Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON ; SPIRITNET

Beans, Bullets, and Bhagavad-gitas

"So we are the cause of material bondage and freedom from material world. We are, ourself, the cause. There is no other cause.

"Now it is our choice whether we want to become a devotee or whether we want to remain a demon. That is my choice"
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"So we are the cause of material bondage and freedom from material world. We are, ourself, the cause. There is no other cause. Simply we have to develop either this demonic characteristic or the divine characteristic."
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"We should not allow our desires, demonic desires, to grow. That is called tapasya. Our desires we should sacrifice. That is called sacrifice. We should only accept Kṛṣṇa's desire."

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"So there are characteristics. By the characteristics we can understand who is a godly man and who is a demonic man. So they are stated. And the next verse is that daivī sampad vimokṣāya. If one has these divine characteristics, then he is eligible for going to the spiritual world. Vimokṣāya. Daivī sampad vimokṣāya nibandhāyaāsurī matā [Bg. 16.5]. But these demonic characteristic, dambho darpaḥ abhimānaś ca pāruṣyam ajñānaṁ sampad āsurī, if we develop this kind of characteristic, then it is our material bondage. So we are the cause of material bondage and freedom from material world. We are, ourself, the cause. There is no other cause. Simply we have to develop either this demonic characteristic or the divine characteristic. So human life is meant for developing divine characteristic, not this demonic char... Demonic characteristic is already there. Just like dambhaḥ. A dog has also pride: "I am this dog, grr." (laughter) "I am fox terrier. I am this. I am that." So dambhaḥ is there even in the dog, even in the lower animal, even in the cat. But the divine characteristic, "Oh, I am so low," Tṛṇād api sunīcena, "I am lower than the grass. I am lower than the grass"... This is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's teaching."
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"Now it is our choice whether we want to become a devotee or whether we want to remain a demon. That is my choice. Kṛṣṇa says that "You give up this demonic engagement and surrender to Me." That is Kṛṣṇa's desire. But if you do not agree with Kṛṣṇa's desire, if you want to enjoy your own desire, then also, Kṛṣṇa is also pleased, He will supply you the necessities. But that is not very good. We should agree to Kṛṣṇa's desires. We should not allow our desires, demonic desires, to grow. That is called tapasya. Our desires we should sacrifice. That is called sacrifice. We should only accept Kṛṣṇa's desire. That is the instruction of the Bhagavad-gītā. Arjuna's desire was not to fight, but Kṛṣṇa's desire was to fight, just the opposite. Arjuna ultimately agreed to Kṛṣṇa's desire: "Yes," kariṣye vacanaṁ tava [Bg. 18.73]: "Yes, I will act according to Your desire." That is bhakti.
This is the difference bhakti and karma. Karma means to fulfill my desires, and bhakti means to fulfill Kṛṣṇa's desires. That is the difference. Now you make your choice, whether you want to make your desires fulfilled or if you want to make Kṛṣṇa's desire fulfilled. If you make your decision to make Kṛṣṇa's desire fulfilled, then your life is successful. That is our Kṛṣṇa conscious life. "Kṛṣṇa wants it; I must do it. I will not do anything for me." That is Vṛndāvana. All the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, they are trying to fulfill Kṛṣṇa's desire. The cowherds boys, the calves, the cows, the trees, the flowers, the water, the gopīs, the elderly inhabitants, mother Yaśodā, Nanda, they are all engaged in fulfilling Kṛṣṇa's desire. That is Vṛndāvana. So you can turn this material world into Vṛndāvana provided you agree to fulfill the desires of Kṛṣṇa. That is Vṛndāvana. And if you want to fulfill your own desires, that is material. This is the difference between material and spiritual."

Srila Prabhupada Bhagavad-gītā 16.4 —Hawaii, January 30, 1975

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