How to balance Spiritual life with Material Life

Siddesh JM, 09th May 2013

Hare Krishna Prabhu,
Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Srila Prabhupada,

I have one question how to manage Material life and Spiritual life?
Please answer me

*Best Regards *
* Siddesh JM
Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 09th May 2013

Dear Siddhesh,

Hare Krishna!

This is very good. Only a sincere devotee asks such questions.

For a devotee, there is no such thing as “material life”, everything a devotee does is meant to faciliate spiritual life. Some of it is direct devotional service, like chanting Hare Krishna every day, serving Guru and the Vaishnavas, but some items are indirect… for example, I work in the corporate world so that I can maintain my bodily needs and the needs of my family and serve the local temple, Guru and various projects around the world.

If you prioritize your spiritual life, then the material aspects of your life will automatically be taken care of. Krishna promises this in Bhagavad Gita 9.22

ananyāś cintayanto māṁ
ye janāḥ paryupāsate
teṣāṁ nityābhiyuktānāṁ
yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham

But those who always worship Me with exclusive devotion, meditating on My transcendental form — to them I carry what they lack, and I preserve what they have. BG 9.22.

Please keep trying – participate fully in this group’s activities, the book clubs, etc., study and work for full excellence but prioritize your spiritual practice first thing in the morning every single day and the last thing you do every night.

Devotees, please add your perspectives to help and encourage Siddhesh and help him become the real master of all achievements (Siddha(perfected)+ Isha(lord)), by helping him become a pure servant of Krishna.
Also, a personal request to all group members, please do not include your cell number, your website, etc., in your email signature. This is our group policy.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das
Sanil, 10th May 2013

Hare Krishna Prabhuji
Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Gurudeva

This is a very vast subject.  I am still trying to understand what is material life and what is spiritual life.  To manage the material life and spiritual life, firstly, I realised that I need to have a clear idea about what is material life and what is spiritual life.  I had a totally wrong concept about spiritual life, since I was flooded with wrong information from media and from different in appropriate sources.  When I got an opportunity to go through Bhagavad Gita As it is and when I got in touch with Srila Gurudeva, and all these devotees through this platform, what I understood is I need to change my present consciousness to Krishna consciousness.  The starting point what I understood is chanting 16 rounds of the mahamantra, strictly adhere to four regulative principles and surrender to a bonafide spiritual master, listen to his teachings and reading of Bhagavad Gita repeatedly and understand thoroughly.

your servant,
Sanil kumar
Siddesh Jm, 10th May 2013

Thanks prabhu
Jayakrishna, 10th May 2013

Hare Krishna!
JAYA SRILA PRABHUPADA!
JAYA SRILA GURUDEVA!
My humble obeisance at the lotus feet of devotees,

on this subject,what i learned from my beloved senior devotees can be summarised like this,

‘Any thing when connected with Krishna is spiritual,just like a wire connected to electricity is representing electricity’ thus if we do any thing favourable for
Krishna conciousnes,its spiritual,no doubt.

I think that by starting a discussion like this, siddhesh prabhuji is also doing a service to krishna by helping us to discuss and learn more on Krishna.

Please correct me,

your humble servant,
Jayakrishna
Harish, 11th May 2013

Hare Krsna Prabhu,

Thank you very much for asking this question. This question how to manage material life and spiritual life always remain somewhere in the psychic of the devotee till he fully surrenders to Krsna (gets completely purified from all material desires).

Nectar Of Devotion (1.1.11)
anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmady-anavrtam
anukulyena Krsnanu-silanam bhaktir uttama

“‘When first-class devotional service develops, one must be devoid of all material desires, knowledge obtained by monistic philosophy, and fruitive action. The devotee must constantly serve Krsna favorably, as Krsna desires.’

Discussing topics related to Krsna depicts one’s shraddha/faith in the process but one has to further enhance their shraddha/faith with devotees association, chanting and hearing more about Krsna from fully realized souls and serving them. Gradually gradually the shraddha will ripen and one is sure of Krsna’s protection in any situation like a child feels always protected under his parents shelter.

Sri Caitanya Caritamrta (Madhya 22.62)
sraddha-sabde – visvasa kahe sudrdha niscaya
Krsne bhakti kaile sarva-karma krta haya

TRANSLATION
Sraddha is confident, firm faith that by rendering transcendental loving service to Krsna one automatically performs all subsidiary activities. Such faith is favorable to the discharge of devotional service.

PURPORT (shortened)
Firm faith and confidence are called sraddha. When one engages in the Lord’s devotional service, he is to be understood to have performed all his responsibilities in the material world. He has satisfied his forefathers, ordinary living entities, and demigods and is free from all responsibility. Such a person does not need to meet his responsibilities separately. It is automatically done.

Bhagvad Gita 18.61
The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy.

jivera svarupa haya – Krsnera nitya-dasa
“It is the living entity’s constitutional position to be an eternal servant of Krsna.

A person is never independent.  Being eternal servant of Krsna, we have to act under Him, either under His internal energy or under his external illusory energy. That free will we have in the human form. Now it’s in our hand under whose control we want to act, which will decide where/how we would be acting in next birth, whether we want to serve our senses under the influence of external energy and remain entangled in the cycle of birth and death or by serving Krsna under protection of internal energy and get liberation.

Bhagvad Gita 3.27
The spirit soul bewildered by the influence of false ego thinks himself the doer of activities that are in actuality carried out by the three modes of material nature.

Sri Isopanishad (1) :
isavasyam idam sarvam
yat kinca jagatyam jagat
tena tyaktena bhuntitha
ma grdhah kasya svid dhanam

Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong.

So we need not unnecessary bother about our material needs as they are already there and automatically fulfilled due to our previous births activities (karmas). As Krsna says that a living entity in any species before he takes birth, all the arrangement of his livelihood is being already arranged by Him [Sri Isopanishad (1) mentioned above].

Hence persons who are actually intelligent and philosophically inclined should endeavor only for that purposeful end which is not obtainable even by wandering from the topmost planet (Brahmaloka) down to the lowest planet (Patala). As far as happiness derived from sense enjoyment is concerned, it can be obtained automatically in course of time, just as in course of time we obtain miseries even though we do not desire them. (SB 1.5.18)

But it does not mean that we start thinking that when everything is already there then why should I unnecessary endeavor at all. Let me sit at one place and chant like Sri Haridas Thakur. We should not artificially position ourselves as advances Vaishnavas or intimate the acaryas, we will immediately fall down with no chance of return.

As mentioned before, our constitutional position is such that we have to act either under the modes of nature satisfying our own serpent like senses or serving the senses of Krsna under His internal energy. So we should rather stick to our position and try to whole heartedly work for Krsna offering the results unto Him. This way both our material and spiritual obligations would be fulfilled. And same thing Krsna says – Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform — do that, O son of Kunti, as an offering to Me. (BG 9.27)
And in the same verse purport, Srila Prabhupada guides that it is the duty of everyone to mold his life in such a way that he will not forget Krsna in any circumstance.
And we understand by doing so one will remember Krsna at the time of death too and will go back to Godhead.

Thank you,

your servant
Harish
Harish, 11th May 2013

A related answer from Srila Gurudeva.
Jai Srila Gurudeva…

All glories unto You.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

15 January 2008
in New Dwarka, Los Angeles, California
—————————————————————–

A question I am often asked by devotees who are working jobs is “How do I remain Krishna conscious while I am in the material atmosphere of non-devotees at my job?”

The answer is that we should always see Krishna as the proprietor of everything and thus engage everything in His service. As long we consider ourselves to be the proprietors of anything within this material world we are setting ourselves up for being contaminated and bewildered by the influence of the Lord’s illusory energy. The key to always remaining in ecstatic Krishna consciousness is to always remain in the mood of service. In other words we have to always remain careful not to get carried away by the spirit of enjoyment that since I am working this job, this money belongs to me and I can spend it in any way I want for my enjoyment. As soon as we start thinking that we are the proprietors, immediately we lose our Krishna consciousness and our transcendental happiness goes away. But by always remembering that Krishna is the proprietor and engaging everything in His service, we can always feel great satisfaction within our hearts at every minute in all varieties of circumstances.

Another important point is that in the association of non-devotees we should never feel that we have to be like them. Rather we should conduct ourselves in such a way that they would like to become like us. This is known as leading by example. In all spheres of activity devotees are meant to be the leaders, who can guide everyone how to live perfect lives full of peace and happiness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Divyapriya M, 13th May 2013

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

I got reminded of a similar question asked to a senior devotee very recently at my local temple, and here is what the devotee replied, “Suppose you are in real need of money and someone says they have a lakh rupees and he is ready to give it away to you for free. No loan, no interest, nothing. Just free. You can simply go to his house and collect it. But however, he tells that and leaves. He leaves without mentioning his house address from where you can collect the cash. So, what will you do? Somehow or the other, hook or crook, day or night, you will gather all your contacts, and find his house address and go and collect the money, right? This is exactly the craving we should have for finishing this birth and going to Krishna. If you are determined, come what may, you will manage your daily affairs. Definitely, you will manage.”

Also, one other time, I remember HH Bhakti Vinoda Swami Maharaja mentioning something similar to this. He was giving the example of how in different stages of even our material lives, we are so obsessed with so many things and we work so very hard to obtain them. For example, when I was in high school, I had such an hectic schedule. School from morning 8 am to 4 pm and tuitions till 8:30 pm, and then had to come back home and study. So, typically, at least in the Indian education system, any diligent ambitious high school kid would work hard like anything to get into a premier university. Same in other phases of life. We have so many competitive exams like GMAT and CAT where people work like so so so hard to win over others by meager percentiles. They know it is very hard. For example, one of the competitive exams has around 8 lakh students appearing every year for just 3000 seats!! The candidates themselves know it is humanly impossible for everyone to get through, still they endeavor so hard!

Now, relating this to Krishna consciousness, ours comes with so much mercy! If only, even one day, we do diligent sadhana, our Guru and thereby Krishna get so pleased that They are ready to do anything for us. Compare this with the material exam obsession where you almost lose everything even when you sit back for a week
because you were genuinely ill. When the materialists are ready to put in so much effort on something they know for sure cannot be grabbed by everyone, and everyone has so much confidence that he/she WILL fall under the 3,000/8Lakh margin, and that too for a material education that would go away in a *bleep* (Gurudev style :D),
why can’t we struggle a little bit for something we know, for sure, will happen, and will stay with us eternally, given the most authentic words of Guru, sadhu and sastra? At least as neophytes, it is sure that we struggle, because we are not yet completely out of our material ambitions and a related schedule. But if we can remember the importance and dire need for Krishna consciousness in our lives, through the association of devotees, my intellect says it must be possible.

One devotee once told that, as devotees, sometimes, we do not have enough faith in Krishna as the materialists have in Maya. I’m also telling this to myself, but I’m very convinced that if only I always remember that, and feel inspired by how the materialists work hard (in a positive way, to work for Krishna), I can definitely work that extra bit and place myself safely in good sadhana and service, despite all my personal responsibilities and commitments (also given that I do not keep adding material commitments just because I will anyway somehow manage both).

I pray that I remember this and am always ready to work hard with a positive obsession for Krishna consciousness.

your servant,
Divyapriya

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