Spiritual Questions and Answers with Radhanath Swami

How to Restrain from the ‘Don’ts’? Radhanath Swami Provides a Solution

By on February 8, 2011 in Insights with 65 Comments
Spiritual Life means Restrain from the DontsQuestion to Radhanath Swami: I have heard of some ‘don’ts’ on the Bhakti path. But it seems intolerable to restrain from indulging in them. Do you have a solution?

Radhanath Swami: If you have a rash that is intolerably itching, the tendency is to scratch it, scratch it, scratch it, and keep scratching it. Did you ever have this experience? But as you scratch it, it makes the condition worse. From a little itch, spreading and growing, it becomes redder. But if you want to stop the itching, you have to somehow or other tolerate the scratch and the best way to do that is to occupy your mind and your hands in doing something else. Otherwise, if you are just meditating on the itch, “the itch, the itch,” it’s very difficult. But if you are doing something else, then it becomes tolerable. Idle mind is devil’s workshop.

So Prahald Maharaj, a grain saint, explained that all of these “don’ts” are like itches and the more we try to gratify them, the more the fire of karma increases. So Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita, “You must restrain your senses and simultaneously fix your consciousness upon me.”  Krishna is saying that you must resist those things that are unfavorable for devotional service, but not just that, replace it with the positive alternative of devotional service—purifying, dynamic, energizing and enjoyable activities in Krishna’s service. Experience a higher taste.

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