Avoiding Artificial Necessities of Life

Avoiding Artificial Necessities of Life

Vajrang dasanudas

Hare Krishna, Prabhujis and Matajis,

Kindly accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Sril Prabhupad and to Gurudev.

I would like to share some instructive points from purport on S.B. 2.2.3 by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.

atah kavir naamasu yaavad arthah
syaad apramatto vyavasaaya-buddhih
siddhe 'nyathaarthe na yateta tatra
parishramam tatra samikshamaanah

"For this reason the enlightened person should endeavor only for the minimum necessities of life while in the world of names. He should be intelligently fixed and never endeavor for unwanted things, being competent to perceive practically that all such endeavors are merely hard labor for nothing."

Srila Prabhupada expands the points in this verse very beautifully in his purport.

1. "The whole material creation is a jugglery of names only; in fact, it is nothing but a bewildering creation of matter like earth, water and fire. The buildings, furniture, cars, bungalows, mills, factories, industries, peace, war or even the highest perfection of material science, namely atomic energy and electronics, are all simply bewildering names of material elements with their concomitant reactions of the three modes."

It is really startling to think over this powerful point. Up until now, if we reminisce over our past, there are so many things, activities, entities, persons etc which came in our way only to disappear into oblivion in due course of time. It is same case with us too - we have also entered and exited in so many persons life - some briefly, some for a little longer, but at the best only temporarily. Remembering this point is very essential for our life, otherwise the sense of possessive nature always occupy our minds and we utterly waste our time thinking over possessing all these persons and objects.

It is for this reason many times we use statements like, "it is for namesake only", "just for namesake". One who knows that this world is only a jugglery of names, will also stay in this world, 'just for namesake'. But a devotee, in addition to being detached from this world, lives in this world and does every activity 'for namesake only' - ie., holy name's sake! The best example is saints like Srila Prabhupada whose every action was geared towards spreading the holy names all over the world.

2. The next important point is that - "One should never endeavor for unwanted things". Here the term 'unwanted' may apparently seem like it depends on each person and situation, but if we really delve deep inside, we can survive on very minimum needs. All we need is to practice some amount of austerity in the beginning and once we get used to it, it will become our natural way of life. For eg., if we get used to sleeping on the floor, it will become our natural way of life, on the other hand, if we train our mind and body to sleep in a comfortable cot & mattress, we will get used to that luxury and sleeping on the floor will appear like an austerity and next to impossible. Not only that, the result of such unwanted comfort is as mentioned rightly in the above purport - "...the concomitant reactions of the three modes". Sleeping in very comfortable mattresses with foamy pillows only make us more and more lazy and at the same time we end up getting back pain and neck pains.

This is the reason our spiritual master H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj, who has always lived his life in the most simple and austere manner always advices us to make our lives very simple by reducing all the artificial necessities like

a) Beds and pillows (the lesser the foam in our homes, the better it is for the healthy upkeep of our body and minds).
b) The no. of unwanted electrical and electronic appliances (the more electrical and magnetic waves that surrounds us, the more it is harmful to our health). Infact, he would often say, there should be light in our homes just enough so that two people don't bang on each other. 
c) Soaps, lotions, scents etc which contain artificial harmful chemicals. He would always suggest chickpea flour for using while bathing, which is very natural and harmless.
d) Unwanted usage of medicines especially allopathic which has so many side-effects.The alternative is to use food that has natural medicinal values like ginger, haldi, ghee, cinnamon, black salt etc. By using these in our daily meal, diseases will not even approach us. 

In this way, if we make our lives simple, we will have lots of time for practicing devotional service - there will be no complaints such as "I have no time for chanting" or "I have no time to read Prabhupada's books". 

Thank you very much
Your humble servant
Vajraanga dasanudas