Luxuries keep person away from seeking spiritual knowledge.

Those who seek luxuries cannot get spiritual knowledge. Spiritual path requires one to keep away from enjoyments. There are some lessons to be learnt. Some hardships required. Only then we will get used to the training and discipline.

That is why in Mysore ashram not all comforts are provided. Reaching Mysore ashram is itself a pilgrimage. On a battlefield one cannot choose his wants. “Obey the leader and begin the fight” is the golden rule there. Similarly in the spiritual path, desires and enjoyments cannot exist. You need to know this so that you can understand what should be the mental state of a disciple at the time of upadesha.

Vyasa incorporated Bhagavad Gita as part of the battle scene. A few years after the war the Pandavas returned to their kingdom and began to rule. A few years later, one fine morning, Arjuna recollected that Krishna had preached him Gita at the battlefield. He approached Krishna and asked, “Dear Krishna, that day when you were preaching my mind was unstable. I was in the battlefield and there was chaos all around. I cannot even remember what exactly you had preached. Now my mind is calm. There are no tensions. Why don’t you preach me again?”

Krishna smiled and agreed to begin the next morning. The next morning both of them settled down in the luxurious palatial room, on soft spongy, comfortable beds and Krishna began preaching. All along Krishna was smiling within himself, “This innocent devotee does not realize that these comforts are the main hurdles for spiritual lessons. On the contrary he feels that they are essential.”

As Krishna was preaching, at every moment some palace employee would approach Arjuna with a problem. He would whisper something into Arjuna’s ears and Arjuna in turn would softly tell him the solution. In this way 18 days went by and Krishna started singing the mangalam (conclusion). Arjuna was stunned. Did 18 days go by? Have you already finished? He asked Krishna. Totally immersed in his luxuries Arjuna failed to grasp anything. From this it is clear that luxuries are obstacles for spiritual growth.

  • Bhaktimala Sep 96

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