Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura has sung:
- sat-saṅga chāḍi' kainu asate vilāsa
- te-kāraṇe lāgilo ye karma-bandha-phāṅsa
- (Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura)
karma-bandha-phāṅsa means entangled. Sometimes we have got experience that threads, they become entangled. It is very difficult to find out where the beginning is. Sometimes spoiled. So, on account of our attachment to this material body, we are becoming entangled. Sat-saṅga chāḍi' kainu asate vilāsa. This meeting, as we are holding, this is called sat-saṅga. Sat-saṅga because here there is no other business, talking all nonsense, some material things. Here only we talk about the spirit soul, about Kṛṣṇa, about relationship with Kṛṣṇa, how to act to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. This is the business here. That is the reference. Formerly this place, Manor, was known as Piggot's Manor.
Now we have named Bhaktivedanta Manor. What is the difference? Formerly, it was for sense gratification. Now it is meant for elevating one to the spiritual standard of life. So anything can be changed like that for sat-saṅga. Sat-saṅgāt mukta duḥsaṅga. If you continue sata, as it is said, sat-saṅga, then you advance in spiritual life. And if you associate with asat, then you become degraded. This is the policy. Sat-saṅga chāḍi kainu asate vilāsa te kāraṇe lagilā mora karma-bandha-phāṅsa. Don't be entangled. Try to become liberated from the entanglement. That is the mission of life.
So these things cannot be understood so long we are in the darkness. Darkness means sinful life. The more we are engaged in sinful life, we cannot understand what is sat-saṅga and what is asat-saṅga. So we should be purified. The whole human life is meant for purification. Yasmāt śuddhyet sattvam (SB 5.5.1). Sattvam. Sattvam means existence. Śuddhyet. Śuddhyet means becomes purified. Just like a diseased man, contaminated by some disease, the medical treatment means he has to be purified from the contamination. Similarly, we are impure in this material existence by contamination of the three modes of material nature: sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa, tamo-guṇa—goodness, passion and ignorance. So even if we are contaminated by the quality of goodness of this material world, that is also contaminated. That is also cause of our entanglement.
Goodness . . . a brāhmaṇa, if he thinks that, "Now I have brahminical qualification. I am now educated, I am very cleansed, I am very controlled"—these things are brahminical qualification—"I know what is what," jñānaṁ vijñānam, but he does not try for becoming immortal, then that kind of thinking is also bondage that, "I am this, I am that." Even though he is very learned—satya śamo damas titikṣā śuci, all these good qualities are there—but if he does not try to be . . . go further ahead, how to become immortal, so this type of fine entanglement is also entanglement. And those who are passionate, they are thinking, "I am so rich, I am so powerful, I have got so many nice business, bank balance. I have got my big family, nice wife." These are passion conception of life. So they are certainly bound up. And those who are ignorant, means one does not know what is the value of life, lying down anywhere, lazy, sleeping, unclean, do not know the value of life, they are in ignorance. They are very firmly bound up.
So liberation means the more you are enlightened the value of life, the more, then you become liberated. The more you become liberated, the more you are advanced in your spiritual knowledge, sata, sat, sat-saṅga. Therefore, these meetings which we hold every day, they are meant for advancing in spiritual life. Here, there is no program how to become very rich, how to possess more motorcars, how to have more bank balance, how to have nice dress. These are material things. Or ignorance: how to sleep thirty-four hours a day, although we have got twenty-four hours only.
So here we see big, big men, they sleep up to two o'clock. Early rising means two o'clock. That is also early, but not at day two o'clock. At night two o'clock if you rise, that is nice. But they are accustomed to get up two o'clock. Because they think, "The more we sleep, we enjoy life." Therefore, they are śūnyavādī. They want to become zero, sleeping always. Śūnyavādī. "Make everything zero." That is called śūnyavādī.
No, that is not life. Śūnyavādī is not life. Activity is life. Kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ (CC Adi 17.31). Caitanya Mahāprabhu says: "Don't become zero, but be engaged always in chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra." That is Kṛṣṇa . . . Caitanya Mahāprabhu's cult. We are not going to be zero. We want to be very active, but active not for sense gratification but for Kṛṣṇa's service. Now what is Kṛṣṇa's service? That we are teaching, how to worship Kṛṣṇa.
- śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
- smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam
- arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
- sakhyam ātma-nivedanam
- (SB 7.5.23)
These are nine kinds of services. They are sat. The more we are engaged in these nine kinds of different occupation of devotional service, the more we are elevated. And the more we are engaged in activities of material sense gratification, we are degraded. Śrama eva hi kevalam (SB 1.2.8). You have got nice office, material point of view, nice business. So if you perform that business, office work, your duty, very nicely, but you have no Kṛṣṇa consciousness, śāstra says that śrama eva hi kevalam. It is simply wasting time and laboring hard. That's all. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says that this is the distinction between sat and asat. And we should not be very much interested with the asat. Then our life is spoiled. We should be interested with sat. That will make our life successful.