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Five Diseases

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Kulgachia Gram, Howrah District
6 May 2018, part 13


It is necessary to do prasad-seva, to serve prasadam. You know the ekadasi kirtan, it is written there, "Prasada-seva karite haya sakala prapancha-jaya (প্রসাদ-সেবা করিতে হয় সকল প্রপঞ্চ জয়): by honouring the Lord's prasad I shall conquer all worldly illusions (prapancha)."

Prapancha means there are five faults, five diseases—avidya (ignorance), asmita (false identification), raga (misdirected love), dvesa (aversion to anything that goes against one's enjoyment), and abhinivesa (being unable to give up unfavourable habits). Just as we have different bodily sicknesses—diarrhoea, etc.—there are also five material diseases.

Avidya means ignorance, nescience. Everything that you study at school is called avidya, ignorance. Material knowledge (jada-vidya) is ignorance (avidya). As a result of this ignorance, the jiva soul forgets its own identification. The soul forgets that "I am an eternal servant of Krishna." That is called ignorance.

'কৃষ্ণ-নিত্যদাস'—জীব তাহা ভুলি' গেল ।
এই দোষে মায়া তার গলায় বান্ধিল ॥

'krsna-nitya-dasa'—jiva taha bhuli' gela
ei dose maya tara galaya bandhila

"When the jiva soul makes the mistake of forgetting that it is an eternal servant of Krishna, Maya captures the soul by its neck."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 22.24)

Big scientists say, "We have discovered everything! We have done everything! God has nothing to do with this." But if God has nothing to do with it, then what is the very life, the soul, of a human being? As long as you are alive, the doctors can save your life, but once you are dead, can they save you? The soul forgets its own identity, its own conscious form (chit-svarupa), forgets that, "I am not this body, I am a spirit soul." This forgetfulness is called ignorance (avidya).

Next is asmita. This is mayavadis conception, identification with the body ("I am this body," "This is my wife," "These are my children," and so on). Is this actually true? It is not. I am a soul, and the body is made of five material elements (earth, water, fire, air, ether).

Raga means attachment to the material things and body, always thinking about one's body and its upkeep.

Dvesa means engaging in unfavourable actions in order to enjoy the material world, material and bodily consciousness. It also means that, for example, you see somebody chanting the Holy Name and you feel jealous of them. I do something to get something and if I see that somebody else does it, I feel envious. That is dvesa. Actually, we are neither enjoyers, no renunciates. Suppose there are some mangoes on a tree. Somebody picks a mango and eats. That is an enjoyer. Somebody says, "No, I will not eat it!" That is a renunciate. Both are wrong. We must pick that mango, peel it and offer to the Lord, and give prasad to everybody. That is service. And the opposite mood is dvesa.

Finally, abhinivesa. It means attachment to pleasant material things (that are unfavourable to devotion) and being unable to give them up, being unable to accept the things favourable to devotion. I know that it is unfavourable, but I cannot give it up. For example, I know gambling is bad, but I cannot give it up; I know smoking is bad, but I cannot give it up; I know it is not good to look at girls or feel some desire towards ladies, but I cannot give it up; or I cannot give up fish, meat, etc. That is called abhinivesa.

These are the five diseases. If you take prasad, these five diseases go away.


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