By Damaghosa das
July 13, 2018
1.) Madhya 12.135 purport
In this connection Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura explains that even though one may become free from the desire for fruitive activity, sometimes the subtle desire for fruitive activity again comes into being within the heart. One often thinks of conducting business to improve devotional activity. But the contamination is so strong that it may later develop into misunderstanding, described as kuṭi-nāṭi (faultfinding) and pratiṣṭhāśā (the desire for name and fame and for high position), jīva-hiṁsā (envy of other living entities), niṣiddhācāra (accepting things forbidden in the śāstra), kāma (desire for material gain) and pūjā (hankering for popularity). The word kuṭi-nāṭi means “duplicity.” As an example of pratiṣṭhāśā, one may attempt to imitate Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura by living in a solitary place. One’s real desire may be for name and fame-in other words, one thinks that fools will accept one to be as good as Haridāsa Ṭhākura just because one lives in a solitary place. These are all material desires. A neophyte devotee is certain to be attacked by other material desires as well, namely desires for women and money. In this way the heart is again filled with dirty things and becomes harder and harder, like that of a materialist. Gradually one desires to become a reputed devotee or an avatāra(incarnation).
The word jīva-hiṁsā (envy of other living entities) actually means stopping the preaching of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Preaching work is described as paropakāra, welfare activity for others. Those who are ignorant of the benefits of devotional service must be educated by preaching. If one stops preaching and simply sits down in a solitary place, he is engaging in material activity.
2.) Adi 9.42 Translation—“It is the duty of every living being to perform welfare activities for the benefit of others with his life, wealth, intelligence and words.”
PURPORT-There are two kinds of general activities-śreyas, or activities which are ultimately beneficial and auspicious, and preyas, or those which are immediately beneficial and auspicious. For example, children are fond of playing. They don’t want to go to school to receive an education, and they think that to play all day and night and enjoy with their friends is the aim of life. Even in the transcendental life of Lord Kṛṣṇa, we find that when He was a child He was very fond of playing with His friends of the same age, the cowherd boys. He would not even go home to take His dinner. Mother Yaśodā would have to come out to induce Him to come home. Thus it is a child’s nature to engage all day and night in playing, not caring even for his health and other important concerns. This is an example of preyas, or immediately beneficial activities. But there are also śreyas, or activities which are ultimately auspicious. According to Vedic civilization, a human being must be God conscious. He should understand what God is, what this material world is, who he is, and what their interrelationships are. This is called śreyas, or ultimately auspicious activity.
In this verse of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said that one should be interested in śreyas. To achieve the ultimate goal of śreyas, or good fortune, one should engage everything, including his life, wealth and words, not only for himself but for others also. However, unless one is interested in śreyas in his own life, he cannot preach of śreyas for the benefit of others. This verse cited by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu applies to human beings, not to animals.
Sri Nitai Sri Caitanya
3.) (Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Washington DC, July 6, 1976)
When I was coming, my friends and others said, ‘This man is going to die.’ ‘Never mind,’ I thought. ‘Death will come. Let me try.’ So this activity must be there. That is the begging of Sanātana Gosvāmī, that he said, āpana-kṛpāte kaha ‘kartavya’ āmāra: ‘What shall I do?’ Doesn’t matter what is your age, young man or old man. You must execute the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, paramparā, Caitanya Mahāprabhu and your guru. That is real life of devotional service, to take some responsibility for working and execute it to your best capacity.
“It is a great responsibility you now have.”
So it is up to you to learn it and be able to present it nicely. Now you have everything, respect, philosophy, money, temples, books, all these things I have given, but I am an old man and my notice is already there. Now it is up to you all how to manage it. If you cannot increase it, you should at least maintain what I have given you. You cannot accuse me that I have not given you anything. So it is a great responsibility you now have.” Letter to Jagannatha Suta – August 26, 1975
Garden #1-corn is now 7 feet high, and the peas , well we have more than we can deal with, the pole beans are coming up as well as the basil, brassicas, coriander, etc. This project is very pleasing to Srila Prabhupada, of this, there is not doubt. Everyone doesn’t have to do this, although they should, but pick some project– and do it for the pleasure of God and guru. Just sitting in your house/apt and chanting Hare Krsna is nice, but as we can see from the above purports, that is hardly the end of our business of service.