Pratistha: Self-Destruction

By His Divine Grace
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Sri Nabadwip Dham
29 May 2013


Question: Why is pratistha the most difficult and how can we become free from it?

You can compare pratistha to ego. Actually, when we are doing something we think that we are doing so many things but we do not think that we are very little. Guru, Krishna are very, very big, even Brahma says, "I am also nothing in front of Krishna! Even I suffer so much from the tri-tap-jala (adhibhautik, adhyatmik, adhidaivik, আধিভৌতিক, আধ্যাত্মিক, আধিদৈবিক: miseries caused by one's body, by other souls and the nature); even in my place, here in Brahma-loka, there is some inauspiciousness, and I too want some permanent solution, I want to stay there..." What to speak of a human body then—a human body is nothing, it is very small and simple. You know that jivatma is very small, and Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead—He is very big, He controls the work of the whole universe, in front of Him, we are tiny. So, if we do something, some ego comes to us, we think we are doing so much, we are doing so much, but actually we are not doing anything because in front of Him these are all small things.

Pratistha comes slowly, slowly through position. For example, we are doing some service and we want something (it is a human body, everybody has some material desire—we want respect, we want honour, we want this thing, we want that thing, everybody has some kind of material desire); because of these desires the service we are doing gives us pressure and does not let us go up; and when the service is gone, then all kinds of bad elements, bad material things (kanak, kamini, pratistha) start coming to us. Pratistha is very bad, it can attack even a sannyasi, a brahmachari or anyone else. People may not have so much intention for kamini (ladies) or intention for kanak (money), but mostly people want to have a big position, "Oh, everybody will give me respect, everybody will give me honour!" So people do not actually run so much after kanak or kamini—they mostly run behind pratistha.

I have told it before and I want to say it now also. Pratistha is very dangerous. When we work as a leader, as a manager, as a temple secretary, it is very difficult. For example, Gurudev tells somebody, "You will be a ritvik," and they give initiation, give ritvik, give ritvik, and when one day they cannot give initiation they think, "Oh, now nobody will give me obeisance, nobody will give me honour!" and they feel frustrated. They may think that they are losing something, but actually they do not lose anything. I have told it many times that if you want to get mercy from Gauranga, if you want mercy from Gurudev, if you want mercy from Krishna, it is not necessary to want to be a guru, it is not necessary to want to have any big position—through just some little service you can be a great devotee or can go to your real destination.

So, when this kind of desire for pratistha comes to somebody, they end up losing their line—they do not follow Gurudev's conception and start working for their own interest. They want pratistha, and more pratistha comes to them—they start to make disciples; after that, so many disciples' bad karma attacks them, that bad karma gives reaction to them, and finally they lose their way, lose their Gurudev's line. That is why pratistha is very dangerous for the devotional line...


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