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Purification through Devotional Service
Action For Purifying The Subtle Body
While in the subtle body, we create many plans to enjoy sense gratification. These plans are recorded in the spool of one's mind as bija, the root of fruitive activities. In conditional life the living entity creates a series of bodies one after another, and this is called karma-bandhana. As explained in Bhagavad-gita (3.9), yajnarthdt karmano anyatra loho ayam-karma-bandhanah: if we act only for the satisfaction of Vishnu, there is no bondage due to material activity, but if we act otherwise, we become entrapped by one material activity after another. Under these circumstances, it is to be supposed that by thinking, feeling and willing, we are creating a series of future material bodies. In the words of Bhaktivinoda Thakura, anddi karama-phale, padi' blwvdrnava jale. The living entity falls into the ocean of karma-bandhana as a result of past material activities. Instead of plunging oneself into the ocean of material activity, one should accept material activity only to maintain body and soul together. The rest of one's time should be devoted to engaging in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. In this way one can attain relief from the reactions of material activity.
If we train the subtle body in this life by always thinking about Krishna, we will transfer to Krishnaloka after leaving the gross body. Thus the change of the gross body is not very important, but the change of the subtle body is important.The Krishna consciousness movement is educating people to enlighten the subtle body.
A Practical Example of Perfect Living
The perfect example in this regard is Ambarisa Maharaja, who always engaged his mind on the lotus feet of Lord Krishna, sa vai manah hrsna-padaravindayoh (Srimad Bhagavcttam 9.4.18). Similarly, in this life we should always fix our mind on the lotus feet of Krishna, who is present in His arca-vigraha, the incarnation of the Deity in the temple. "We should also always engage in His worship. If we engage our speech in describing the activities of the Lord and our ears in hearing about His pastimes, and if we follow the regulative principles to keep the mind intact for advancing in Krishna consciousness, we shall certainly be elevated to the spiritual platform. Then at the time of death the mind, intelligence and ego will no longer be materially contaminated. When the mind, intelligence and ego are purified, all the active senses of the living entity become spiritual. Thus the living entity attains his sat-cit-ananda form. The Supreme Lord is always in His sat-cit-ananda (Brahma-Samhita 5.1) form, but the living entity, although part and parcel of the Lord, becomes materially contaminated when he desires to come to the material world for material enjoyment. The prescription for returning home, back to Godhead, is given by the Lord Himself in Bhagavad-gita (9.34):
man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi yuktvaivam atmancirh mat-parayanah
"Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me."
The story given below illustrates how a great king along with his relatives came to realize the fundamental truths about life. The soul is a spiritual entity different from the body. He does not die at the time of death but goes to another destination. Read the story carefully and answer the questions that are inserted in between on a separate sheet.