Hidden River of Desire

Bhagavad-gītā 2.63 | May 9, 2016 |

English; Salem, Tamil Nadu, India

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Question:

Recently one congregation devotee asked me "I am having some material problem for a long time and my father suggested/forced me to show to an astrologer who suggested me to worship some demigod and my problems will be solved. He gave 100% guarantee. This will cost Rs.35,000 but if result is not there he will return all money". So his father is forcing him but he doesn't want to take shelter of someone else than Krsna. But he asked me "when a devotee becomes sick he also goes to see doctor which is like taking shelter of a demigod for curing some material problem. So why this is allowed while demigod worship for solving material problems is not? What is the difference? In Ayurveda also worship of demigods is sometimes recommended to cure some disease. It seems logical that we worship demigods to solve material problems that are posing hindrance in our service to Krsna".

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I have a problem concerning the purity and contamination of prasadam and consciousness.

It began with the fact that after taking prasadam at public programs (Namahattas, Bhakti vrksas, Sunday feasts in the temple) my material desires increase – images not related with Krishna appear in my mind, and in dreams images of militants, horror and erotica appear (in dreams I sometimes was strangled, maltreated, raped etc.). Because of this I felt I had to endeavor more to follow sadhana; concentrate while chanting and reading. I was advised not to take prasadam at public programs because the standards of cleanliness are very low. Thus I visited the programs but did not take prasadam and this seemed to solve the problem.

After that at some point I decided to live in the temple to dedicate more time to service, in the hope that it would be easier to practice, but it turned out to be the opposite. After one and a half months my material desires and dreams became very strong (stronger than at home). I returned home and senior devotees (brahmacaris who live outside the temple) sent me caranamrta and sent me prasadam until I recovered. I thought that this was related with aparadhas that I had unconsciously made.

Now I'm in another city, and visiting another temple, and after taking prasadam there – my bad dreams and images again manifest.

I have the understanding that this is because of the low standards of cleanliness of preparation: prasadam not being cooked by brahmanas, distributors hands dirty, dirty clothes, anyone can take a disposable plate with dirty hands or serve themselves prasadam from the vessels, also I myself need to be cleansed. Do these low standards of cleanliness in cooking and distribution of prasadam influence the enthusiasm of devotees in their service?

On the other hand, I see how many devotees live in temples and practice sadhana. And that's why I have a doubt that it could be tricks of my mind not to live in the temple? Or maybe, I should live in the temple, but cook for myself?

Please help me to get an understanding of purity standards. Is external cleanliness important? Can prasadam be contaminated? Can it affect the mind and its thoughts and images? Can it affect the desire to serve Sri Guru, Prabhupada, Krishna and devotees? Maybe, I should concentrate on chanting, do more practical service, distribute books? And maybe I should pay less attention to things that I pay attention to now as they are not so important?

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