Prabhu: It is said that when we chant the Holy Name there is a cleansing process in the heart. How does it practically happen?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Practically, you want to know if it’s like vacuum cleaners or brooms? Is it like an acid wash, you want to know if it’s organic and no toxic fumes? [Everyone laughing] What do you mean?
Prabhu: Does Krishna take it or does the sound purify us?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Oh, it means you’re worried if you have to clean it? Your mess, you clean. [Everyone laughing]
No, the point is is that the cleansing means you give up the desires, so if there is no desire, it doesn’t exist. Does that make sense? So Krishna mentions in the Gita that for the devotee that are sincere then Krishna, like the bee is going and picking nectar from all the flowers, that Krishna goes and takes all these things out of the heart of the devotee. So Krishna Himself takes it. But He is not going to take away something you want. You want it, it stays in.
It’s like cleaning out the closet. Unlimited junks are there. You don’t even think about it. You know there is one or two things in there that need to be thrown out. So then you decide, ok, we are cleaning this closet. So then you go in, you drag out all the stuff and there is like a hundred things in there. So the easiest thing is is, basically you don’t think about it, you don’t use anything, just take it all and throw it out. But as as soon as it comes out, you go, “Oh, this, oh, wow, look at that, oh, I wondered where that were!” No? And then, what happens? It goes back in the closet. So because you wanted it, then it’s brought out and it passes before you to see if you want it. You don’t want it, it gets thrown out. You want it, goes back in the closet.
So that’s why sometimes you see, you know, you’re just doing your normal stuff and mind is seemingly peaceful. Then you sit down to start chanting, so many things come into the mind, and then you get worried, oh, so many material desires! All it is is the chanting is just bringing those out of the heart and they are just going by your vision on the way out, you know, and as long as you just let them go, then there is no problem. But if you take one of them and start contemplating it, then it doesn’t go.
Prabhu: We sincerely want to get rid of anger and greed and lust…
HH BVPS Maharaja: So let them go.
Prabhu: How to let them go?
HH BVPS Maharaja: You see, you have a hand here [Maharaja showing a clenched fist], if you hold on to something, it doesn’t go. You have relax the muscles on the arm, the forearm, not about these muscles [the upper part of the arm], this is just moving the arm up and down, these ones here are connected to the hand, so if you relax them, and let’s go! [Everyone laughing]. You just have to not want them.
So that means then you have to pray to Krishna that you will give them up. So by the grace of Lord Nityananda Prabhu one can give up material desire. But it’s said you get Nityananda’s Prabhu grace by Advaita Acarya’s grace. Because Advaita Acarya then is in charge of the false ego. So therefore by Advaita Acarya’s grace one can give up the desire that I am the controller and enjoyer. Means, and if you give that up, that’s the original weakness of heart. And then what specifics you have in this lifetime, those are details. So by giving up the principle of wanting to control and enjoy, then the details of wanting to control and enjoy will be easier. So by Advaita Acarya’s grace you can give up the Purusha-bhava, the desire to control and enjoy and by Nityananda Prabhu’s grace you can give up the interest in the material world. And then by Their grace, then you can get the mercy of Lord Caitanya, which is to develop love for Krishna.
The process is how to develop love for Krishna. That’s the purpose. Giving up the material world is just a by-product. What’s the point, you want the potato, when you go into the kitchen, the whole point is to get the potato for cooking or to get rid of all those peels on all those potatoes? You are just sitting out in the living room and thinking of all those potatoes with all those peels on them, you just can’t stand this, you have to get up from the living room, go in the kitchen and peel all those potatoes and throw away all those potatoes, then you can go back and sit peacefully in the living room, right? So what’s it about, the potato or the skins? But to have the potato, you’ve got to get rid of the skin. The process of getting the potato removes the skin. So the process of developing love of Krishna gets rid of material desire. But we tend to look at it separately, how to remove all this from our heart, rather than how to fill our heart with Krishna-prema. So the reason you remove the material desire because it’s taking up the space that the prema should be in. Does that make sense? So the process of Krishna consciousness is positive. We’re dealing with the positive, the negative automatically takes place. So if you focus on trying to develop love for Krishna, then all the negative elements go away. So in other words, why do you want to give up that material desire? What’s the reason?
Prabhu: They disturb the situation, if I am envious or angry, it brings offenses…
HH BVPS Maharaja: And what’s the problem with the situation being disturbed?
Prabhu: Then suffering comes…
HH BVPS Maharaja: And what’s wrong with suffering? I mean, somehow or other, Russians like Tchaikovsky. And if that’s not suffering I don’t know what is.
Prabhu: We cannot experience love all the time because we see so much dirt and so many other things…
HH BVPS Maharaja: But why are you looking at the dirt and the other things?
Prabhu: That’s all I see…
HH BVPS Maharaja: So if that’s all you see then that’s all you experience. This is my point. It’s not about the potato peels. It’s about the potatoes. So start looking at devotional service. Anartha-nivrtti is part of devotional service, it’s not in itself devotional service. Do you understand? You know, it’s just like you want to sit with friends in a place and have nice conversation, but the place is dirty, so you have to clean it so you can sit and discuss. But all you’re looking at is dirt, and seeing dirt everywhere and now you take up the thing that you’re going to remove the universe of dirt, then…? Do you understand?
The process is about developing love for Krishna. Anartha-nivrtti is one of the things you do. Just like, let’s say you want to drive the car. Now, in the process, let’s say, turning off the handbrake is one of the things you do. But is driving your car all about turning off the handbrake? So devotional service isn’t all about anartha-nivrtti. Even if you were very good and expert in removing all the anarthas from the heart and you have this nice, clean, pure heart, now what? What are you going to do with it?
Mataji: Then from that point we could start loving.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah, but then you have this completely, totally empty heart. Because all you’ve done is removed dirt from the heart, you’ve never actually added any prema.
Mataji: How can we add prema if it’s all full with envy, anger and other dirt?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Ok, let’s say we take out 5 percent of the dirt. So now, can we put in 5 percent prema?
Mataji: I don’t know.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Why don’t you know?
Mataji: This is not a mechanical process.
HH BVPS Maharaja: So then, but anartha nivrtti, by removing everything and all that, then starting prema, isn’t that mechanical?
Mataji: We don’t know but we would like to ask how the whole process is working, what should we do to remove the anarthas from the heart?
HH BVPS Maharaja: By focusing on developing love for Krishna. And what’s unfavorable for developing love for Krishna, that’s removed.
Mataji: Is it not a closed circle?
HH BVPS Maharaja: No, because the devotional service is the end gain. You’re taking it that it’s just going around in a circle. You have to stop your circle somewhere.
Let’s say, you go into your kitchen. You want to cook. So now, if the kitchen is clean, you just start cooking. What if one pot in the kitchen is dirty, what do you do?
Mataji: I will wash the pot.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Ok, what happens if the whole kitchen is dirty?
Mataji: I will clean it first.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Ok, now, if one pot is dirty, you can use another pot to start cooking.
Mataji: Yes, I can do, but this is not very pleasant.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Ok…. [Maharaja is silent for about a minute], ok, let’s try this. Let’s say, you have a young couple. They want to get married. So, they have that interest, but in the process they’ll need a house, they’ll need so many facilities. Can they get married?
HH BVPS Maharaja: And does the relationship between them work?
Mataji: It depends on the strength of their relationship.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Ok, ok, yeah. So, but they don’t have a house, they’re renting somewhere. Do you understand? They don’t have a car, they’re taking the bus.
Mataji: If they are for real, then it’s not a problem.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Ok, so if you are for real, you can cook in a kitchen even if one pot is dirty. [Applause] In other words, is it about cleaning or is it about cooking?
(From Lecture by HH Bhaktividya Purna Swami Maharaja, Israel, Kibbutz Enbar, 19 July 2013)