Power of Material Attachment

Dear Vaishnavas,
Please accept my humble pranams. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.

In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 3.30.4, Lord Kapila, has nicely explained about the power of our bodily attachments:

jantur vai bhava etasmin yāṁ yāṁ yonim anuvrajet
tasyāṁ tasyāṁ sa labhate nirvṛtiṁ na virajyate

The living entity, in whatever species of life he appears, finds a particular type of satisfaction in that species, and he is never averse to being situated in such a condition.

In his wonderful purport to the above verse Srila Prabhupada says: "The satisfaction of the living entity in a particular type of body, even if it is most abominable, is called illusion. A man in a higher position may feel dissatisfaction with the standard of life of a lower-grade man, but the lower-grade man is satisfied in that position because of the spell of maya, the external energy. Maya has two phases of activities. One is called prakshepātmikā, (pulling down) and the other is called aavaranātmikā (covering). In any condition of life, the materialistic person or animal will be satisfied because his knowledge is covered by the influence of maya."

I shall narrate a nice story that I heard in connection to this in one of the lectures of H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj.

Once Narada Muni went to a brahmana's house. The brahmana welcomed him and inquired Narada Muni, the purpose of his visit. Narada Muni said, that he was coming from Vaikuntha and that Lord Krishna was pleased by the brahmana's service and would like to meet him. The brahmana was thrilled, but he told Narada Muni that he had the responsibility of bringing up his children who were very young and so requested Narada Muni to come after 20 years. 20 years later when Narada Muni went again, the brahmana told him that he had to get his children married and so extended the wait time by another 10 years. Then the brahmana had got grand-children and was not willing to leave their company. So after 10 years, when the brahmana heard that Narada Muni was approaching his house, he started running down the stairs, in an attempt to escape from Narada Muni's sight and accidentally slipped from the stairs and died.

Narada Muni went back to Vaikuntha and learned from the Lord that the brahmana had taken birth in the form of a dog and was living with the same family. Narada Muni returned back to brahmana's house and asked the dog whether he remembered him. The dog acknowledged him and told him that he was busy guarding the house as his children had gone out and would come with him once they are back. When the children returned, Narada Muni approached the dog again. To his surprise dog looked at him and said, "Narada why are you after me so much? Can't you see that I am so busy guarding my house? Can't you find some other living entity?". After saying this the dog left.

In the purport to verse 3.30.5, Srila Prabhupada writes a similar incident wherein he mentions about how once Indra, the King of heaven, was cursed by his spiritual master, Bhaspati, on account of his misbehavior, and he became a hog on this planet. After many days, when Brahma wanted to recall him to his heavenly kingdom, Indra, in the form of a hog, forgot everything of his royal position in the heavenly kingdom, and he refused to go back. This is the spell of maya. Even Indra forgets his heavenly standard of life and is satisfied with the standard of a hog's life. Lord Krsna is personally canvassing, "Give up everything in this material world. Come to Me, and I shall give you all protection," But we are not agreeable. We think, "We are quite all right. Why should we surrender unto Krsna and go back to His kingdom?" This is called illusion, or maya. Everyone is satisfied with his standard of living, however abominable it may be.

Maharaj said, "Even in animal life, we are happy and we all look for some entertainment in life and comfort, even in temples we try to entertain our self and by doing so, we completely forget the real spiritual life which is full of austerities. How can we get out of this false attachment to our body? Is there any hope for living entities to get out from this big prison house - material world? The only hope for the living entities in this material world is association of pure devotee like Srila Prabhupada and strongly catching hold of His Lotus feet- nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva; there is no other way, no other way, no other way."

Thank you very much.
Your most fallen servant,
Murlidhara das