One day this thought what is this material existence and why a materialist is attached to sinful activities’ suddenly appeared in his mind. He began to float in the waves of thought for a while and reached to the following conclusion.


This material existence is primarily consist of man and women. According to the time and circumstances the relatives of a human being such as father, mother, brother, sister, son and daughter come together in a family and increase the jurisdiction of the family. In order to obtain happiness and prosperity in this world a person becomes extremely greedy and endeavors to accumulate wealth. Some persons are busy accumulating sufficient wealth to maintain his family members whereas others constantly endeavor to earn huge amount of wealth with a desire to become most happy and prosperous. The more one is attached to this material existence the more he endeavors to accumulate wealth. When a human being is very attached to his family life he only cares the happiness and prosperity of his family members; he does not care for the happiness and prosperity of his neighbors and others. For this reason a human being becomes envious of another human being. Those who are able to earn wealth through proper means do not need to become envious like this. But those who are unable to accumulate wealth through proper means always create disturbances and cause harm to the society.


People are so much absorbed in obtaining material happiness and wealth that he has no time to turn his attention towards a most merciful, and all auspicious Supreme Lord even once a day O human beings ! you are ruining yourself in this way. If you earn wealth or material objects without causing any trouble to any one then it is praise worthy, but if you earn wealth or material objects by harming others then who will love you? Who will praise you? Awarding of punishment has been arranged by the government to check peoples harassment towards other citizen. But some people are so intelligent that they cause trouble in such a way that they cleverly escape the punishment of the government. If the intelligence of a person is directed properly then it produces happiness to the world and if it is directed improperly it becomes the cause of distress. O human beings! Just think once, in order to accumulate wealth or material objects through sinful means how much lies and deceitfulness you have taken shelter of. You are making yourself weak and skinny with various worries and thoughts day and night. As a result of your action many people have given up their life due to lack of food. Many children have lost their parents prematurely and wondering door to door for want of food. Many people have left their original places and passing their days miserably at some other places. You are snatching others object of happiness and prosperity for your own happiness and prosperity. Well, what have you gain by this ? Your body has become extremely weak due to sinful thoughts and endeavors day and night. How much wealth do you require for your own maintenance? The amount of distress that you are suffering with a desire to become happy according to your own nature is much more then the happiness you obtain. As long as you will remain within this world you will have to suffer the miseries born from the endeavor of obtaining imaginary happiness. What can be more repenting then this ? This opulent bed, this opulent building that are situated in front of you are meant for your comfortable sleep. But since your mind is disturbed by various sinful thoughts where is the question of your peaceful sleep? Since your body has become a source of various incurable diseases due to worries and distresses who is going to eat happily these Various palatable foodstuffs that had been prepared with your money? It is a fact that you have attained your long cherished happiness after so much endeavors, hard labor and distress but once you enjoy that happiness you will not like to enjoy again. Then your mind will hanker for a new type of happiness. Now just think, you have trained your own mind and intelligence in such a way that no happiness will ever be sufficient to satisfy them. Although you have lived in this world for a long time I have not seen your happiness. Although you are living within water your throat is dry. You are drowning in the waves of illusory energy. You are so much entangled in the net work of the illusory energy that there is no alternative of your deliverance.


Rather if you perform all your activities while keeping the all auspicious Supreme Lord in the center in the course of maintaining your family life. Then what will you gain? You can raise this question. If you keep your attention on the Supreme Lord then you will not perform any inauspicious activities because as the Supreme Lord is situated in me so does in every living entities. Does causing trouble to others for once own happiness is the display of compassion towards the living entities. Will this amount to exhibit respect, faith and devotion to the original personality of godhead who is situated in the hearts of all living entities? Therefore to harm others for once own happiness is not desirable by the supreme controller - this knowledge will automatically manifest in your heart. Then envy, hatred, blasphemy, endeavor for self happiness will gradually disappear from your mind. Everyone will praise your good conduct. You will be able to attract everyone’s faith and respect as a broad-minded person. No sinful thoughts will be able to distract your mind. You can live peacefully and eat peacefully. If a person acts piously then his body and mind always remain joyful.


Many people say that wealth is the root cause of once degradation. Therefore one must give up accumulating wealth. Otherwise one cannot perform religious duties. It is never reasonable that one will live in this world but will not endeavor for wealth. All activities in this material world are dependent on wealth. A human being should earn wealth or material objects in such a way that it will neither harm any body nor oppose the religious principles. One should remain satisfied with whatever one earns through proper means. Even if one earns less by remaining on this religious path and not giving trouble to any one, there is no harm. The thought that some how or other one must earn wealth either through pious means or sinful means cannot arise in the heart of a pious person. An irreligious person who gives trouble to others can never obtain the nectar of satisfaction; to become religious is this world is the only shelter of a human being. If one takes shelter of religious principles he can easily deliver himself from all kinds of obstacles and dangers.


One cannot estimate how many objects of temptation there are in this world. Hatred, envy, lust, anger, and greed are always present in these objects. They are surrounded by fierce looking lies and deceitfulness. Many obstacles and dangers are chasing human beings with their mouth open to devour them. Moreover, a human being is always disturbed by the thought of how to maintain his wife and children. An expert religious-minded sailor can guide his boat to the shore of the ocean of material existence. Others simply drown in the formidable waves of the ocean. One who can pass his life while remaining on the path of religion in this world, it will not be an exaggeration to call him a great yogi. No ghosts or bitches in the form of sinful activities can deviate his mind in this world. Isn’t such a great yogi more powerful than he who renounces the worldly life and worships the Supreme Lord in a solitary place and does not face any obstacles, danger, or temptation? Any one who in spite of being disturbed by various obstacles and dangers while living in this world with his wife and children is extremely eager to worship the Supreme Lord without any interruption and piously maintains his family without caring for any temptation, he is a perfect yogi and a liberated soul.


Many people think that unless one gives up the association of women and wealth one cannot become religious. It is impossible for a householder to give up the association of women and wealth. The living entities have become conditioned in this material world by the supreme will of the most auspicious creator. At the same time He has given them intelligence, power of discrimination, and many other godly propensities. His desire is that human beings will live in this world by following religious principles. If giving up the association of the human is unfavorable for following religious principles then a human beings should give it up; but if one gives up the association of women then human beings will not be produced in this world. If human beings are not produced then in due course of time this material world will also come to an end. Is it the purpose of that auspicious creator to end this world ? Then why did he divide all human beings into two categories--namely man and woman? Why has he given women the power of carrying a baby in her womb and the man the power of begetting ? And if the human being will not endeavor for wealth or consider wealth to be totally untouchable, then how will he maintain his life? All ingredients that are necessary for maintaining one’s livelihood cannot be accumulated without the exchange of wealth. If the act of exchanging continues then wealth is the only means of accumulating ingredients. In such a situation if a householder gives up women and wealth then how will he maintain his life? Giving up the association of women and wealth is the result of worshiping the Supreme Lord. O human beings! Even if you desire this you will not succeed.


Great sages like Vasista and Janaka were householders. They never deviated from the path of religiosity by any temptation. They were liberated souls. The learned and thoughtful sages have written down many instructions about how a householder should act in this world. Human beings should act according to those instruction. If you ever fall down you should atone with the fire of repentance. The merciful Lord will certainly bestow mercy if human beings maintain their livelihood according to religious principles the they can attract the mercy of the merciful creator. If the Lord bestows mercy then what to speak of women and wealth, all one’s material attachments will be vanquished and thus they will easily become liberated.


It is an utmost duty of every householder to honor his guests, help the poor and fallen, and try to associate with saintly persons. Due to the lack of proper education and training nowadays people do not consider honoring guests and helping the poor as a duty. One cannot say that no human being honor any guest or help the poor. Even today there is no scarcity of kind-hearted persons, but the fact is that they are very rare. A householder has so many duties, but generally people often neglect those three above-mentioned duties. That is why Devadasa specifically mentioned about them. He has also pointed out why it is a duty of the living entities to honor guest or helping the poor and fallen souls.


If suppose in the course of your work you arrive at a place where you have no friends or relatives, nothing to eat, and you are extremely tired and hungry, and then you go to someone’s house and beg for food. If that person drives you away without giving any food and his neighbors also treat you in a similar way then can you imagine what a great danger you will face? A guest is a person of this kind. O human beings! Did you understand whether honoring of guests is your duty or not? It is the duty of every human being to help the shelterless people according to his capacity. Just as you are made of blood and flesh so are the guests and poor people. Their feeling of happiness and distress is similar that of yours. They possess the same consciousness that is present in you. Do they not belong to your class? Is it your duty to bring constant happiness and prosperity only to your family members? Is it your duty to mitigate your own hunger and thirst like the birds and beasts? Has the well-wishing Supreme Lord not given you more intelligence, knowledge, and power than them? Then why do you display cruelty like them? It is a duty of every householder to serve the guest who has no shelter and help the fallen and poor according to their capacity. One cannot estimate how many people take shelter of the householders for help due to so many reasons. To help the poor, fallen, and guests according to one’s ability is the desire of the auspicious creator. If you exhibit indifference in such activities, then you will certainly incur sin. The thoughtful sages have ascertained this as the duty of the householder. If a householder fails to execute these duties, he commits grave sin. Long long ago honoring of guests was very popular in this country. A householder should consider this as an act of piety and try his best to serve the guests. If you act after careful consideration then you can easily maintain your family and serve the guest with your earned wealth. But alas ! what a subject matter for repentance. Today this great vow is often neglected in the Hindu society. Many People say that serving of guest is a costly affair, therefore it is not possible for all the householders. If all or most of the householder take up this great work then serving the guests will not require heavy expenditure.