Once there was a huge dispute between the strength of Heatus and Coolus. So they were summoned to the great arena of Temperus and asked to demonstrate their strength.
Heatus took the first step and flamed a candle.
Coolus dropped an ice cube on it. The flame went off.
Heatus burnt a paper and threw it on the ice cube. Ice disappeared.
Coolus took the burning paper and threw it in the LG refrigerator. Fire went off.
Heatus took the refrigerator and threw it in a blast furnace, refrigerator melted with all ice it contained.
Coolus threw the blast furness in a huge iceberg and it went cold.
Heatus threw the iceberg in a volcano, it melted off
The fight continues but let's take a break with this question - Who is the winner?
In every round, we see that the party with greater volume wins. And in next round that winner is defeated by the opponent, again because of its volume.
Every moment we have a similar fight in our spiritual life, fight against Maya.
We come in the association of devotees, study Scriptures, chant our rounds to spiritually strengthen ourselves from Maya's attacks. To guard ourselves, we have to increase our sadhana volume by regular chanting, reading, hearing, associating with devotees.
We must understand how rare this opportunity of Krishna Consciousness is.
Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth.Bhagavad Gita 7.3
After many births and death, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.Bhagavad Gita 7.19
When we are Maya Conscious we have to helplessly undergo the painful cycle of 84 lakh species and we are not sure after how many millions of lifetimes we will get another chance to practice Krishna Consciousness.
Many times we find people come in Krishna Consciousness with high enthusiasm but cannot continue long, because of a simple reason, Maya is stronger than their self-defense (sadhana). She gives them innumerable logics and reasons to avoid becoming Krishna Consciousness. Because of weak Sadhana, they believe those reasons.
It is seen very practically, the association or assembly of devotees is a place where everyone comes together, learn together, glorify the Supreme Personality of Godhead- Krishna. As time passes, we are taught the basics of our self-defense mechanism, i.e. Sadhana, Chanting - Hearing - Reading-Serving-Associating. Most important of the 4 are Regular Chanting and Association. This is the only defense we have against Maya.
Some of us take it seriously, some don't.
In a matter of time, we can see a change in the level of interest. As the months pass we can see a difference in attendance. Eventually, some unfortunate souls permanently leave the association. Surviving Maya alone is impossible even for yogis what to speak about we fallen souls of Kaliyuga.
This is the worst misfortune a soul can have. They get an extremely rare key to get out of this prison and then they carelessly misplace it, thus undergo the 84 lakhs species and repeated cycle of birth and death!!!
They must be having very very very strong reasons for doing so, but in reality most of the times, those reasons are nothing but an illusionary spell of Maya.
Krishna never manifests Himself to such a foolish soul, that is why they don't get any interest in Krishna Consciousness.
I am never manifest to the foolish and unintelligent. For them I am covered by My internal potency.Bhagavad Gita 7.25
All of us must have done some pious activities for many lifetimes due to which we got this extremely rare chance to associate with devotees. This is confirmed by Krishna.
Persons who have acted piously in previous lives and in this life and whose sinful actions are completely eradicated are freed from the dualities of delusion, and they engage themselves in My service with determination.Bhagavad Gita 7.28
Each moment Maya is looking for an opportunity to attack us. The only defense system is our regular Sadhana. Let us not be fooled by Maya and take the path of life imprisonment.
Also we must not run into Maya's claws by committing a Vaishnava Aparadh or offending a Vaishnava.
Never let our ego make us insult or offend any Vaishnava. This Vaishnava Aparadh is the final Knock Out blow from Maya to our Krishna Consciousness and she will give us infinite reasons and opportunities to commit such an offense. *We must never ever indulge in Gossip regarding a devotee (senior junior or peer).
Acharyas suggest keeping 108 arms distance from such people who try to gossip or influence our mind with gossip.
Only when we serve Krishna and His devotees with love, Krishna gives us the intelligence to kill the darkness of Maya.
To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.Bhagavad Gita 10.10
To show them special mercy, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance.Bhagavad Gita 10.11
Let us all pray to Narasimha Dev for each others defense system and may we all progress in the blissful path of Krishna Consciousness as shown by our Acharyas.
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