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Fire Points Upward
(151) The orders of the spiritual master cannot be sepa rated from the life of the disciple as in conditional life the gross material body cannot be separated from the spirit soul.
152) The most difficult sense to control is the tongue. The tongue has two purposes: tasting and vibrating. Therefore the spiritual master orders his disciples to taste only Krishna prasadam and to speak only topics pertinent to Krishna consciousness. This simple formula renders useless the non-devotee's vow of maunam, or silence. It is sufficient in itself to counteract idle gossip, as meaningless as the babble of ocean's waves.
153) Just as intimate association with a prostitute ruins every auspicious quality in a man, so the prostitute of an uncontrolled tongue steals away all commendable traits from one's character.
154) Of all the senses, the eyes are the most deceptive. Sometimes they trick one into thinking that a rope is a snake thereby causing him unnecessary anxiety. At other times they may fool one into believing that a snake is a rope and thus bring about his untimely death.
155) One may hold a picture of a beautiful woman before the eyes of a sleeping sensualist, but this will not awaken him. However even when one is sleeping his ears remain active, for they are the most developed of the senses. Just as a man is awakened by calling his name, so one is awakened when one hears about Krishna from a realized source.
156) As fish bring up their young through vision, as tortoises through meditation upon the eggs, and as birds through touching, so the devotee engages his active senses in Krishna consciousness. With his eyes, the devotee beholds the beautiful form of the Lord in the temple. With his mind he meditates upon the Lord's pastimes. With his hands the devotee engages in menial service to the Deity
157) Prahlad Maharaj recommends: shravanam hirtanam vishnu smaranam pada sevanam archanam vandanam dasyam sdkhyam atmanivedanam." One may serve the Supreme Lord in any of nine ways: (1) hearing, (2) chanting His glories, (3) remembering Him, (4) serving His lotus feet, (5), worshipping His Deity form, (6) offering prayers to Him, (7) carrying out His instructions, (8) associating with Him, and (9) surrendering everything to Him." (SB 7.5.23)
158) Although the moon waxes and wanes, still it never deviates from its orbit. Similarly, through times of thick and thin the devotee centers all his activities on the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord.
159) The torch may point up, it may point down, yet the flame points ever upwards. In the same way the devotee ever keeps Lord Krishna fixed within his heart.
160) As on the royal roads there are sometimes accidents, so even on the exalted path of bhakti a devotee may sometimes fall down due to his having failed to completely renounce material affection. If such an accidental falldown does occur, there is little to lament, for a sincere devotee will return to devotional service as a rubber ball which bounces back higher after falling. Yet the unfortunate non-devotee not having sheltered himself at the lotus feet of Krishna falls like a lump of moist clay.
161) As a man awakens his wife during the night for mutual enjoyment, so Krishna is ever calling the slumbering conditioned souls to return to their original blissful positions of devotional service.
(162) Shri Narottam das Thakur asks on our behalf, "When will I awaken and cease my sleeping on the lap ot the witch mayal"