Don’t Be Attached

( – Don’t Be Attached – Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja

June 17, 2006
Badger, California

I am happy that our five days of classes have passed very well. Everything is going well.

Today was Govardhana Annakuta (worship of Govardhana hill and offering him a mountain of foodstuffs), with Vedic rules and regulations (riti) and mantras, bathing Govardhana silas with five substances – ghee, honey, milk, sugar and yogurt, abhiseka kirtana, go-puja (worship of the cow), brahmana-puja (worship of the brahmanas), guru-puja and all other appropriate activities. This festival was very excellent. When I come here I remember Govardhana Hill. He is really here. Yamuna river is also here, with her waterfalls, and Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda are also here.

Regarding our daily discussions on the Eleventh Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Lord Sri Krsna is telling Uddhava about the discussion between Avadhuta Dattatreya and Maharaja Yadu. [*See Endnote 1] Dattatreya has been explaining his 24 natural siksa-gurus, and in that regard we have explained up to the pigeon.

Those who want to perform bhajana should remember how the pigeon was absorbed in his engagement with his wife and children. What happened to him because of this? He could not see his death before him, and he himself thus fell into the trap of the hunter and lost his life. Always remember this. As for the hunter, he became very happy. He collected the he-pigeon’s children and wife, along with the he-pigeon in his net, threw the net over his shoulder, went home and cooked them all. Remember this: Don’t be attached; don’t be attached.

All living beings want happiness and they want to stop suffering, but still suffering comes. Suffering comes and does not leave us, so that we may taste it. We will have to suffer, wherever we live. Those who know what is happiness and suffering should not exert any effort for them. If happiness is there in one’s destiny from previous lives, it will come automatically.


tat-prayaso na kartavyo
yata ayur-vyayah param
na tatha vindate ksemam


[“Endeavors merely for sense gratification or material happiness through economic development are not to be performed, for they result only in a loss of time and energy, with no actual profit. If one’s endeavors are directed toward Krsna consciousness, one can surely attain the spiritual platform of self-realization. There is no such benefit from engaging oneself in economic development.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.6.4)]

You should not do anything for sense gratification. All kinds of happiness will come automatically, as it is destined. In this regard, Dattatreya has given an example of a python.

The python lives only in one place. Even if he does not eat for so many days, he will not try to obtain food. If any animal automatically comes in front of him without any effort on his part, he will eat it and be satisfied. A sadhu should be like that – always engaging his senses in Krsna consciousness.


samrddha-kamo hino va
narayana-paro munih
notsarpeta na susyeta
saridbhir iva sagarah


[“During the rainy season the swollen rivers rush into the ocean, and during the dry summer the rivers, now shallow, severely reduce their supply of water. Yet, the ocean does not swell up during the rainy season, nor does it dry up in the hot summer. In the same way, a saintly devotee who has accepted the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the goal of his life will sometimes receive by providence great material opulence, and sometimes he will find himself materially destitute. However, such a devotee of the Lord does not rejoice in a flourishing condition, nor is he morose when poverty-stricken.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.8.7)]


drstva striyam deva-mayam
tad-bhavair ajitendriyah
pralobhitah pataty andhe
tamasy agnau patanga-vat


[“One who has failed to control his senses immediately feels attraction upon seeing a woman’s form, which is created by the illusory energy of the Supreme Lord. Indeed, when the woman speaks with enticing words, smiles coquettishly and moves her body sensuously, his mind is immediately captured. He thus falls blindly into the darkness of material existence, just as the moth maddened by the fire rushes blindly into its flames.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.8.7)]

Sannyasis, brahmacaris and brahmacarinis should all be very careful. The moth sees the flame of a fire, and at once becomes attached. He goes circling and then jumps into it. What is the meaning? You must be careful. Be aware that ladies are daivi-maya (the bodies of ladies are manifestations of God’s illusory energy). They are even more beautiful than gentlemen. And for women, men are maya. So always be very, very careful.

There are two kinds of varna-asrama: smarta and daivi. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja tried to establish daivi varna-asrama dharma. If you are married, you should be satisfied with one husband or wife. You should not change or divorce your husband or wife for your entire life. This is varna-asrama. We should accept what is favorable for us and reject what is unfavorable. This will be helpful in our Krsna consciousness.

Persons who are attached to gold and ornaments and other perishable things, and always want to relish them, are foolish. They should not do so.


stokam stokam grased grasam
deho varteta yavata
grhan ahimsann atisthed
vrttim madhukarim munih


[“A saintly person should accept only enough food to keep his body and soul together. He should go from door to door accepting just a little bit of food from each family. Thus he should practice the occupation of the honeybee.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.8.9)]

Renounced-order sannyasis should be like bumblebees. They should go to the householders’ homes, after the householder has taken his lunch. They should not be a burden on any householders. They should take a little from each of so many houses – as bumblebees take just a little honey from each of many flowers. Sannyasis should be like that. They should not be a burden on anyone.

Dattatreya said, “I have learned from the bumblebees that sannyasis should not collect for the evening or the next day. They should collect enough foodstuffs for taking one time, and they should be satisfied. If the bumblebees collect extra, the honey collector will come and take their beehive, place it in his cloth and squeeze it (squashing the bees inside) to get out the honey.” Don’t be like those bees.


padapi yuvatim bhiksur
na sprsed daravim api
sprsan kariva badhyeta
karinya anga-sangatah


[“A saintly person should never touch a young girl. In fact, he should not even let his foot touch a wooden doll in the shape of a woman. By bodily contact with a woman he will surely be captured by illusion, just as the elephant is captured by the she-elephant due to his desire to touch her body.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.8.13)]

Sannyasis and brahmacaris should be very careful – otherwise they will be like the he-elephant who is captured by a she-elephant. Ladies may come and attract a sannyasi, and thus he falls down. Due to his attachment he thinks, “What I have done is okay. I have left sannyasa – no harm. It is okay – we should be householders.” If such a thing is okay, then why did Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Nimbaditya and Visnusvami and their generations create hundreds of thousands of sannyasis? In our sampraydaya, Madhavendra Puripada, Isvara Puripada and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu were sannyasis, and so many sannyasis are still coming in our sampradaya. Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura made tridandi sannyasis, and they are still coming. Renunciation is very good, and it comes after some time.

Try to conquer your senses – especially the tongue. The tongue has no backbone. It is not controlled; it can tell anything to anyone. We should try to control it. If your tongue is controlled, all other senses will be controlled.

The fish cannot control his tongue. Fish are found in ponds, rivers and oceans. Fishermen go there and try to catch the fish by using a fishing rod and attaching some flesh as the bait. The fish at once jumps and takes the bait, and it is caught. Then, the fisherman takes the fish home and cooks it.

We should try to control our tongue. Don’t speak anything wrong. Vaco vegam – if the tongue is controlled, there will be no offense to Vaisnavas, to the holy names or to anyone in general.

Dattatreya continued speaking to King Yadu, and now he told him about his siksa-guru named Pingala. In ancient times, in Videha-nagari where King Janaka used to live, there was a prostitute named Pingala. A sadhaka should always remember this history of Pingala. *[See endnote 1]


asa hi paramam duhkham
nairasyam paramam sukham
yatha sanchidya kantasam
sukham susvapa pingala


[“Material desire is undoubtedly the cause of the greatest unhappiness, and freedom from such desire is the cause of the greatest happiness. Therefore, completely cutting off her desire to enjoy so-called lovers, Pingala very happily went to sleep.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.8.44)]

After experiencing miseries and frustration in her profession, she gave up her worldly desires and began to think, “Lord Krsna is very dear to my heart, but I have not tried to please Him. Regarding these persons who will die one day – what happiness have they given to me? No happiness at all. They enjoyed my body, I became theirs, and I lost everything. Somehow, by the mercy of Krsna, I have now renounced them, and this renunciation will take me to Krsna.”

Pingala then closed the door of her house, lied down to sleep and slept very well. And afterwards she became a good devotee. We should always remember this history, and try to be very careful.

The avadhuta named Dattatreya explained all this to King Yadu, and Lord Krsna repeated that explanation to Uddhava. Why did He tell this history? He did this to teach you that you must detach yourself from this world. Don’t have any attachment to this world; give your whole heart to please Krsna. Life is short, but it can give the highest goal – even service to Srimati Radhika. We do not know when death will come, so we should give our entire effort and energy to Krsna consciousness.

Gaura premanande.

Tamopaha prabhu has kindly donated a mini-bus for the school children and teachers to travel here and there, to preach. I want this school to progress. So many children from all over the world should come here, and this should be an ideal school. It is ideal already.

[*Endnote 1 – from Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.8.22-44. Spoken by the avadhuta (sage) Dattatreya:

O son of kings, previously in the city of Videha there dwelled a prostitute named Pingala. Now please hear what I have learned from that lady. Once that prostitute, desiring to bring a lover into her house, stood outside in the doorway at night, showing her beautiful form. O best among men, this prostitute was very anxious to get money, and as she stood on the street at night she studied all the men who were passing by, thinking, “Oh, this one surely has money. I know he can pay the price, and I am sure he would enjoy my company very much.” Thus she thought about all the men on the street.

As the prostitute Pingala stood in the doorway, many men came and went, walking by her house. Her only means of sustenance was prostitution, and therefore she anxiously thought, “Maybe this one who is coming now is very rich…Oh, he is not stopping, but I am sure someone else will come. Surely this man who is coming now will want to pay me for my love, and he will probably give lots of money.” Thus, with vain hope, she remained leaning against the doorway, unable to finish her business and go to sleep. Out of anxiety she would sometimes walk out toward the street, and sometimes she went back into her house. In this way, the midnight hour gradually arrived.

As the night wore on, the prostitute, who intensely desired money, gradually became morose, and her face dried up. Thus being filled with anxiety for money and most disappointed, she began to feel a great detachment from her situation, and happiness arose in her mind. The prostitute felt disgusted with her material situation and thus became indifferent to it. Indeed, detachment acts like a sword, cutting to pieces the binding network of material hopes and desires. Now please hear from me the song sung by the prostitute in that situation.

O King, just as a human being who is bereft of spiritual knowledge never desires to give up his false sense of proprietorship over many material things, similarly, a person who has not developed detachment never desires to give up the bondage of the material body. The prostitute Pingala said: “Just see how greatly illusioned I am! Because I cannot control my mind, just like a fool I desire lusty pleasure from an insignificant man. I am such a fool that I have given up the service of that person who, being eternally situated within my heart, is actually most dear to me. That most dear one is the Lord of the universe, who is the bestower of real love and happiness and the source of all prosperity. Although He is in my own heart, I have completely neglected Him. Instead I have ignorantly served insignificant men who can never satisfy my real desires and who have simply brought me unhappiness, fear, anxiety, lamentation and illusion. Oh, how I have uselessly tortured my own soul! I have sold my body to lusty, greedy men who are themselves objects of pity. Thus practicing the most abominable profession of a prostitute, I hoped to get money and sex pleasure.

“This material body is like a house in which I, the soul, am living. The bones forming my spine, ribs, arms and legs are like the beams, crossbeams and pillars of the house, and the whole structure, which is full of stool and urine, is covered by skin, hair and nails. The nine doors leading into this body are constantly excreting foul substances. Besides me, what woman could be so foolish as to devote herself to this material body, thinking that she might find pleasure and love in this contraption? Certainly in this city of Videha I alone am completely foolish. I neglected the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who awards us everything, even our original spiritual form, and instead I desired to enjoy sense gratification with many men. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is absolutely the most dear one for all living beings because He is everyone’s well-wisher and Lord. He is the Supreme Soul situated in everyone’s heart. Therefore I will now pay the price of complete surrender, and thus purchasing the Lord I will enjoy with Him just like Laksmidevi.

“Men provide sense gratification for women, but all these men, and even the demigods in heaven, have a beginning and an end. They are all temporary creations who will be dragged away by time. Therefore how much actual pleasure or happiness could any of them ever give to their wives? Although I most stubbornly hoped to enjoy the material world, somehow or other detachment has arisen in my heart, and it is making me very happy. Therefore the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu, must be pleased with me. Without even knowing it, I must have performed some activity satisfying to Him.

“A person who has developed detachment can give up the bondage of material society, friendship and love, and a person who undergoes great suffering gradually becomes, out of hopelessness, detached and indifferent to the material world. Thus, due to my great suffering, such detachment awoke in my heart; yet how could I have undergone such merciful suffering if I were actually unfortunate? Therefore, I am in fact fortunate and have received the mercy of the Lord. He must somehow or other be pleased with me. With devotion I accept the great benefit that the Lord has bestowed upon me. Having given up my sinful desires for ordinary sense gratification, I now take shelter of Him, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

“I am now completely satisfied, and I have full faith in the Lord’s mercy. Therefore I will maintain myself with whatever comes of its own accord. I shall enjoy life with only the Lord, because He is the real source of love and happiness. The intelligence of the living entity is stolen away by activities of sense gratification, and thus he falls into the dark well of material existence. Within that well he is then seized by the deadly serpent of time. Who else but the Supreme Personality of Godhead could save the poor living entity from such a hopeless condition?

“When the living entity sees that the entire universe has been seized by the serpent of time, he becomes sober and sane and at that time detaches himself from all material sense gratification. In that condition the living entity is qualified to be his own protector.”

The avadhuta said: Thus, her mind completely made up, Pingala cut off all her sinful desires to enjoy sex pleasure with lovers, and she became situated in perfect peace. Then she sat down on her bed. Material desire is undoubtedly the cause of the greatest unhappiness, and freedom from such desire is the cause of the greatest happiness. Therefore, completely cutting off her desire to enjoy so-called lovers, Pingala very happily went to sleep.

Editor: Syamarani dasi
Transcriber and typist: Vasanti dasi
Proof-reader: Krsna-kamini dasi

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