Published on February 26th, 2017 | by Madhudvisa dasa | Full size image


Pleasure is our Motivation

Everything we do is motivated by some attractive feature, some benefit we think we will get from it. We are all engaged in some service and the motivation for us to render this service is the pleasure or taste which we get from it.

Driven by affection for his wife and children, a family man works hard day and night. A philanthropist works in the same way for love of the greater family, and a nationalist for the cause of his country and countrymen. That force which drives the philanthropist, the householder and the nationalist is called rasa, or a kind of mellow (relationship) whose taste is very sweet.

There is another taste, another type of pleasure, which is different from the ordinary taste enjoyed by the materialists. It is called Bhakti-rasa. Bhakti-rasa, the taste or pleasure relished in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, does not finish with the end of life. It continues perpetually and is therefore eternal, it does not die but exists eternally. This is confirmed in all Vedic literatures. The Bhagavad-gita says that a little advancement in bhakti-rasa can save the devotee from the greatest danger, that of missing the opportunity for human life.

Material Pleasure Does Not Last Long:

Unfortunately the pleasure derived from material activities does not last long, and therefore, in the material world people are always changing the way they are searching for pleasure and never reach a position where they are satisfied. A businessman is not satisfied by working the whole week; therefore, wanting a change for the weekend, he goes to a place where he tries to forget his business activities. Then, after the weekend is spent in forgetfulness, he again changes his position and resumes his business activities.

Material life means accepting a particular service for some time and then changing it. This position of changing back and forth from a position of sense enjoyment to a position of renunciation is constantly going on in the lives of the materialists. A living entity cannot steadily remain either in sense enjoyment or in renunciation. Change is going on perpetually, and we cannot be happy in either state because of our eternal constitutional position. Sense gratification does not endure for long, and it is therefore called flickering happiness. For example, an ordinary family man who works very hard day and night and is successful in giving comforts to the members of his family thereby relishes a kind of pleasure, but his whole advancement of material happiness immediately terminates along with his body as soon as his life is over.

Death is therefore taken as the representative of God for the atheistic class of men. The devotee realizes the presence of God by devotional service, whereas the atheist realizes the presence of God in the shape of death. At death everything is finished, and one has to begin a new chapter of life in a new situation, perhaps higher or lower than the last one. In any field of activity, political, social, national or international, the result of our actions will be finished with the end of life. That is sure.

The rasas derived from our feelings in social life, in family life, or in the greater family life of altruism, philanthropism, nationalism, socialism, communism, etc., do not guarantee that one’s next life will be as a human being. We prepare our next life by our activities in the present life. A living entity is offered a particular type of body as a result of his actions in the present body. These activities are taken into account by the superior authority of God. This authority of God is explained in the Bhagavad-gita as the prime cause of everything, and a person takes his next body under the supervision of the authority of the Supreme. In an ordinary sense this is explained as destiny. The supervision of God gives us a body selected from 8,400,000 forms; the choice does not depend on our selection, but is awarded to us according to our destiny.

If we are at present is engaged in the activities of Krishna consciousness, then it is guaranteed that we will have at least a human body in our next life. A human being engaged in Krishna consciousness, even if unable to complete the course of bhakti-yoga, takes birth in the higher division of human society so that he can automatically further his advancement in Krishna consciousness. Therefore, all bona fide activities in Krishna consciousness are permanent in contrast to material activities which do not last very long.

We Have the Propensity to Love Someone:

The basic principle of the living condition is that we have a general propensity to love someone. No one can live without loving someone else. This propensity is present in every living being. Even an animal like a tiger has this loving propensity at least in a dormant stage, and it is certainly present in the human beings. The missing point, however, is where to repose our love so that everyone can become happy. At the present moment the human society teaches one to love his country or family or his personal self, but there is no information where to repose the loving propensity so that everyone can become happy. That missing point is Krishna. Our eternal constitutional position is we are servants of Krishna. We all have a loving relationship with Krishna but that love for Krishna is now covered by material contamination. The process of Krishna consciousness, the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra, purifies our hearts of this contamination and gradually our original love for Krishna is reawakened.

In the primary stage a child loves his parents, then his brothers and sisters, and as he daily grows up he begins to love his family, society, community, country, nation, or even the whole human society. But the loving propensity is not satisfied even by loving all human society; that loving propensity remains imperfectly fulfilled until we know who is the supreme beloved. Our love can be fully satisfied only when it is reposed in Krishna. Our loving propensity expands just as a vibration of light or air expands, but we do not know where it ends. We can love every one of the living entities perfectly by the easy method of loving Krishna.

How to Create Peace and Harmony:

We have failed to create peace and harmony in human society, even by such great attempts as the United Nations, because we do not know the right method. The method is very simple, but one has to understand it with a cool head. If we learn how to love Krishna, then it is very easy to immediately and simultaneously love every living being. It is like pouring water on the root of a tree or supplying food to one’s stomach. The method of pouring water on the root of a tree or supplying foodstuffs to the stomach is universally scientific and practical, as every one of us has experienced. Everyone knows well that when we eat something, or in other words when we put foodstuffs in the stomach, the energy created by such action is immediately distributed throughout the whole body. Similarly, when we pour water on the root, the energy thus created is immediately distributed throughout the entirety of even the largest tree. It is not possible to water the tree part by part, nor is it possible to feed the different parts of the body separately. If we learn how to love Krishna that will turn on the one switch that will immediately brighten everything, everywhere. One who does not know this method is missing the point of life.

As far as material necessities are concerned, the human civilization at the present moment is very much advanced in living comfortably, but still we are not happy because we are missing the point. The material comforts of life alone are not sufficient to make us happy. The vivid example is America: the richest nation of the world, having all facilities for material comfort, is producing a class of men completely confused and frustrated in life. I am appealing herewith to such confused men to learn the art of devotional service, and I am sure that the fire of material existence burning within their hearts will be immediately extinguished.

The root cause of our dissatisfaction is that our dormant loving propensity for Krishna has not been fulfilled despite our great advancement in the materialistic way of life. Krishna consciousness is the practical way we can live in this material world perfectly engaged in devotional service and thus fulfill all our desires in this life and the next. We do not condemn any way of materialistic life, but attempt to give information to religionists, philosophers and people in general how to love Krishna. One may live comfortably, but at the same time he should learn the art of loving Krishna.

At the present moment we are inventing so many ways to utilize our propensity to love, but factually we are missing the real point, Krishna. We are watering all parts of the tree but missing the tree’s root. We are trying to keep our body fit by all means, but we are neglecting to supply foodstuffs to the stomach. Missing Krishna means missing one’s self also. Real self-realization and realization of Krishna go together simultaneously. For example, seeing oneself in the morning means seeing the sunrise also; without seeing the sunshine no one can see himself. Similarly, unless one has realized Krishna there is no question of self-realization.

[adapted from Srila Prabhupada’s preface to Nectar of Devotion]

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23 Responses to Pleasure is our Motivation

  1. Krishna's humble servant says:

    Sir, with an impartial judgement please tell me which is better?

    1) Living a Krishna conscious life with family engaging in occupational duties with Krishna as centre.

    2) Staying as a brahmacārī engaging 24 hours a day in Krishna consciousness?

    For a person who has no problem going on either paths, (supposing he will follow the route he has taken seriously ) but can take only one of the routes, which one do you suggest Prabhu?

    Please help me with an impartial view. Prabhu, and if you dont mind answering may i also ask What did you do Prabhu and why? Your answer will have a lot of value for me….

    • My position is different because I joined ISKCON in 1986 when there was still some memory of the ISKCON Srila Prabhuapda established and there was still proper brahmacari ashrams and there was something. That no longer exists. So currently that option, staying in a brahmacari ashram, is not available. ISKCON is totally corrupted now and if you stay with them you will not become Krishna conscious, but you will become corrupted. So realistically at the moment the only option that is available is to remain separate and become Krishna conscious by chanting Hare Krishna and reading Srila Prabhupada’s books and surrendering to the instructions we find Srila Prabhupada giving us as we read his books.

      My case is I was trained up in brahmacari asharm in ISKCON between 1986 and 1989 then thrown out of ISKCON because of my attachment to Srila Prabhupada, banned from every ISKCON temple worldwide. So since then I am just serving Srila Prabhupada and Krishna in so many ways. And I see being thrown out of ISKCON and banned from the ISKCON temples as a great blessing. Because associating with the ISKCON people these days means falling down into maya unfortunately. They no longer follow the very basic things like getting out of bed before 4:00 AM, attending Managl-aroti, chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day, strictly following the four regulative principles [no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication], etc. So associating with people who are not seriously following these things, even though they may present themselves externally as great devotees, is very harmful to us and will hamper our advancement in Krishna consciousness.

      So in your case I would recommend you find a nice devotee girl, someone who wants to advance spiritually and will help and support you in your spiritual quest, and marry her and have a family and train your wife and children to be great devotees of Krishna.

      These days honest householder devotee is generally much better than Kali-Yuga sannyasi…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  2. sireesha says:

    Jai Sri Krishna,

    I accept when we act for the material pleasure it is temporary and not real. But in bhakti rasa, is it not the selfish motive to reach lord ? Even the bhakti, love towards krishna without expecting any fruit except krishna himself is also similar to an attachment?

    • No. Devotee does not care even if he reaches the Lord or not. He simply wants to serve Krishna life after life. Devotee simply wants to serve Krishna, to give Krishna pleasure, and if that causes him great suffering that suffering he accepts as Krishna’s mercy.

      So real devotee does not desire liberation. Lord Caitanya prays like that in His Siksastakam, you should read that…

  3. Sayli says:

    Jai Shri Krishna.

    Would like to know when someone is doing bad, even me myself, sometimes i think why god dosent punish right away so that even we will come to know yes this is wrong. Why is that we get the good or bad fruit later,,may be in next janm?

  4. Padmapriya says:

    Very true prabhuji without knowing the sunshine how we can see the mirror similarly one can have the sense of krishna conscious he can realize the truth

  5. B.S.Ramesh says:

    Hare Krishna prabhuji… very true… the reason for our unhappiness is not loving Krishna in the the way we should be so doing…Art of living is this only…& nothing else…Hare Krishna..

  6. Aman says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhuji
    Dandavat Pranam
    Is it Yoga Maya which is the cause of the pleasure one feels in Krishna Consciousness? And are Yoga Maya and spiritual nature same?

    • Yoga Maya is Krishna’s illusory potency that creates the illusion in Vrindavan for example that Krishna is the son of Mother Devaki and Vasudeva. Krishna is no one’s son. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But some devotees want to have Krishna as their son, so Krishna, through His yoga maya potency, creates the illusion that He is the son of His devotees. This is yoga-maya.

      So no, yoga-maya is not the source of pleasure in Krishna consciousness. But yoga-maya nourishes and enhances the relationships the devotees have with Krishna. The pleasure in Krishna consciousness is not our pleasure, the devotee is happy and feels pleasure when he sees that due to his service Krishna has become pleased. It is Krishna’s pleasure that is the pleasure of the devotee in Krishna consciousness.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  7. RISHAB says:

    What about uncontrollable senses sir??..How could I Master them..plzz help so that I will fix my senses on lord Krishna..The supreme..

    • You have to become Krishna conscious.

      That is a science, you have to learn it.

      Srila Prabhupada has written many books. You have to read the books and follow the instructions in the books to learn the science.

      First you have to surrender to the basic things: chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day, strictly follow the four regulative principles: no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication and read Srila Prabhupada’s books at least 1-2 hours a day.

      It takes some time and you have to become quite serious to be successful. But becoming Krishna conscious is the only worthwhile thing. So we must become serious…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  8. anshu says:

    hare krishna prabhu
    if something happen bad to devotee is it due to krishna?he is the supreme controller and supreme personality of godhead.
    most fallen soul

    • Hare Krishna Anshu

      Bad things happen to everybody in the material world, even devotees. But a real devotee is surrendered to Krishna and his only interest is serving Krishna and pleasing Krishna. From the material point of view many bad things may appear to be happening to a devotee. You only have to read in the Vedas how many apparently bad things happened to real pure devotees. You know the terrible things that happened to the Pandavas for example at the hands of the Kurus. They were poisoned, their house was set on fire, there were so many attempts on their lives, they were banished to live in the forest for many years, etc, etc. So from the material point of view these are very bad things. But a devotee is not disturbed by such bad things. In times of difficulty he remembers Krishna more. So you may know that when the Pandavas were put into a relatively comfortable position Kunti prayed to Krishna, ‘Let there be calamities…’ Because Kunti was fearing that in a comfortable position they may forget Krishna, but if there are calamities they naturally always are thinking of Krishna and depending on Krishna.

      So actual devotee accepts everything as Krishna’s arrangement. He is not disturbed. In reality this material world is a place of suffering. Only bad things happen here. We have these material bodies so we can not expect, even though we have become devotees, that nothing bad will happen to us. Bad things happen to everybody in the material world. There is no way to escape these bad things. Everybody is getting old, getting sick and dying. That happens to devotees as well. But the thing is devotees realize they are not the material body and in this way they are not affected by the apparently bad things that may happen to their bodies…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  9. Henk van Rijen says:

    Krishna being the cause of all causes, He must produce our fall, the ‘bad’ also.

    At the same time it is propagated not to sin.

    How are these two things to be reconceliated?

    • Hare Krishna Henk

      It is a good question. But actually Krishna does not produce or cause our fall, or our sin.

      We are all part and parcel of Krishna. Krishna is the whole, Krishna is unlitedly great. Krishna is maintaining all the other living entities and we are maintained by Krishna. But, although we are very, very small, still we are qualitatively the same as Krishna. Just like a drop of ocean water, although it is totally insignificant in comparison to the total volume of the water in the ocean, it is qualitatively the same as the ocean. The drop has the same qualities as the ocean. So we have the same qualities as Krishna, only we have them in a very insignificant, tiny quantity. So Krishna is completely independent. Therefore we also have a limited degree of independence.

      So having independence means we have some choice. That choice basically boils down to:

      – We can surrender to Krishna and serve Him
      – We can reject Krishna and try to become the enjoyer ourselves.

      So it is us misusing our independence, rejecting Krishna and trying to imitate Krishna, who cause our own fall and which creates sin.

      The material world is a perverted reflection of the spiritual world. So there is an original thing in the spiritual world that is the cause of the thing in the material world. But the problem is the reflection in the material world is perverted, and being only a reflection, it does not contain the actual substance.

      So the highest relationship of love with Krishna is there in the spiritual world and that pure exalted relationship is reflected in the material world in a perverted way as sex. Actually Krishna’s relationship with the gopis in Vrindavan is the highest relationship but that, when reflected in the material world, becomes the lowest, most degraded relationship.

      So it requires some knowledge and advancement in spiritual life to understand these things actually. Krishna is the cause of all causes. However Krishna gives us a limited degree of independence and if we independently choose to misuse that independence then it is us who caused that. Krishna gives us the choice, but He is not forcing us to make the decision one way or the other. Of course in the material world maya, the material energy, is working to cover our intelligence so that we do not even know that there is any alternative to the material world…

      So it is a complex issue that you will come to understand much better as you study Srila Prabhupada’s books and chant Hare Krishna. These things need to be understood by actual realization. It is not possible by theoretical academic knowledge only.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  10. Andria Efthimiou-Mordaunt says:

    Hare Krsna Prabhu; Devotees who do not live in the Temple are potentially in difficult situations no? I have never lived in the Temple but stayed close to devotees over decades in London….
    I understand fully the need to commit 100% in service to GOD-to Krsna, but living in the Temple is more about serving ISKCON Yeh? (Nothing wrong with that of course) though I have some concern for friends/devotees who consciously (or not) move in to the Temple, to protect themselves from addictions and other social problems, which need ongoing positive attention to keep under control
    When I chanted 16 round a day, my mental health was perhaps, the best it has ever been

    • Hare Krishna Mataji

      Living in the temple is not necessary to become Krishna conscious. And today it may actually be a disadvantage to live in a temple. The main thing is to surrender to Srila Prabhupada and follow his instructions wherever we may find ourselves. Krishna consciousness is transcendental. It can be practiced anywhere. So we have to become like that. We can chant Hare Krishna, read Srila Prabhupada’s books and perform devotional service anywhere.

      So just start chanting 16 rounds again where you are and read Srila Prabhupada’s books regularly every day and make a schedule in your life so you are doing these things regularly every day. The thing is we are suffering from the material disease and in our diseased condition we have very little taste for chanting Hare Krishna and reading Srila Prabhupada’s books. But the cure for the material disease is chanting Hare Krishna and reading Srila Prabhupada’s books. So we have to chant and read Prabhupada’s books even if we don’t feel like doing it. We have to force ourselves to do it. And that will work. That will purify our hearts and give us the strength to be able to follow the regulative principles and we will get a real taste for chanting Hare Krishna and it will become the most wonderful, most important part of our lives…

      So I think you should just chant Hare Krishna more seriously where you are and Krishna from within your heart will give you inspiration and guidance on how to advance more in Krishna consciousness.

  11. Gordon says:

    Please kindly resume my daily emails..

    • Hare Krishna Gordon

      Mails are about every second day. But the point of the mails is to encourage you to read Srila Prabhupada’s books. So don’t just wait for the emails. READ SRILA PRABHUPADA’S BOOKS. You will find so much more nectar in Prabhupada’s books than you will find in the email. Emails are just a tiny sample of what you can find in Prabhupada’s books.

About the Author

My first contact with a Hare Krishna was a most merciful Mataji in Oxford Street, London who sold me a "Higher Taste" cook book in 1984 while I was on holidays there. I started seriously reading Srila Prabhupada's books in Australia 1985 and by 1986 Srila Prabhupada had convinced me "Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead" and "we should surrender to Krishna." I joined the Hare Krishnas in Perth, Western Australia in 1986. Since then I have been chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, reading and distributing Srila Prabhupada's books and preaching as much as I can. That's my life and full-time occupation now really. I like it more than anything I've ever experienced before. Srila Prabhupada's books are so amazing... Even after reading them all many times they're still fresh and new. They are truly transcendental! That's it really. Now I'm just hankering to once again see the world chant Hare Krishna, dance and feast and float away in the ecstasy of Lord Caitanya's Sankirtana movement as it did in Srila Prabhupada's physical presence. Let the whole world drown in the ecstatic flood of love of Krishna!

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