This course is part of Sastra-Caksus, Year 2 and consists of 25 lectures, available on:

Given in Bhaktivedanta Academy, Sridham Mayapur November-December 2011

The following are lecture notes briefly delineating its contents.

  • Based on 12 essays by Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura on items favorable and unfavorable for devotional service, mentioned in v. 2-3 of Nectar of Instruction.


  • In regular writing one repeats important things, but in concise writings there should not be repetition.
  • Atyahara is not only overeating, but excessive engagement of any sense. Anna-maya platform is only based on sensual activities.
  • The idea that the engagement of the senses with sense objects can be given up is an imagination. Every embodied soul, not only conditioned ones, engage their senses with the sense objects.
  • Senses engaged with sense objects in connection to Krishna is not sense gratification.
  • 8:00 Our philosophy is about transformation, not illusion like the Mayavadi's.
  • [Joke] [after loud mantra chanting from the Gurukula children] Chanting is the primary and hearing philosophy is in support of the chanting.
  • 10:50 Using senses for enjoyment is mundane transformation. Engaging senses for the pleasure of the Lord becomes devotional.
  • 11:40 Devotional service means good qualities, but good qualities do not necessarily mean devotional service.
  • Engagements of the senses and their results are provided by the Lord by His mercy, and they should be engaged in His service.
  • 13:45 Real renunciation means giving up the sense of possession.


    14:45 Reading from Nectar of Instruction Study Guide: If one accepts sense objects in the spirit of enjoyment, this is atyahara.

    HH BVPS Maharaja: So, even if it's a small amount, like even if it's just one teaspoon of halava, or, let's say, one dessert spoon of halava, then still, if it's for sense gratification then it's atyahara. But if one is fully absorbed in Krishna, one can eat a whole bucket of halavah and it's not atyahara.

    Reading: But if sense objects are accepted as the Lord's mercy and only as far as required...

    HH BVPS Maharaja: So, if you require a bucket, you eat a bucket, if you don't require a bucket, then you eat less. So there is the hitch. It's always, 'Yeah, great! Ohhh... Okay..."

    Reading: But if sense objects are accepted as the Lord's mercy and only as far as required and favorable to devotional service, then it is not atyahara.

  • Lord Caitanya has ordered to accept sense objects without attachment and chant the Holy Names of the Lord. The application is different for householders and for renunciants. Householders should have earnings and savings and use them to serve the Lord, guests etc.
  • Grihastha satisfying family members - one should make the endeavor, but they should also be progressing in the spiritual life. They should see their available sense objects as the Lord's mercy and accept them only as much as required.
  • We are attached to the idea of being the controller and enjoyer, so whether we can do so by renunciation, or by engaging the senses, we grab the possibility.
  • Krishna consciousness is self-realization, so each individual has to individually understand its position.
  • What is honestly required will be different for everyone, but there has to be that connection to Krishna. Kuwaitis in London during Kuwait war were in trouble because they only had 10,000 GBP per day.
  • Is new bhakta overeating halavah on the Sunday feast atyahara or yukta-vairagya?
  • A renunciant should not collect at all - he should only accept the alms every day as the Lord's mercy; otherwise he would be guilty of atyahara.
  • One should not be lazy, but make a proper endeavor, in whatever situation.
  • To define our basics, we should be able to define why the things we have are important for us.
  • 25% is the standard money that one puts away for emergencies.
  • If there is no difficulty maintaining ourselves, that probably means our needs and endeavors are in proper order. If there is difficulty, it usually means that either we are not properly endeavoring, or our needs are unreasonable.
  • Mayavadi's collecting knowledge is also atyahara because it is not by the Lord's grace and is not favorable to Krishna consciousness.
  • One's duties and quota should be determined by what is based on shruti and smriti, defined by acaryas and what works in one's own life.


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