Yukta-vairagya

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Bhagavad-gita As It Is

BG Chapters 7 - 12

Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī advises: one should be unattached in material affairs and do everything in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. By this system, which is called yukta-vairāgya, one attains perfection.
BG 8.27, Purport:

A devotee of the Supreme Lord should not worry whether he will depart by arrangement or by accident. The devotee should be firmly established in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. He should know that concern over either of these two paths is troublesome. The best way to be absorbed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is to be always dovetailed in His service, and this will make one's path to the spiritual kingdom safe, certain and direct. The word yoga-yukta is especially significant in this verse. One who is firm in yoga is constantly engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness in all his activities. Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī advises, anāsaktasya viṣayān yathārham upayuñjataḥ: one should be unattached in material affairs and do everything in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. By this system, which is called yukta-vairāgya, one attains perfection. Therefore the devotee is not disturbed by these descriptions, because he knows that his passage to the supreme abode is guaranteed by devotional service.

As long as we are in this material world we have to act; we cannot cease acting. Therefore if actions are performed and the fruits are given to Kṛṣṇa, then that is called yukta-vairāgya. Actually situated in renunciation, such activities clear the mirror of the mind, and as the actor gradually makes progress in spiritual realization he becomes completely surrendered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
BG 9.28, Translation and Purport:

In this way you will be freed from bondage to work and its auspicious and inauspicious results. With your mind fixed on Me in this principle of renunciation, you will be liberated and come to Me.

One who acts in Kṛṣṇa consciousness under superior direction is called yukta-vairāgya. The technical term is yukta-vairāgya. This is further explained by Rūpa Gosvāmī as follows:

anāsaktasya viṣayān
yathārham upayuñjataḥ
nirbandhaḥ kṛṣṇa-sambandhe
yuktaṁ vairāgyam ucyate
(Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.255)

Rūpa Gosvāmī says that as long as we are in this material world we have to act; we cannot cease acting. Therefore if actions are performed and the fruits are given to Kṛṣṇa, then that is called yukta-vairāgya. Actually situated in renunciation, such activities clear the mirror of the mind, and as the actor gradually makes progress in spiritual realization he becomes completely surrendered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore at the end he becomes liberated, and this liberation is also specified. By this liberation he does not become one with the brahmajyoti, but rather enters into the planet of the Supreme Lord. It is clearly mentioned here: mām upaiṣyasi, "he comes to Me," back home, back to Godhead. There are five different stages of liberation, and here it is specified that the devotee who has always lived his lifetime here under the direction of the Supreme Lord, as stated, has evolved to the point where he can, after quitting this body, go back to Godhead and engage directly in the association of the Supreme Lord.

Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 4

One should not be attached to material opulence, but material opulence may be accepted in the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement to facilitate the propagation of the movement. In other words, material opulence may be accepted as yukta-vairāgya, that is, for renunciation.
SB 4.29.55, Purport:

In this age people are not going to search out a saint in the forest, so the saints and sages have to come to the big cities to make arrangements to receive the people in general, who are accustomed to the modern amenities of material life. Gradually such persons will learn that palatial buildings or comfortable apartments are not at all necessary. The real necessity is to become free from material bondage in whatever way possible. According to the orders of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī:

anāsaktasya viṣayān
yathārham upayuñjataḥ
nirbandhaḥ kṛṣṇa-sambandhe
yuktaṁ vairāgyam ucyate

"When one is not attached to anything, but at the same time accepts everything in relation to Kṛṣṇa, one is rightly situated above possessiveness." (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.255)

One should not be attached to material opulence, but material opulence may be accepted in the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement to facilitate the propagation of the movement. In other words, material opulence may be accepted as yukta-vairāgya, that is, for renunciation.

SB Canto 8

The Vaiṣṇava philosophy recommends yukta-vairāgya. It is not that all attention should be diverted for the maintenance of the body, but at the same time one's bodily maintenance should not be neglected. As long as the body exists one can thoroughly study the Vedic instructions, and thus at the end of life one can achieve perfection.
SB 8.19.39, Purport:

The Māyāvādīs say, brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā: "The spirit soul is truth, and the external energy is untruth." The Vaiṣṇava philosophers, however, do not agree with the Māyāvāda philosophy. Even if for the sake of argument the material world is accepted as untruth, the living entity entangled in the illusory energy cannot come out of it without the help of the body. Without the help of the body, one cannot follow a system of religion, nor can one speculate on philosophical perfection. Therefore, the flower and fruit (puṣpa-phalam) have to be obtained as a result of the body. Without the help of the body, that fruit cannot be gained. The Vaiṣṇava philosophy therefore recommends yukta-vairāgya. It is not that all attention should be diverted for the maintenance of the body, but at the same time one's bodily maintenance should not be neglected. As long as the body exists one can thoroughly study the Vedic instructions, and thus at the end of life one can achieve perfection. This is explained in Bhagavad-gītā (BG 8.6): yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran bhāvaṁ tyajaty ante kalevaram. Everything is examined at the time of death. Therefore, although the body is temporary, not eternal, one can take from it the best service and make one's life perfect.

SB Canto 9

Mahārāja Ambarīṣa engaged his senses and mind in the service of the Lord. This process is called yukta-vairāgya, or feasible renunciation, which is quite suitable for worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
SB 9.4 Summary:

From Nābhāga was born Ambarīṣa, the most powerful and celebrated devotee. Mahārāja Ambarīṣa was the emperor of the entire world, but he considered his opulence temporary. Indeed, knowing that such material opulence is the cause of downfall into conditional life, he was unattached to this opulence. He engaged his senses and mind in the service of the Lord. This process is called yukta-vairāgya, or feasible renunciation, which is quite suitable for worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Because Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, as the emperor, was immensely opulent, he performed devotional service with great opulence, and therefore, despite his wealth, he had no attachment to his wife, children or kingdom. He constantly engaged his senses and mind in the service of the Lord. Therefore, to say nothing of enjoying material opulence, he never desired even liberation.

If one engages all material things in relation with the loving service of the Lord, one is situated in yukta-vairāgya, proper renunciation.
SB 9.9.47, Purport:

When passing through a mountainous region in an airplane, one may sometimes see a city in the sky with towers and palaces, or one may see similar things in a big forest. This is called a gandharva-pura, a phantasmagoria. This entire world resembles such a phantasmagoria, and every materially situated person has attachment for it. But Khaṭvāṅga Mahārāja, because of his advanced Kṛṣṇa consciousness, was not interested in such things. Even though a devotee may engage in apparently materialistic activities, he knows his position very well. Nirbandhaḥ kṛṣṇa-sambandhe yuktaṁ vairāgyam ucyate. If one engages all material things in relation with the loving service of the Lord, one is situated in yukta-vairāgya, proper renunciation. In this material world, nothing should be accepted for one's sense gratification: everything should be accepted for the service of the Lord. This is the mentality of the spiritual world. Mahārāja Khaṭvāṅga advises that one give up material attachments and surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus one achieves success in life. This is pure bhakti-yoga, which involves vairāgya-vidyā—renunciation and knowledge.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

CC Madhya-lila

"Things should be accepted for the Lord's service and not for one's personal sense gratification. If one accepts something without attachment and accepts it because it is related to Kṛṣṇa, one's renunciation is called yukta-vairāgya." Since Kṛṣṇa is the Absolute Truth, whatever is accepted for His service is also the Absolute Truth.
CC Madhya 16.238, Purport:

In his Durgama-saṅgamanī, Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī comments that the word sva-nirvāhaḥ actually means sva-sva-bhakti-nirvāhaḥ. The experienced devotee will accept only those material things that will help him render service to the Lord. In the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.2.256), markaṭa-vairāgya, or phalgu-vairāgya, is explained as follows:

prāpañcikatayā buddhyā hari-sambandhi-vastunaḥ
mumukṣubhiḥ parityāgo vairāgyaṁ phalgu kathyate

"When persons eager to achieve liberation renounce things related to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, thinking them to be material, their renunciation is called incomplete." Whatever is favorable for the rendering of service to the Lord should be accepted and should not be rejected as a material thing. Yukta-vairāgya, or befitting renunciation, is thus explained:

anāsaktasya viṣayān yathārham upayuñjataḥ
nirbandhaḥ kṛṣṇa-sambandhe yuktaṁ vairāgyam ucyate

"Things should be accepted for the Lord's service and not for one's personal sense gratification. If one accepts something without attachment and accepts it because it is related to Kṛṣṇa, one's renunciation is called yukta-vairāgya." Since Kṛṣṇa is the Absolute Truth, whatever is accepted for His service is also the Absolute Truth.

This is the technique for understanding śuṣka-vairāgya and yukta-vairāgya.
CC Madhya 23.105, Translation and Purport:

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then told Sanātana Gosvāmī about proper renunciation according to a particular situation, and the Lord forbade dry renunciation and speculative knowledge in all respects.

This is the technique for understanding śuṣka-vairāgya and yukta-vairāgya. In the Bhagavad-gītā (6.17) it is said:

yuktāhāra-vihārasya yukta-ceṣṭasya karmasu
yukta-svapnāvabodhasya yogo bhavati duḥkha-hā

"He who is temperate in his habits of eating, sleeping, recreation and work can mitigate all material pains by practicing the yoga system." To broadcast the cult of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one has to learn the possibility of renunciation in terms of country, time and candidate.

What is possible in one country may not be possible in another. The ācārya's duty is to accept the essence of devotional service. There may be a little change here and there as far as yukta-vairāgya (proper renunciation) is concerned.
CC Madhya 23.105, Purport:

A candidate for Kṛṣṇa consciousness in the Western countries should be taught about the renunciation of material existence, but one would teach candidates from a country like India in a different way. The teacher (ācārya) has to consider time, candidate and country. He must avoid the principle of niyamāgraha—that is, he should not try to perform the impossible. What is possible in one country may not be possible in another. The ācārya's duty is to accept the essence of devotional service. There may be a little change here and there as far as yukta-vairāgya (proper renunciation) is concerned. Dry renunciation is forbidden by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and we have also learned this from our spiritual master, His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Gosvāmī Mahārāja. The essence of devotional service must be taken into consideration, and not the outward paraphernalia.

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead

The family members of the Yadu dynasty and the cowherds of Vṛndāvana had their minds fixed on Kṛṣṇa. That is the symptom of perfect knowledge. And because their minds were always engaged in Kṛṣṇa, they were automatically freed from all material activities. This stage of life is called yukta-vairāgya, as enunciated by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī.
Krsna Book 82:

While the men were meeting in that way, the women also met one another in the same manner. They embraced one another in great friendship, smiling very mildly, and looked at one another with much affection. When they were embracing one another in their arms, the saffron and kuṅkuma spread on their breasts was exchanged from one person to another, and they all felt heavenly ecstasy. Due to such heart-to-heart embracing, torrents of tears glided down their cheeks. The juniors were offering obeisances to the elders, and the elders were offering their blessings to the juniors. They thus welcomed one another and asked after one another's welfare. Ultimately, however, all their talk was only of Kṛṣṇa. All the neighbors and relatives were connected with Lord Kṛṣṇa's pastimes in this world, and as such Kṛṣṇa was the center of all their activities. Whatever activities they performed—social, political, religious or conventional—were transcendental.

The real elevation of human life rests on knowledge and renunciation. As stated in the First Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, devotional service rendered to Kṛṣṇa automatically produces perfect knowledge and renunciation. The family members of the Yadu dynasty and the cowherds of Vṛndāvana had their minds fixed on Kṛṣṇa. That is the symptom of perfect knowledge. And because their minds were always engaged in Kṛṣṇa, they were automatically freed from all material activities. This stage of life is called yukta-vairāgya, as enunciated by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī. Knowledge and renunciation, therefore, do not mean dry speculation and renunciation of activities. Rather, one must start speaking and acting only in relationship with Kṛṣṇa.

Renunciation Through Wisdom

All objects in the material world are meant not for our enjoyment or gratification but for the Lord's service. This is the mood of one in transcendental consciousness, or superconsciousness. And all activities performed in this consciousness constitute true renunciation, or yukta-vairāgya.
Renunciation Through Wisdom 5.1:

Considering everything material, some people make a show of renunciation and reject even those things that can be used in the Lord's service. This is futile. All objects in the material world are meant not for our enjoyment or gratification but for the Lord's service. This is the mood of one in transcendental consciousness, or superconsciousness. And all activities performed in this consciousness constitute true renunciation, or yukta-vairāgya, as opposed to false renuniciation, or phalgu-vairāgya. By instructing Arjuna to act in this way, the Supreme Lord has ordered us to do so as well. It is our duty to execute His instruction. Whatever the result may be, we must be convinced that all such activities are all-auspicious. As the Lord says in the Bhagavad-gītā (9.28):

śubhāṣubha-phalair evaṁ
mokṣyase karma-bandhanaiḥ
sannyāsa-yoga-yuktātmā
vimukto mām upaiṣyasi

In this way you will be freed from bondage to work and its auspicious and inauspicious results. With your mind fixed on Me in this principle of renunciation, you will be liberated and come to Me.

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

We should not be too much attached to this body. But because with this body we have to execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness, therefore we should keep it fit also. That is called yukta-vairāgya. We should not neglect. We shall take regular bath, we shall, regular nice food, Kṛṣṇa prasāda, keep our mind and body healthy. That is required.
Lecture on BG 6.16-24 -- Los Angeles, February 17, 1969:

So one should first of all know that our miserable condition of material existence is due to this body. At the same time this body is not permanent. Supposing I identify everything with this body—family, society, country, this, that, so many things. But how long? It is not permanent. Asat. Asat means it will not exist. Asann api kleśada āsa dehaḥ (SB 5.5.4). Simply troublesome. Not permanent and simply giving trouble. That is intelligence. How to get out of this body. People come, says that "I am not in peace. I am in trouble. My mind is not peace." But when the medicine is offered, he does not accept. You see? He wants something palatable, what he has understood, that's all. Many people come to us, "Swamiji, oh, this is my position." And as soon as we suggest the medicine, he'll not accept. Because he wants some medicine which will be acceptable by him. So how we can offer? Then why do you go to a physician? You make your own treatment? You see?

So here the suggestion is that this body is useless, but that does not mean we shall not take care. Just like you are going from one place to another place on your car. The car, you are not this car, but because you have to use the car for your work, you have to take care of the car also. But not much care that you simply become absorbed in the car business and no other business. Just like somebody, too much attachment to the car is polishing the car whole day, you see, polishing. So we should not be too much attached to this body. But because with this body we have to execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness, therefore we should keep it fit also. That is called yukta-vairāgya. We should not neglect. We shall take regular bath, we shall, regular nice food, Kṛṣṇa prasāda, keep our mind and body healthy. That is required.

Karmīs are constructing big, big houses, skyscraper houses. The purpose is to enjoy himself. The same thing, bhūmir āpo 'nalo vāyuḥ, mixing together, brick or stone or cement, if it is used for Kṛṣṇa, then it is yukta-vairāgya.
Lecture on BG 7.4 -- Vrndavana, August 10, 1974:

So separated energy, in this way you have to understand, that although this energy is separated from Kṛṣṇa, it can be used for Kṛṣṇa. And when it is used for Kṛṣṇa, then it is spiritual. It is no more material. Material means forgetfulness. Karmīs are constructing big, big houses, skyscraper houses. The purpose is to enjoy himself. The same thing, bhūmir āpo 'nalo vāyuḥ, mixing together, brick or stone or cement, if it is used for Kṛṣṇa, then it is yukta-vairāgya.

anāsaktasya viṣayān
yathārham upayuñjataḥ
nirbandhaḥ kṛṣṇa-sambandhe
yuktaṁ vairāgyam ucyate

So our philosophy is that. Although this material world, bhūmir āpo 'nalo vāyuḥ (BG 7.4), they are separated from Kṛṣṇa, we can use it for Kṛṣṇa. Just like the same example: The tape recorder, it is material, but it can be used for Kṛṣṇa's purpose. We are writing books, recording in the tape recorder. That nirbandhaḥ kṛṣṇa-sambandhe yuktaṁ vairāgyam ucyate. There is no need of giving up this bhūmir āpo 'nalo vāyuḥ, as the Māyāvādī philosopher says. You can utilize. After all, it is Kṛṣṇa's energy. This is the best philosophy, that one man's property should be used for the proprietor. That is the best use.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Jñānam means we are misidentifying that "I am this body, and the bodily emanations, my sons, my daughters... I have got bodily relation with my wife. Therefore my wife, and the productions, the sons, then grandsons, then daughter-in-laws, then son-in-laws..." In this way, we are clustering round. So that should be not rejected at once, but it should be taken into Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Then even there is attachment, that is called yukta-vairāgya, yukta-vairāgya.
Lecture on SB 1.2.7 -- Hyderabad, April 21, 1974:

Yoga practice means samādhi, comes to the samādhi point. This is samādhi. Bhogaiśvarya-prasaktānāṁ tayāpahṛta-cetasām, samādhau na vidhīyate. But those who are too much materially attached, bhoga aiśvarya, material opulence... Bhogaiśvarya-prasaktānāṁ tayāpahṛta-cetasām. Apahṛta, bewildered. They are thinking by this material enjoyment, by material opulence, they will be happy. Therefore it is called apahṛta-cetasām. They cannot. But if you practice this bhakti-yoga, vāsudeva... The whole Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is vāsudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ (SB 1.2.7). That's all. Why? Now, jñānam and vairāgyam. Jñānam means we are misidentifying that "I am this body, and the bodily emanations, my sons, my daughters... I have got bodily relation with my wife. Therefore my wife, and the productions, the sons, then grandsons, then daughter-in-laws, then son-in-laws..." In this way, we are clustering round. So that should be not rejected at once, but it should be taken into Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Then even there is attachment, that is called yukta-vairāgya, yukta-vairāgya.

Because in this human life we require to develop jñāna and vairāgya. So if we dovetail our activities for Kṛṣṇa's service, that is yukta vairāgya.
Lecture on SB 1.2.8 -- Bombay, December 26, 1972:

So Sūta Gosvāmī said, nārthasya dharmaikāntasya kāmo lābhāya hi smṛtaḥ: don't spend your hard-earned money for sense gratification. Then one may say that "After all, we have got this body, and we have to eat, we have to sleep. And because we have got senses, the senses must be a little bit satisfied." No. Kṛṣṇa says, Sūta Gosvāmī says, it is not that you shall stop. That is already explained. I, the other day: nirbandhaḥ kṛṣṇa-sambandhe. You eat in relationship with Kṛṣṇa. Just like here, in this temple, what we are doing? We are also cooking. Others are also cooking at house. Then what is the difference? The difference is that we are cooking for Kṛṣṇa; others, those who have no Kṛṣṇa consciousness—I don't say everyone—they are cooking for themselves. Just like the hotel. In a hotel they are cooking for the customer palatable dishes. So that is the difference. But Rūpa Gosvāmī says that "Dovetail with Kṛṣṇa consciousness." That is yukta vairāgya. Because in this human life we require to develop jñāna and vairāgya. So if we dovetail our activities for Kṛṣṇa's service, that is yukta vairāgya. So here also it is said that nārthasya dharmaikāntasya kāmo lābhāya hi smṛtaḥ. We should not earn money for sense gratification.

Don't die for want of motor car. But if you get the opportunity to go faster then walking, you should utilize it. This is required, that everything engaged in Kṛṣṇa's service. That is called yukta-vairāgya.
Lecture on SB 1.7.6 -- Vrndavana, April 18, 1975:

Our process is that if we have to preach, so we have to go to United States. So if there is aeroplane, why shall I waste my time? Let us accept this thing. So we don't deprecate the material advancement. But we simply warn that "Don't forget Kṛṣṇa simply for the matter of material advancement." This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We don't discourage you. We don't discourage you, but when you have invented something material, utilize it for Kṛṣṇa. Anāsaktasya viṣayān. Don't be attached to the motor car. But utilize it for going fast for preaching work, that's all. This is required. This is Rūpa Gosvāmī's advice. Don't die for want of motor car. But if you get the opportunity to go faster then walking, you should utilize it. Nirbandhaḥ kṛṣṇa-sambandhe yuktaṁ vairāgyam ucyate. This is required, that everything engaged in Kṛṣṇa's service. That is called yukta-vairāgya. Not phalgu-vairāgya.

This iron, wood, metal, everything, they have got from Kṛṣṇa. Therefore it has got relationship with Kṛṣṇa. Now, when it is manufactured, use it for Kṛṣṇa. That is yukta-vairāgya. So we do not hate anything, material advancement. We can utilize everything for Kṛṣṇa's service. Our only preaching is that "Don't forget Kṛṣṇa." That is our business.
Lecture on SB 1.7.6 -- Vrndavana, April 18, 1975:

Rūpa Gosvāmī says, "Motor car is material; therefore we should not touch it"—this is phalgu-vairāgya. That is stated by Rūpa Gosvāmī that

prāpañcikatayā buddhyā
hari-sambandhi-vastunaḥ
mumukṣubhiḥ parityāgo
vairāgyaṁ phalgu kathyate

Prāpañcikatayā buddhyā. "Because it is material advancement, I therefore... Brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā. This world is mithyā. This, any material thing, is mithyā." No. It has got some relationship with Kṛṣṇa. That is to be seen. What is that? What is this motor car? It is material. But what is this material? Bhūmir āpaḥ analo vāyuḥ khaṁ mano buddhir eva ca, bhinnā me prakṛtir aṣṭadhā. Where they have got this metal? This iron, wood, metal, everything, they have got from Kṛṣṇa. Therefore it has got relationship with Kṛṣṇa. Now, when it is manufactured, use it for Kṛṣṇa. That is yukta-vairāgya. So we do not hate anything, material advancement. We can utilize everything for Kṛṣṇa's service. Our only preaching is that "Don't forget Kṛṣṇa." That is our business. And if you have got a special talent, utilize it for Kṛṣṇa.

Eating is not prohibited. You have to eat, because you have got this body. But not that simply for eating I am living. This is called yukta-vairāgya.
Lecture on SB 2.1.3 -- Delhi, November 6, 1973:

So Rūpa Gosvāmī gives the instruction, anāsaktasya viṣayān. Anāsakta. Anā..., means no attachment. Sleeping required, but not for attachment. Somebody is living for sleeping, and somebody is sleeping just to give rest to the body. Similarly, eating also. Eating is not prohibited. You have to eat, because you have got this body. But not that simply for eating I am living. This is called yukta-vairāgya. Rūpa Gosvāmī says anāsaktasya viṣa... Don't be attached to the viṣaya, eating, sleeping, mating, that "I have to eat so much. I have to satisfy my palate. I have to eat this thing in the restaurant." No. You eat simply just to keep your body fit, not extra. Atyāhāraḥ prayāsaś ca prajalpo niyamāgrahaḥ (NOI 2). Don't eat more than it is required for maintaining your body. Similarly, don't sleep more; as much as you require for maintaining your... Don't have sex life more than it is required. They are allowed. Just like Kṛṣṇa says that "Sex life which is not against religious principle, that is I am." Sex life against religion, what is that? Avaidha-strī-saṅga. Avaidha, illicit sex life, that is against religious principles. Otherwise, to get married and to beget nice children, Kṛṣṇa conscious children, according to śāstra, that sex life is not forbidden. Kṛṣṇa says. So dharmāviruddhaḥ kāmo 'smi, "Which is not against religious principle, that kāma, that kind of lust, I am." But not for other purposes.

If one has to imitate the behavior of Rūpa Gosvāmī and all the Gosvāmīs, it is very difficult. Therefore yukta-vairāgya. We must eat kṛṣṇa-prasādam as much as it is needed for maintaining my body.
Lecture on SB 3.26.47 -- Bombay, January 22, 1975:

The Gosvāmīs, they conquered over these things. Nidrāhāra-vihāra. That is required. That is spiritual life. If you are embarrassed with these four things, āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ ca, then we are not making progress in spiritual life. It should be reduced. Just like Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī did. All the Gosvāmīs—they had no business. But that is very difficult. If one has to imitate the behavior of Rūpa Gosvāmī and all the Gosvāmīs, it is very difficult. Therefore yukta-vairāgya. We must eat kṛṣṇa-prasādam as much as it is needed for maintaining my body. Āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-mai... In this way, spiritual progress of life... But it will be very easy if we chant this transcendental vibration, Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, offenselessly, niraparādhe. Then immediately you become advanced. Not only advanced, actually spiritual situated.

We have to eat also. But if we think that "These things are made for me. I have to eat," then that is mithyā. "This is given by God, given by Kṛṣṇa, so let me offer it to Kṛṣṇa: 'Kṛṣṇa, it is Your thing. You first of all taste. Then I'll take it.' "As it is. But Your thing should be offered to You, and then I shall take." That is yukta-vairāgya.
Lecture on SB 5.5.2 -- Hyderabad, April 11, 1975:

Rūpa Gosvāmī says that,

anāsaktasya viṣayān
yathārham upayuñjataḥ
nirbandhaḥ kṛṣṇa-sambandhe
yuktaṁ vairāgyam ucyate

Anāsaktasya viṣayān. We are after sense enjoyment. That is called viṣaya. Viṣaya means the object of sense gratification. So we should not be very much eager to enjoy. God's creation should be engaged for God's enjoyment, not for my enjoyment. If we are trained up in this way, anāsaktasya viṣayān, we can take prasādam. We have to eat also. But if we think that "These things are made for me. I have to eat," then that is mithyā. "This is given by God, given by Kṛṣṇa, so let me offer it to Kṛṣṇa: 'Kṛṣṇa, it is Your thing. You first of all taste. Then I'll take it.' " Anāsaktasya viṣayān yathārham upayuñjataḥ. "As it is. But Your thing should be offered to You, and then I shall take." That is yukta-vairāgya. There are many other things that this kind of false identification...

Kṛṣṇa says, "You can simply become liberated by the bhakti process." There are many processes. Accepting those..., they are also different processes. But nothing is powerful except the process enunciated by God Himself, Kṛṣṇa. He says, bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ. That is detachment. And bhakti-yoga means vairāgya-yukta.
Lecture on SB 7.6.9 -- Vrndavana, December 11, 1975:

So how we become detached? We are so much attached; how we can become detached? That is also given. The process is given in the Bhāgavatam: vāsudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ (SB 1.2.7). If you engage yourself in executing devotional service to Vāsudeva, vāsudeve bhagavati... Vāsudeva means the Supreme Personality of Godhead, most opulent. Bhagavati. Bhagavān means most opulent, full with six kinds of opulence. Vāsudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogaḥ—no other means. You cannot become liberated by any other means except bhakti-yoga. That is Bhāgavatam. Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi... (BG 18.55). Kṛṣṇa says, "You can simply become liberated by the bhakti process." There are many processes. Accepting those..., they are also different processes. But nothing is powerful except the process enunciated by God Himself, Kṛṣṇa. He says, bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ.

vāsudeve bhagavati
bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ
janayaty āśu vairāgyam...
(SB 1.2.7)

That is detachment. And bhakti-yoga means vairāgya-yukta. Vairāgya-vidyā-nija-bhakti-yogam (CC Madhya 6.254).

You haven't got to make such renunciation that you have to live underneath a tree or give up your dress, become naked. No. You have misunderstood. You should dress himself properly, you should eat properly, you should work properly, but not on your account, but Kṛṣṇa's account. That is the thing. That's all. Nirbandhe kṛṣṇa-sambandhe yukta-vairāgya ucyate.
Lecture on SB 7.9.10-11 -- Montreal, July 14, 1968:

Arjuna understood the Kṛṣṇa philosophy, and it does not mean that he became a naked fakir and went away from the fighting place, and without any clothing he began to travel. Is it that? No. The only thing is that he changed the account. The account was on behalf of Kṛṣṇa. So you haven't got to make such renunciation that you have to live underneath a tree or give up your dress, become naked. No. That is not... You have misunderstood. You should dress himself properly, you should eat properly, you should work properly, but not on your account, but Kṛṣṇa's account. That is the thing. That's all. Nirbandhe kṛṣṇa-sambandhe yukta-vairāgya ucyate. That is the difference between Vaiṣṇava philosophy and Māyāvādī philosophy. The Māyāvāda philosophy says that brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā, "This world is false and Brahman is truth. So let me become renounced of all this worldly relationship and try to be one with the Brahman." That is Māyāvāda philosophy. We don't say that. We say that because Brahman is satya, truth, and because the world is created by Brahman, so this is also truth. This is also truth. Pūrṇam idaṁ pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate (Īśopaniṣad, Invocation). That is the version of Upaniṣad. The thing is, difference between Māyāvādī and Vaiṣṇava, they do not know the proprietorship. We know the proprietorship. We don't accept anything as "I am the proprietor." This is mistake. This is māyā. Actually... If I take, "It is Kṛṣṇa's," then I am liberated. Just try to understand. You are sitting here. You know that this apartment or this loft belongs to somebody. So there is no harm sitting here, hearing here. But if you think that "This is mine," and if you want you take something out of this, then there is trouble. Similarly, this world belongs to Kṛṣṇa.

Nectar of Devotion Lectures

As we have got this material body, we have got so many material necessities of life. So it is not that abruptly we have to give it up. But by yukta-vairāgya, everything, the material activities, dovetailing with Kṛṣṇa consciousness, it becomes gradually purified, and we come to the final stage of understanding Kṛṣṇa. That is our success of life.
The Nectar of Devotion -- Vrndavana, November 1, 1972:

People who are very short-living and they are not very enthusiastic for self-realization. Manda. Even they, somebody becomes interested in self-realization, they accept some wrong path. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayo (SB 1.1.10). They have got different mataḥ, opinion or path. And the so-called swamis, they also support that "Whatever opinion you have got about religious system, that is all right." Yata mata tata patha. But actually, the fact is different. The fact is that one should take simply to the devotional path, bhaktyā mām abhijānāti (BG 18.55). If you are actually serious to know God, or Kṛṣṇa, then you must take to this process of devotional service. Without this you cannot understand. Not through karma, not through mystic yogic exercises, but through devotional service. Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti, yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ (BG 18.55). That is clearly stated in the Bhagavad... But people do not know it. Anartha upaśamaṁ sākṣād bhakti-yogam adhokṣaje. Bhakti-yogam, execution of bhakti-yoga, is the means of anartha upaśama, subduing the anarthas. Material life means we have accumulated some unwanted things. Just like this material body—this is also not wanted. But somehow or other, we have developed this, and as we have got this material body, we have got so many material necessities of life. So it is not that abruptly we have to give it up. But by yukta-vairāgya, everything, the material activities, dovetailing with Kṛṣṇa consciousness, it becomes gradually purified, and we come to the final stage of understanding Kṛṣṇa. That is our success of life.

General Lectures

One who is on the spiritual platform knows that "I don't want anything material. Why shall I be hankering? Whatever is, I mean, barely required, I must be satisfied with that thing." So that is not very nice proposal to the materially advanced world at this present moment. People will not accept it. Therefore this process, transcendental... Yukta-vairāgya. It is called yukta-vairāgya.
Northeastern University Lecture -- Boston, April 30, 1969:

So we have to wind up from the material concept of life to the spiritual concept, or spiritual platform. That is called brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati (BG 18.54). When... One who is on the spiritual platform, he has no more hankering, no more lamentation. Why he should be hankering? He knows that "I don't want anything material. Why shall I be hankering? Whatever is, I mean, barely required, I must be satisfied with that thing." So that is a, a very, not very nice proposal to the materially advanced world at this present moment. People will not accept it. Therefore this process, transcendental... Yukta-vairāgya. It is called yukta-vairāgya. You just remain in your place. This is the facility of this Hare Kṛṣṇa movement, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. You haven't got to change your place. You remain. You are student; you remain a student. You are businessman; you remain businessman. You are woman, man, or anyone, any, black, white, anyone—you remain in your position. Simply you try to hear. Sthāne sthitāḥ śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhiḥ. You just remain in your position. You simply hear. Kindly give your aural reception to this transcendental sound. Very simple process. No charges. We are not charging anything, that "You give us so many dollars, then I shall give you this mantra, Hare Kṛṣṇa." It is publicly distributed. You simply catch up and try it. You'll... Very quickly you'll come to the transcendental platform, and when you hear the chanting, that is transcendental meditation. This process is recommended in all scriptures of Vedic literature, and it is followed by Lord Caitanya and His disciplic succession for the last five hundred years, and people are achieving good result. Not only in India, here also, the young boys and girls who have joined this movement... You try to understand what is this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, how transcendental meditation is possible. We are not sentimentalists. We have got many books. Just like here is our Bhagavad-gītā As It Is and Teachings of Lord Caitanya. We have got our magazine, Back to Godhead. We have got Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, five volumes. So many things. Īśopaniṣad. It is not that we are sentimentalist. We are backed by high philosophical thoughts and everything. But if you take this simple process, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, you immediately are elevated on the transcendental platform without reading so many big literatures, philosophy, or understanding. That is the gift to the present conditional souls of the world by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu in accordance with this Vedic sanction.

So phalgu-vairāgya and yukta-vairāgya. Phalgu-vairāgya means inferior renunciation, or false renunciation. And yukta-vairāgya means actual renunciation.
Pandal Lecture at Cross Maidan -- Bombay, March 26, 1971:

The Vaiṣṇava philosopher takes the temporary thing, although temporary. They know how to make the best use of a bad bargain. That is Vaiṣṇava philosophy. Nirbandhe kṛṣṇa-sambandhe yukta-vairāgyam ucyate.

anāsaktasya viṣayān
yathārham upayuñjataḥ
nirbandhe kṛṣṇa-sambandhe
yukta-vairāgyam ucyate

That is the direction given by the Gosvāmīs. And the other side is:

prāpañcikatayā buddhyā
hari-sambandhi-vastunaḥ
mumukṣubhiḥ parityāgo
phalgu-vairāgyaṁ kathyate

So phalgu-vairāgya and yukta-vairāgya. Phalgu-vairāgya means inferior renunciation, or false renunciation. And yukta-vairāgya means actual renunciation. What is that difference? Prāpañcikatayā buddhyā. The Māyāvādī philosophers, they are giving up this world as false, māyā. Prāpañcikatayā buddhyā hari-sambandhi-vastunaḥ. Just like sometimes we are criticized because we are using the advantages offered by the material science. Just like I am using this microphone. So the people may criticize, "If this world is false, the material world is false, then why should I take advantage of this material product?" They expect that those who are spiritualists, they should go to Himalayas, giving up, giving up everything material and meditate in a solitary place, in snow-covered area. But Vaiṣṇava philosophy does not think like that. Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi grāma. He does not recommend, although He was a sannyāsī, He was in renounced order of life. He gave up His family, beautiful wife, very affectionate mother, very comfortable home, very prestige, too much prestige of His personality in the society. He gave up everything. He was in the prime age of His youthful life, twenty-four years only, but He gave up everything.

Conversations and Morning Walks

1968 Conversations and Morning Walks

Māyāvādī sect, Śaṅkara sect, they have got stringent laws for renunciation. But Vaiṣṇavas, they have no stringent law. They accept everything as Kṛṣṇa-prasādam, actually offering Kṛṣṇa, working for Kṛṣṇa, living for Kṛṣṇa. This is the best use. My Guru Mahārāja used to say, "The best use of a bad bargain." Everything in Kṛṣṇa relationship. That is yukta-vairāgya.
Room Conversation -- October 27, 1968, Montreal, With First Devotees Going to London On Evening of Their Departure:

Prabhupāda: There is amongst the brāhmaṇa, not now, in the Vedic system, the uñca-vṛtti. It is called uñca-vṛtti. Uñca-vṛtti means they will go the paddy field, and after the cultivator takes all the paddies, some paddies are thrown away. They will collect those paddies only. Just like birds, they collect. They collect those paddies, and that they will eat, not even beg, ask anybody for any morsel of food. So completely... And in the Bhāgavata, Śukadeva Gosvāmī recommends that "Oh, this open field is your bed, this is your pillow, this is your pot, and the water in river is sufficient water, the tree is full of fruits, and in the cave, there is sufficient apartment. So why should you go, anyone, to ask for your shelter, for your food?" Kasmād bhajanti kavayor dhana-durmadandhān: "Why should you approach the materialistic, puffed-up, monied men to give you some help?" So Śukadeva Gosvāmī was strictly following this, strictly following, completely independent. That is not possible at the present day. (chuckles) If we imitate, that will be not good. We have to depose(?). Our Gosvāmīs, they have prescribed yukta-vairāgya: accept everything in relationship with Kṛṣṇa. Then it is yukta-vairāgya. It is also vairāgya. Śuṣka-vairāgya and yukta-vairāgya. Śuṣka-vairāgya means simply renunciation without assimilation. Māyāvādī sect, Śaṅkara sect, they have got stringent laws for renunciation. But Vaiṣṇavas, they have no stringent law. They accept everything as Kṛṣṇa-prasādam, actually offering Kṛṣṇa, working for Kṛṣṇa, living for Kṛṣṇa. This is the best use. My Guru Mahārāja used to say, "The best use of a bad bargain." Everything in Kṛṣṇa relationship. That is yukta-vairāgya. Nirbandhaḥ kṛṣṇa-sambandhe yukta-vairāgyam ucyate. Vairagya means detachment. So when we are attached to Kṛṣṇa, automatically we are detached to māyā. Not artificially we want to be detached from māyā. Just like theoretically I know that I am not this body, but the bodily necessities are there because I am encaged in the body. Therefore the bodily necessities-eating, sleeping, mating, defending-should be done in relationship with Kṛṣṇa. Then it is all right. Then my consciousness is always in Kṛṣṇa, and I am detached to my bodily demands. And those who are not Kṛṣṇa conscious, their bodily demands is on the materialistic platform. They are going on, increasing the degree of fever and coming to the 107 degree.

1972 Conversations and Morning Walks

Steel-cement is not bad, provided it is meant for preaching. That is also spiritual. Nirbandhe kṛṣṇa sambandhe yukta-vairāgya. But because we are materialistic, sometimes steel and cement attracts us more than Kṛṣṇa.
Room Conversation -- October 27, 1972, Vrndavana:

Gurudāsa: Subala Mahārāja was joking with me that I am wanting to preach, but instead I am thinking about steel and cement and bricks.

Prabhupāda: No. If that steel, cement, and bricks are meant for preaching, then it is all right. But if there is difficulty, then sometimes we become absorbed in steel-cement. Steel-cement is not bad, provided it is meant for preaching. That is also spiritual. Nirbandhe kṛṣṇa sambandhe yukta-vairāgya. But because we are materialistic, sometimes steel and cement attracts us more than Kṛṣṇa. So this Bombay affair is giving me a little depression. Because so highly thought of, now these people they do not want to stay there. Just like this Mahaṁsa, Dinanātha, they do not wish to return. Something has to be done.

1973 Conversations and Morning Walks

If by going in a car I can go and preach, very swiftly, and come back again, why shall I give up this car? So our philosophy is not like that. Nirbandhaḥ kṛṣṇa-sambandhe yuktaṁ vairāgyam ucyate. It is yukta-vairāgya. We have no attachment for all these things. We are sitting in this palatial building, that's all right. But you can talk things under the tree. But if I sit down underneath a tree nobody will come to me.
Room Conversation with Reporter from Researchers Magazine -- July 24, 1973, London:

Reporter: Now people know only "French Connection," they're forgetting Kṛṣṇa connection. (laughs) Yes, very true.

Prabhupāda: But we see everything has got Kṛṣṇa connection. Therefore we utilize it for Kṛṣṇa. Just like you're talking about Kṛṣṇa, it is being recorded. So it is useful for Kṛṣṇa's service. Why should I give it up? Because the airplane is there, therefore my preaching has been easier. Every year I'm wandering all over the world, twice, thrice. Because if you use airplane. So why shall I give it up? It is giving me facility to preach my Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, why shall I give it up? It is mithyā. Just like the Jains, they do not ride on car, but if by going in a car I can go and preach, very swiftly, and come back again, why shall I give up this car? So our philosophy is not like that. Nirbandhaḥ kṛṣṇa-sambandhe yuktaṁ vairāgyam ucyate. It is yukta-vairāgya. We have no attachment for all these things. We are sitting in this palatial building, that's all right. But you can talk things under the tree. But if I sit down underneath a tree nobody will come to me. (everyone laughs) So why shall I do that? This is our philosophy.

anāsaktasya viṣayān
yathārham upayuñjataḥ
nirbandhaḥ kṛṣṇa-sambandhe
yuktaṁ vairāgyam ucyate

Yukta-vairāgya. After all, you have to practice vairāgya. Not under attachment. But in connection with Kṛṣṇa, nonattachment is required. Otherwise this nonattachment will not stay.

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

So long I have got this physical body, I have to give some physical facility. Yukta-vairāgya. If I can write my books in a comfortable place, why shall I voluntarily go to a dark place? Material facilities, either dark place or lighted place, it is the same thing, but I'll have to accept which is favorable for me.
Interview with Newsweek -- July 14, 1976, New York:

Interviewer: How important is your physical environment to you? If this room is very lovely—it has light and space and air and flowers—is this important at all or would it be the same to you to be sitting out on the street?

Prabhupāda: No, why shall I sit if I can sit down on the open space anywhere, on the bank of the river, on the bank of the ocean. There are so many open spaces. You can sit down there.

Bali-mardana: Her question was, "Is your physical place important, surroundings"?

Prabhupāda: Yes. So long I have got this physical body, I have to give some physical facility. Yukta-vairāgya. If I can write my books in a comfortable place, why shall I voluntarily go to a dark place? Material facilities, either dark place or lighted place, it is the same thing, but I'll have to accept which is favorable for me.

Correspondence

1968 Correspondence

One can advance in transcendental life by process of negativating the general practice of materialistic life. The exact adjustment is in Vaisnava philosophy, which is called Yukta Vairagya, means that we should simply accept the bare necessities of our material part of life, and try to save time for spiritual advancement.
Letter to Hayagriva -- Montreal 14 June, 1968:

So far I am personally concerned, the United States Immigration Department has denied my application for permanent visa on some technical ground. In other words, just to avoid a Swami, because the government is disgusted with so-called Swamis who exploit the innocent public in your country. The difficulty is that the people in this country, they want to continue their practice of sense gratification, and at the same time they want to become transcendentally advanced. This is quite contradictory. One can advance in transcendental life by process of negativating the general practice of materialistic life. The exact adjustment is in Vaisnava philosophy, which is called Yukta Vairagya, means that we should simply accept the bare necessities of our material part of life, and try to save time for spiritual advancement. This should be the motto of New Vrindaban, if you at all develop it to the perfectional stage. And I am always at your service to help you by practical suggestion and assistance also.

Facts about "Yukta-vairagya"
Compiled byAlakananda +
Completed sectionsALL +
Date of first entryMarch 16, 0010 JL +
Date of last entryJuly 8, 0010 JL +
Total quotes30 +
Total quotes by sectionBG: 2 +, SB: 4 +, CC: 3 +, OB: 2 +, Lec: 14 +, Conv: 4 + and Let: 1 +