How to Remove Weed-like Desires?

ASK BVKS | May 1, 2016 |

English; Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India


If we are chanting the holy name of the Lord and reading Srimad Bhagavatam daily, then why are desires arising that are completely contrary to the process of pure devotional service? I know for a fact that I am suffering from weeds, how can I remove these weeds I suffer from like adoration, prestige, sense enjoyment, emancipation and so many others?

ANSWER by HH Bhakti Vikāsa Swami:

“A question in reference to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 2.2.30.
In purport toward the end, Prabhupāda says… This is quoting from, Śrīla Prabhupāda is quoting from and paraphrasing from, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s instructions to Rūpa Gosvāmī as stated in Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta about the creeper of devotional service.
By the mercy of guru and Kṛṣṇa one receives the seed of the creeper of devotional service. One has to water that creeper by giving water, figurative water, of hearing and chanting about Kṛṣṇa, then the creeper grows. Then Śrīla Prabhupāda writes:
3) “It so happens that by the watering process some weeds are also grown, and unless such weeds are uprooted, the nurturing of the main creeper, or the creeper of bhakti-yoga, may be hampered.
4) Actually these weeds are material enjoyment, merging of the self in the Absolute without separate individuality, and many other desires in the field of religion, economic development, sense enjoyment and emancipation.
5) There are many other weeds, like disobedience to the tenets of the revered scriptures, unnecessary engagements, killing animals, and hankering after material gain, prestige and adoration.”
So that is, more or less, a direct translation of a passage from Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta. 

Then the question from Kalki dāsa:
“If we are chanting the holy name of the Lord and reading Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam daily, then why are desires arising that are completely contrary to pure devotional service? I know for a fact that I am suffering from weeds. How can I remove these weeds?”
Why do the desires arise? Well, arise is just the right term because they are there, deep in the heart. They arise. It may be just like in a lake. At the bottom of the lake there is mud, and sometimes some bubble just comes up. There is some air trapped deep in the lake, or it may not even be a bubble. The air may form at the bottom of the lake and come up.
So the reason is we’ve been in this material world since time immemorial and we have so many material desires; and hearing and chanting is the cleansing process. It doesn’t mean that everyone immediately becomes clean. If we are chanting the holy name, the question is how do the desires arise. But how are we chanting? Are we chanting with full purity? So it’s a process. Therefore we have the process of sādhana-bhakti.
Actually, this kind of question I’ve answered dozens of times. Maybe hundreds of times in varieties of ways. It’s a perennial kind of question. So it’s a process.
utsāhān niścayād dhairyāt
saṅga-tyāgāt sato vṛtteḥ
ṣaḍbhir bhaktiḥ prasidhyati (Upadeśāmṛta 3)
By enthusiasm, determination, patience, following the proper process, giving up bad association, and following in the footsteps of great devotees, success in devotional service is guaranteed. 

So in purport to this verse from Śrī Upadeśāmṛta, Śrīla Prabhupāda states that patience is required also. We shouldn’t think that immediately we chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and then we become totally cleansed of all material contamination. 
He gives the example that after a girl gets married, she expects to get a child, but she has to wait a little time. Once she is married, it is expected that she will have a child. Of course, nowadays they don’t bother getting married. They just get a child without marriage in many cases also. That’s the normal process – marriage and then the child will come, because only after the marriage do the boy and girl unite in a manner that can produce children.
So some patience is required also. And that patience is part of the process of devotional service. If we become impatient and think that “Well, oh, too much! I want immediate Kṛṣṇa prema!” Then we become disqualified from getting it. We may say: “Why do material desires arise?” Those desires are there in the heart. They come out. See them, drop them. Don’t meditate on it. Then we can become free from it.
How can I remove these weeds?
Again, it’s by the process of sādhana. We go on with the process, with faith. rakṣiṣyatīti viśvāso – with faith that Kṛṣṇa will protect me. If I stay on this path, Kṛṣṇa will help. 

So what’s the answer? How do I get free from these weeds?
Go on with the process of sādhana and be careful. 
ānukūlyasya saṅkalpaḥ
prātikūlyasya varjanam
Accept everything which is favorable for devotional service and reject everything that is unfavorable. We can’t expect to advance unless we do this. That means we have to have plenty of hearing and chanting about Kṛṣṇa in our life.
And things which are unfavorable like, so many times I say this, but it’s a common anartha, watching all kinds of nonsense things on TV, not turning off our cell phone when we come to the temple, even though we are asked to so many times; so many things. This will impede our devotional advancement. If we follow the process, then Kṛṣṇa will help. To the extent we follow, Kṛṣṇa will reciprocate.

Audio answer:

Play (7 m 40 s)     Download (3.6 MB)    

You can mark interesting parts of the page content and share unique link from browser address bar.


Related Lectures

First Lesson in Spirituality: Defining Spirit

September 2, 2012 |

English; Denver, Colorado, USA

Staying where You Are Or Getting Uprooted

November 29, 2013 |

English; Nanda Gokulam, Andhra Pradesh, India

Mahendrah, Vasudah, Vasuh

October 23, 2013 |

English; Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India

  • Viṣṇu-sahasranāma 269-271

  • 43 m 22 s  |  19.9 MB

  • Download
  • Play


October 31, 2014 |


If You Want Your Child To Be Intelligent Study Bhagavad-Gita

May 1, 2005 |

English with தமிழ் translation; Perambur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Salvation Now

December 25, 2013 |

English with தமிழ் translation; Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Why a Philosophical Camp – Part 1

February 17, 2011 |

English; Baroda, Gujarat, India

War on Maya

January 18, 2015 |

English; Salem, Tamil Nadu, India

An Astronomical Challenge

January 1, 2014 |

English; Salem, Tamil Nadu, India

Donations Given by Sinful People

March 11, 2012 |

Question: We see that many people who earn lots of money by wrong practices, donate good amount in our society. How should we consider them, devotee or demon? And is it right to accept donations from them?


Questions and Answers, Session 1

August 29, 2016 |

English with Český translation; Brno, Czech Republic

Gaura Nitai have come to your Village

December 6, 2013 |

English with తెలుగు translation; Danthalapally, Andhra Pradesh, India

Principles for Establishing Varnasrama Communities, Part-3

April 17, 2015 |

English; Rajpura, Punjab, India

The Strange Case of Citraketu

September 30, 2016 |

English; Salem, Tamil Nadu, India

The Meaning of Jagannathesvari Radharani

February 8, 2015 |

English; Secunderabad, Telangana, India

Approach Radha through Gaura

September 2, 2014 |

English; Simhachalam, Germany

  • Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta 1.4.55-56

  • 1 h 45 m  |  48.4 MB

  • Download
  • Play

What is Krsna Consciousness?, Part-1

October 25, 2016 |

English; Gauragrama, Telangana, India

Bhaktivinoda's Lamentation, Part-2, Gopinath mama nivedana suno

November 16, 2016 |

English; Mayapur, West Bengal, India

Depending Upon Krsna

May 6, 2014 |

English; Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India

What I Learned in Bengal, Part 2

September 22, 2013 |

English; Almviks, Sweden