People have forgotten now. They do not know what is the austerities. But the human life is meant for that purpose. Tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena śuddhyet sattvaṁ yena brahma-saukhyam anantam (SB 5.5.1). These are the instruction of the śāstra. The human life is meant for tapasya. And tapasya...
Therefore in the Vedic way of life the beginning of life is tapasya, brahmacārī, brahmacārī. A student is sent to gurukula for practicing brahmacarya. This is tapasya, not comfortable life. Lying down on the floor, going door-to-door for begging alms for guru. But they are not tired. Because they are children, if they are trained these austerities, they become to practice. They call all woman, "Mother." "Mother, give me some alms." And they come back to guru's place. Everything belongs to guru. This brahmacārī life. This is tapasya. Tapo divyam (SB 5.5.1). That is Vedic civilization, that children should be from the very beginning of life trained up in tapasya, brahmacarya. Celibacy. A brahmacārī cannot see any young woman. Even the guru's wife is young, he cannot go to the guru's wife. These are the restriction. Now where is that brahmacarya? No brahmacārī. This is Kali-yuga. No tapasya.
But according to Vedic civilization, varṇāśrama-dharma. Vedic civilization means four varṇas and four āśramas. Brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. We have begin. We have began our lecture on the basis, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). So this is civilization. Unless one comes to this standard of civilization, varṇāśrama-dharma, that is animal civilization. So we prefer animal civilization. Therefore we are living like animal also, fighting like cats and dogs and suffering like cats and dogs also. This is the position. Nirāśīr yata-cittātmā. Control. I shall accept as much as I require, not more than that, not less than that. Controlling the citta, intelligence, and ātmā, mind or self, self-control.
Nirāśīr yata-cittātmā tyakta-sarva-parigrahaḥ. Parigrahaḥ means unnecessarily collecting something, atyāhāraḥ. Atyāhāraḥ prayāsaḥ... Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī has given definition how bhakti is killed:
- atyāhāraḥ prayāsaś ca
- prajalpo niyamāgrahaḥ
- jana-saṅgaś ca laulyaṁ ca
- ṣaḍbhir bhaktir vinaśyati
- (NOI 2)
If you want to advance in spiritual life, bhakti-yoga, then you should avoid all these things, six kinds of, ṣaḍbhiḥ, six kind. Bhaktir vinaśyati.
What is that? Atyāhāraḥ, eating more than you require. Actually, we should not eat unless we are very hungry. That is good eating. In.... When you are hungry, you can eat any ordinary things. Still, you feel very satisfactory. So not routine eating. Routine eating must be there. We should not eat more than that. But the best principle is that if we do not feel hungry, we should not eat. But if there is no hunger and at the same time no appetite and we eat, that brings indigestion, dysentery, indigestion. So why should we accept that? Therefore it is forbidden, atyāhāraḥ. Āhāra means eating. Eating more than required or āhāra means collecting also. Collecting more than necessity.
Atyāhāraḥ prayāsaś ca. Prayāsaḥ means things which are done with great endeavor. No. We shall accept things which are very easily done. Not to waste our energy unnecessarily.
Atyāhāraḥ prayāsaḥ, prajalpaḥ, talking all nonsense, sitting together and on the newspaper, "Oh, such politician said like this, such social worker..." All nonsense. Practically you try to avoid all this newspaper reading or talking of nonsense subject matter. That is called prajalpa.
Atyāhāraḥ prayāsaś ca prajalpo niyamāgrahaḥ (NOI 2). Niyamāgrahaḥ means niyama, scheduled rules and regulation, not to accept. Niyama āgraha or niyama agraha. Āgraha means unnecessarily āgraha, but without any result. That is called niyamāgrahaḥ. You must follow the rules regulation so that you are benefitted. But if you are not benefitted simply by following the rules and regulation, that is āgraha, only for the rules and regulation, not for the result. We must see that there is result. Niyamāgrahaḥ.