In commenting on the cleansing of the Guṇḍicā temple, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura says that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, as the world leader, was personally giving instructions on how one should receive Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, within one’s cleansed and pacified heart. If one wants to see Kṛṣṇa seated in his heart, he must first cleanse the heart, as prescribed by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in His Śikṣāṣṭaka: ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam (CC Antya 20.12). In this age, everyone’s heart is especially unclean, as confirmed in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: hṛdy antaḥ-stho hy abhadrāṇi. To wash away all dirty things accumulated within the heart, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu advised everyone to chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. The first result will be that the heart is cleansed (ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam (CC Antya 20.12)). Similarly, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (SB 1.2.17) confirms this statement:
- śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ
- hṛdy antaḥ-stho hy abhadrāṇi vidhunoti suhṛt satām
“Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramātmā [Supersoul] in everyone’s heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who relishes His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted.”If a devotee at all wants to cleanse his heart, he must chant and hear the glories of the Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa (śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ (SB 1.2.17)). This is a simple process. Kṛṣṇa Himself will help cleanse the heart because He is already seated there. Kṛṣṇa wants to continue living within the heart, and the Lord wants to give directions, but one has to keep his heart as clean as Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu kept the Guṇḍicā temple. The devotee therefore has to cleanse his heart just as the Lord cleansed the Guṇḍicā temple. In this way one can be pacified and enriched in devotional service. If the heart is filled with straw, grains of sand, weeds or dust (in other words, anyābhilāṣa-pūrṇa), one cannot enthrone the Supreme Personality of Godhead there. The heart must be cleansed of all material motives brought about through fruitive work, speculative knowledge, the mystic yoga system and so many other forms of so-called meditation. The heart must be cleansed without ulterior motive. As Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī says, anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam [Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.1.11]. In other words, there should not be any external motive. One should not attempt material upliftment, understanding the Supreme by speculative knowledge, fruitive activity, severe austerity and penance, and so on. All these activities are against the natural growth of spontaneous love of Godhead. As soon as these are present within the heart, the heart should be understood to be unclean and therefore unfit to serve as Kṛṣṇa’s sitting place. We cannot perceive the Lord’s presence in our hearts unless our hearts are cleansed.
A material desire is explained as a desire to enjoy the material world to its fullest extent. In modern language, this is called economic development. An inordinate desire for economic development is considered to be like straws and grains of sand within the heart. If one is overly engaged in material activity, the heart will always remain disturbed