Spiritual life is the most natural thing there is and material life is the most unnatural. Just like the fish. Life on the land is the most unnatural thing that fish could experience; there is nothing more unnatural than that because by nature he belongs to the water. There is nothing more unnatural for the soul than life in the material world because we belong to the spiritual world. But we have been here so long, our consciousness has become so covered, we are so filled with material contamination that it feels natural here. (laughs) And spiritual life doesn’t sound natural, doesn’t sound attractive.
We start hearing the truth and we actually immediately start to resist, “I am not interested, I don’t want to hear about that stuff, this is some religion, I am not interested in religion. So therefore good bye.” We are Ok here.
– Don’t bother, I’m Ok.
– Would you like to solve…
– I’m OK.
– Can I help you?
So that is our problem – the contaminated covered consciousness. What is the solution? It is purification because the nature of the soul is pure and the pure soul understands his natural condition, position and his natural life. The process is to gradually purify yourself of this illusion and this contamination. We are so polluted in our minds, in our intelligence, in our hearts that basically we can’t see correctly. We see but we see incorrectly. But if we become cleansed from the contamination, then we can see correctly. We will become more and more interested in the truth. The more pure I am, the more I am interested in the truth. So if I am not interested, that is the sign of great contamination. The more uninterested I am, the more reaction I have against the truth, that is the sign of more and more contamination.
The Vedas give an example. There is a disease of the liver called jaundice, I am sure everybody has heard of that. The liver doesn’t work correctly when you have this disease, you actually turn yellow, things that are sweet taste bitter. Uniquely enough the solution for the cure for this disease in the Vedic system is rock candy. Rock candy is just sugar cane juice that is boiled down and boiled down. Concentrated more and more and more until it becomes like a crystal, it looks like a crystal rock. Of all things sweet this is the sweetest, you can’t even buy it in a shop, and this is the cure. So a person who has jaundice and his Vedic doctor prescribes sugar rock candy, he almost can’t do it because it is so bitter. He puts it in his mouth and it is so bitter that he almost can’t hold it in his mouth; he almost has to spit it out. Now is the rock candy bitter? No, it is absolutely the sweetest of the sweet; it is his disease that gives him this experience of bitterness. And the disease needs to be cured or he will die from it.
So he has to trust the doctor, he has to have faith in the doctor and in the cure. Beyond that, before all that, he has to want to be cured. No desire to be cured – no desire to go to a doctor. Because he will give you this sugar rock candy and you don’t even want to be cured anyway, you definitely won’t do it. But if you want to be cured, you go to the doctor, you trust the doctor, you have faith in the doctor therefore you do what he says and get cured. Gradually, very gradually as the disease goes away and the liver comes more and more to its natural condition of health, then the more and more sweet the candy becomes. Until finally the liver is cured and the candy is so sweet you almost can’t even eat it.
What used to be the most bitter is now the most sweet and the only thing that has changed is your disease. That is all, nothing else. The candy is the same; it was always the same. It was your experience due to your disease that made it bitter. It is exactly like that, which is why the Vedas give us this example. The more material diseased we are and our consciousness is completely polluted by material desires and material wants, etc., etc., then the more bitter spiritual life tastes. But the cleansing takes place if we follow the doctor, the spiritual master.
I want to get well – I go to the doctor, the spiritual master. He gives me my medicine. The number one medicine of all is hearing and chanting God’s names, it is the number one medicine. He says, “Here, do this every day.” Just like the doctor with the candy, “Take this amount this many times every day”. So the spiritual master says, “Take these Holy Names and chant these Holy Names.” And if he sees we are actually serious, that we are not just playing some game; he will give us very detailed instructions.
If we follow that, gradually we will get well. That which may have been bitter in the beginning… “I don’t want to chant these Names, it is not bad but I really don’t want to do it. I will do it maybe once a week, maybe sometimes when I feel like it, which I never do,” etc. If it is so, then I am not going to do much. But if I do it and I start getting well, I start to see the sweetness of it; I am coming back to my natural state of health, spiritual health.
When I am fully cured, there is nothing sweeter, there is nothing more attractive, there is nothing better than chanting God’s Names. All the activities that I am supposed to do naturally, which are to serve the Supreme Lord, become what I want to do; it is natural. I am coming back to my original condition.