23rd Oct 2002
Kalacakra das

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Here is an interesting verse from 1.6.21 that caught my attention. Narada Muni speaks to Vyasadev about his previous life. 

hantāsmiñ janmani bhavān mā māṁ draṣṭum ihārhati
avipakva-kaṣāyāṇāṁ durdarśo ’haṁ kuyoginām

"O Narada [the Lord spoke], I regret that during this lifetime you will not be able to see Me anymore. Those who are incomplete in service and who are not completely free from all material taints can hardly see Me."

The interesting word here is 'avipakva' which Prabhupada translates as 'immature' in the word-word equivalents. The etymology of the word is interesting. The word 'pakva' means 'mature'.

Literally speaking, we use the word 'pakva' in a slightly modified way in the colloqial hindi and other Indian languages as 'pakhana' (like khana-pakhana meaning 'cooking food'). Generally cooking process like baking, frying or boiling involves heating. When a vegetable, say potato, is fresh, it is not eatable. But when it is cooked nicely, it becomes palatable. The idea behind this word being used in two closely related meanings is that, unless one(whether it is a vegetable or living entity) goes through the painful process of heating (in case of living entities, it is the burning pains in his life), he does not become mature. That's why generally maturity builds with age and experience. This gives all the more reasons to respect and listen to the elders' words of wisdom, because those words come as a result of personal experiences and realizations from those experience. In devotional service also, we go thru the same process. So maturity is very important for devotional service. That happens over time, by going thru severe painful experiences in this world, patiently tolerating them, by getting hit in all corners and then finally surrendering unto the Lord saying 'Vasudeva sarvam iti'. Krishna says that 'such a great soul is very rare'. How fortunate are we to take to such a powerful process ?!

Thank you very much,
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada
Kalacakra das