“Perfection of pure devotional service is attained when all attention is diverted towards the transcendental loving service of the Lord. To cut off the tie of all other affections does not mean complete negation of the finer elements, like affection for someone else. This is not possible. A living being, whoever he may be, must have this feeling of affection for others because this is a symptom of life. The symptoms of life, such as desire, anger, hankerings, feelings of attraction, etc., cannot be annihilated. Only the objective has to be changed. Desire cannot be negated, but in devotional service the desire is changed only for the service of the Lord in place of desire for sense gratification. The so-called affection for family, society, country, etc., consists of different phases of sense gratification. When this desire is changed for the satisfaction of the Lord, it is called devotional service.” (From Srimad Bhagavatam 1.8.42)
We were all born not by chance but by our own perfect selection, work and the way in which we chose to live our last life (some call this Karma or reincarnation). We took our birth in a particular family, situation and country, and got a specific type of body, mentality, set of desires just suiting the consciousness we cultivated over many lives. This birth, body, mind, circumstances etc was all specifically awarded to us in a very scientific system that has been in place since time immemorial. Since we are here in this situation and with our particular specific individual desires and mentality we are not going to change it too easily!!!
BUT we always have our free will! This we will never ever lose – this no one can take away from us no matter what!!! What we CAN do is choose HOW we use that nature.
We can use it however we want! But we must use our nature. We can pretend to be someone we are not but it will not work in the long run.
SO… if we use that conditioned nature that we have developed for enjoying this world and the things of this world exclusively and only for the satisfaction of our bodily senses and minds we will further develop only more attachments for matter and as we all know material objects will never ever satisfy us…
When we take control of our lives and use our natures and desires for spiritual activities that are centered around Krishna/God then our desires, mind and senses will be satisfied. There is an unlimited variety of devotional activities to do to make us happy – like chanting and reading Prabhupada’s books and doing service such as offering our vegetarian foods to Krishna and telling others about Him or doing Harinama (musical chanting commonly called Kirtan – google it if you don’t know this word). This way, by satisfying our desires, according to our nature and the pullings of our senses we will be perpetuated forward towards spiritual life and bliss and Krishna. This is what we want, to satisfy our individual nature and desires. so we must simply know what we really want and then do that for Krishna! :o)
The problem is often times we are not thinking. Many people first of all do not know what they want and second of all if they do know what they want they can not figure out how to engage that nature in Krishna’s service.
Once, one of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples approached him and asked him “what service should I do for Krishna?” Srila Prabhupada’s reply was “what service do you want to do?”
So we must be realistic and just try some small thing every day, whatever it is, just put our heart in it. Whatever your passionate about get into it and remember Krishna!
Really it’s quite simple – if you like to cook then when you cook offer it to Krishna. If you like to jog then when your jogging play a lecture of Srila Prabhupada or a Kirtan in your ipod, or just remember the pastimes of Krishna. Whatever you do your mind will be with you so really it’s a question of what your doing with your mind. As Srila Prabhupada said “the mind is our best friend or our worst enemy” and the Eagles sang “Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy”.
By doing these activities the sensual and mental gratification will still be there but by doing it in Krishna consciousness we will gradually free ourselves from suffering and repeated birth and death in this temporary world of matter. We will gradually become eligible to return back to the spiritual world in our eternal spiritual body that we have forgotten in our sojourn through this material sphere of existence.
This is called Bhakti-yoga (Bhakti-yoga = the process of devotion) or the Krishna path.
It is extremely difficult to change our nature (and we may not want to) but we can use it in an unlimited multitude of ways!
So be happy with your mind, your body, your desires, your taste in music, clothing, what you are attracted to, that is you. Now just add Krishna.
Everything is like a big vast ocean and we are in the center of it not able to see the extent of the awesomely engulfing body of water and it’s waves are tossing you about. We are like a tiny insignificant person floating in the vast churning water of material form, experience, emotions and desires. We are being tossed here and there uncontrollably by our karma and mind. Bhakti-yoga and the Krishna path is like a boat in this ocean. When your safe on that boat, you can still have fun surfing the tides of that ocean that was previously tossing you around from time immemorial, BUT now on the boat of Bhakti yoga you, the soul, will actually experience pleasure using your inborn desires for Krishna instead of just suffering and drowning in the currents. On the boat of Bhakti you also can at any time spread your sails and let yourself be carried to the spiritual world by the instructions (which are like favorable winds) from the realized spiritual masters like Srila Prabhupada, who are always there to guide us whenever we want it.
Desires are good and natural! So use them for Krishna don’t suppress them, allow them to guide you and pull you to Krishna and enjoy those desires to their full limit, just add Krishna!