daily devotional

Devotee does not desire material opulences.

A devotee does not aspire for material pleasures, although they are available to him simply by wishing. By the grace of the Lord, a devotee can achieve wonderful material success simply by willing, but a real devotee does not do so. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu has taught that one should not desire material opulence or material reputation, nor should one try to enjoy material beauty; he should only aspire to be absorbed in the devotional service of the Lord, even if he does not get liberation but has to continue the process of birth and death unlimitedly. A pure devotee never wants anything from the Lord. He does not even want liberation, to say nothing of material things. Generally, people want dharma, artha, kama and moksa, in that order. First of all, people want to become religious (dharma) in order to attain material opulence (artha). People want material opulence in order to gratify their senses (kama), and when they are frustrated in their attempt to gratify their senses, they want liberation (moksa). In this way, dharma, artha, kama and moksa are going on. However, a devotee is not interested in any of these. In the Christian religion, people pray, “Give us this day our daily bread,” but a pure bhakta does not even ask for his daily bread. A pure devotee is kept in the hand of Kṛṣṇa just like a very precious jewel. When you hold something precious in your hand, you are very careful, and similarly, Kṛṣṇa holds the devotee and takes care of him.

The Srimad-Bhagavatam also confirms (2.3.10) that even if a person desires material enjoyment or liberation, he should engage in devotional service. Those who are ambitious to derive material benefit from devotional service are not pure devotees, but because they are engaged in devotional service they considered fortunate. They do not know that the result of devotional service is not material benediction, but because they engage themselves in the devotional service of the Lord they ultimately come to understand that material enjoyment is not the goal of devotional service. Kṛṣṇa Himself says that persons who want some material benefit in exchange for devotional service are certainly foolish because they want something which is poisonous for them. The real goal of devotional service is love of Godhead, and although a person may desire material benefits from Kṛṣṇa, the Lord, being all-powerful, considers the person’s position and gradually liberates him from a materially ambitious life and engages him more in devotional service. When one is actually engaged in devotional service, he forgets his material ambitions and desires.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2012 edition), “Teachings of Lord Caitanya, The Golden Avatara”, Page 129
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2007 edition), “Teachings of Lord Kapila, The Son of Devahuti”, Page 222

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