[The following is an excerpt from the upcoming Bhaktabandhav publication, Sri Harinama Cintamani]

A man can work his entire life, but the end result will be zero. He may even go to the holy places and chant harināma, but it will all prove fruitless if he did such activities for the sake of his own enjoyment. Rather than obtaining a positive effect, these things will take him to hell. Such is the unfortunate position of a person who does not use all he has for God’s service.

Śubha-karma only gives a temporary result. How then can the living being renounce this karma-khāṇḍa and engage in pure bhakti? People follow karma-khāṇḍa for many lives, but have difficulty crossing beyond it. They only become more and more attached to this material world.

In sādhu-saṅga, one can realize that one is kṛṣṇa-dāsa, the servant of Kṛṣṇa; not māyā-dāsa, the servant of Māyā. By meeting with sādhus, one can get liberation from māyā. Then one will fully engage his mind, words, and actions in God’s service. This is possible for those with sukṛti. Jñāna-khāṇḍa and karma-khāṇḍa cannot give this sukṛti.

Some people realize that māyā is full of suffering, and that anything one takes only gives pain. For instance, a person may work very hard, and then after years of working he buys a box that has four wheels, doors, windows, and an engine. Seeing him enter this box with his family, Yamarāja says to his soldiers, “Go and collect these jīvas. They are sending themselves to hell in a box. Look, they are driving. Where are they going? They think they are driving to the park, to the beach, or to the cinema, but really they are driving here to hell.”

On the way to a destination meant for enjoyment, the four-wheeled box crashes into a tree and all the passengers are taken to Yamaraja, the Lord of Judgement, by his servants. People do everything for their own enjoyment, but this only brings about a painful result.

Some people think, “I will not waste time. I will collect knowledge and achieve perfection. Sarvaṁ khalv idaṁ brahma. Everything is Brahma. I won’t think about material enjoyment.”

They acquire a vast amount of dry impersonal knowledge, and chant mantras like these day and night. They say that they are Brahma and that everyone around them is also Brahma. They assume that everything is Brahma. They think, “I will merge into Brahma, and then I will not feel any pain,” But what really happens? Can they actually merge into Brahma? This is only the speculation of the brahmavādīs.

That Brahmān is effulgence or light. If you mix water with water, air with air, and light with light, there is still some individuality remaining. All water is not the same. Similarly, all air is not the same, nor is all fire or light the same. When a contaminated person mixes with clean people, the clean people will kick that dirty person out, saying, “First clean yourself, then you can come and stay with us.”

We may try to go to Brahma, but we have so many bad moods within us. How can we meet with Brahma? If you want to enter a formal assembly or a government ministry, you must know proper manners and etiquette. You will be checked many times before being allowed entrance. You’ll need proper knowledge. People collect so much impersonal knowledge and then say, “This is nothing. That is nothing,” They enter the brahma-jyoti and their individuality becomes dormant. They feel nothing, and remain immobile in the effulgence of Brahma. Demons killed by Viṣṇu also go to this place. There they sleep without disturbance. There is no consciousness. People think this to be happiness. When one sleeps at night, some consciousness remains, but when one merges into this Brahma effulgence, no consciousness remains.

They never meet with Kṛṣṇa, nor do they realize the transcendental bliss of pure love.

There are three kinds of sukṛti: karma-unmukhī-sukṛti, jñāna-unmukhī-sukṛti, and bhakti-unmukhi-sukṛti.

A hardworking karmī sees some sādhus performing kīrtana and says to them, “Please come to my garden. I have many guavas and will give you some.” The sādhus come and are given the guavas, which they offer to the Lord and then distribute as prasadam.

Some karmīs open a water charity center, and sādhus who pass by drink water from them. Other karmīs open food charity centers, and sādhus who perform bhajana go there to receive the charity and thus maintain their life. All of these are examples karma-unmukhī-sukṛti.

Sometimes karmīs think, “I have opened a charity, but who will cook, clean, and arrange everything?” Then they go to the Jagannātha Temple, buy large amounts of old mahā-prasāda, which is sold cheaply, and then distribute it. They do not know the glories of mahā-prasāda. They take this old prasāda, mix it with salt, chili, and lemon, and add water to make a drink, called taṅka-taraṇi.

“This is very cheap,” they think. “I will distribute this and become renowned for my generosity,” It is still mahāprasāda and it bestows a good result to those who accept it. Anyhow Jagannātha still helps these people.

This is also considered karma-unmukhī-sukṛti.

Sometimes sādhus perform nāma-saṅkīrtana and arrange a program where they give Bhāgavatam class. Many businessmen see them and think, “They are poor beggars and are wearing torn cloth. I will give them some good cloth.” By doing so, the businessmen get karma-unmukhī-sukṛti.

When faith finally comes, one will follow bhakti.

Haridāsa Ṭhākura now addresses Mahāprabhu. “Oh Lord, You are very kind. You bestow mercy on the karmīs and jñānīs by facilitating them on a secondary path.”

When pure knowledge comes, the jīva runs for attaining the Absolute Truth. When one follows the primary path or, in other words, when one follows bhakti, there is no need to follow the secondary path.