Maharaja Yudhisthira, like his brother Arjuna, began to concentrate and was gradually freed from all material bondage. He turned his mind to the transcendental service of the Lord. He prayed that since all material activities are done by the mind in terms of actions and reactions of the material senses, and since he was going back to Godhead, the mind would wind up its material activities and be turned towards transcendental service to the Lord.
All is manifested by the temporary embodiment of the material body, which is a production of the mind at the time of death, and if the mind is purified by practice of transcendental loving service to the Lord and is constantly engaged in the service of the lotus feet of the Lord, there is no chance of the mind’s producing another material body after death. It will be freed from material contamination. The pure soul will be able to return, back to Godhead.
Someone said our thinking directs the emotions and our emotions direct our activities. If your thinking is very positive, it will generate very positive emotions, which in turn bring about positive actions - regular management guru theories. What generates positive thoughts? We say different thoughts come from different conceptions of life that we have, and broadly there are two - the material conception and the spiritual conception. When one thinks that life is all about the body, the mind and the activities, that is material conception of life. Spiritual conception of life is deeper to understand. This life force actually comes from a spirit soul, another energy.
The most important symptom in the material conception of life is one that is driven and motivated towards sense gratification. This person thinks he is the body and the body has senses, and the pleasure of the senses seems to be the highest thing in life. Prabhupada calls it being entrapped in the material conception of life, which is being presented to us forcefully by maya, by the arrangement of the Lord and we embrace it. There is another energy of the Lord whose blessing we can become free ofthe material conception of life and that is the spiritual energy.
So the material energy of the Lord creates an influence and the spiritual energy of the Lord can create another kind of an influence on the living entities and based on energy, we act helplessly under those forces. A material conception of life creates a certain kind of values; and a spiritual conception of life creates another kind of values. We laugh at some things that the materialists are so convinced about.
Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita, “ya nisa sarva-bhutanam tasyam jagarti samyami.” Samyami means those who are self controlled. Prabhupada says what grabs our attention is also indicative of what conception of life we are in. Bhagavatam says the difference is like the crows and the swans. The crows are attracted to certain kind of things, the swans are attracted to certain other kinds of things. Bhagavatam says there are two kinds of literature - vayasam tirtham - a pilgrimage unto crows. There is another kind of literature which the hamsas are looking for.
Kunti devi also mentions in her prayers, that she aspires to be in the spiritual conception of life. The material conception of life creates certain kinds of emotions which are connected to family members and these emotions become so powerful and similarly when we are in the spiritual conception of life we can be situated in very powerful emotions, but that is an enlightened state, whereas in a material conception of life, it is in ignorance.
Those relationships have a place in this world, but there are things of higher priority in life. It is a long journey to become more situated in the spiritual conception of life. It takes time, it takes sadhana, but gradually we move in that direction. Srila Prabhupada’s teachings indicate that there are powerful forces called maya which actually force these conceptions into our consciousness.
Sometimes it so happens that after becoming devotees, once again sneha pasam takes over. Sometimes due to the force of maya, once again we become overcome by sneha pasam of the families. But we should know what the goal of life is. When we are in the spiritual conception of life, it is very cle+ar. Material conception of life, first of all is sense gratification, then the subtle things are the emotions, another very important aspect which normally people don’t think is bad, it is about name, fame and honor.
Srila Prabhupada presents spiritual life in such exacting terms so that we know where we are heading. And very obviously the behavior of a person in a material conception of life and a spiritual conception of life is also going to be very different. When we become devotees, if we are on the spiritual platform, the conduct has to be different. We as devotees, have to be very watchful about these things coming into our consciousness - envy, jealousy - you have given that facility to him, not to me. Am I moving forward in the material conception of life or in the spiritual conception of life? Such thoughts may come, but immediately the spiritual conceptions of life that Srila Prabhupada is teaching us, Bhagavad Gita, Bhagavatam is teaching us - that should immediately fire into our consciousness and say no, what am I here for? I am getting an opportunity to serve Krishna, to be in the kirtan, to get prasadam, to be in the association of devotees. What more do I want? Very sadly, sometimes devotees make these mistakes. We have to be introspective about all these things.
Krishna says the thing which keep us in the spiritual conception of life is knowledge. Just let us read these things to refresh our memories. Pridelessness - it is about spiritual, non-violence, tolerance, simplicity, approaching a bonafide spiritual master, cleanliness, steadiness and self control. Spiritual conception of life means renunciation of the objects of sense gratification. Absence of false ego, the perception of the evil of birth, death, old age and disease, non-attachment to children, wife, home and the rest, even-mindedness amid pleasant and unpleasant events, constant and unalloyed devotion to Me, resorting to solitary places, detachment from the general mass of people.
So when Krishna is talking about knowledge, He is talking about being in the spiritual conception of life. And when Krishna is talking about ignorance, He is talking about being in the material conception of life. Now what happens in our case is, sometimes we are in the material conception of life, and sometimes we are in the spiritual conception of life. We keep oscillating. That is why Krishna uses very beautiful words in the thirteenth chapter - adhyatma jnana nityatvam. Nityatvam means constancy. So to be constantly fixed in adhyatma jnana, and the next is - tattva jnanartha darsanam, tattva jnana means transcendental knowledge. Tattva jnanartha means object of tattva jnana. There is a goal, artha means goal. Tattva jnanartha darsanam - to be always seeking that. These are all indications of the spiritual conception of life.
So we have to be careful about these two conceptions of life. It is important to come out of the material conception of life, so that we move towards our goal of life - which has to be Krishna prema.