HOW CAN ONE BE FREE FROM MATERIAL BONDAGE
Question : HOW CAN ONE BE FREE FROM MATERIAL BONDAGE ?
Answer : BY SRILA PRABHUPADA.
nātaḥ paraḿ karma-nibandha-kṛntanaḿ
na yat punaḥ karmasu sajjate mano
rajas-tamobhyāḿ kalilaḿ tato 'nyathā
Therefore one who desires freedom from material bondage should adopt the process of chanting and glorifying the name, fame, form and pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, at whose feet all the holy places stand. One cannot derive the proper benefit from other methods, such as pious atonement, speculative knowledge and meditation in mystic yoga, because even after following such methods one takes to fruitive activities again, unable to control his mind, which is contaminated by the base qualities of nature, namely passion and ignorance. (Srimad Bhagavatam).
It has actually been seen that even after achieving so-called perfection, many karmīs, jñānīs and yogīs become attached to material activities again. Many so-called svāmīs and yogīs give up material activities as false (jagan mithyā), but after some time they nevertheless resume material activities by opening hospitals and schools or performing other activities for the benefit of the public. Sometimes they participate in politics, although still falsely declaring themselves sannyāsīs, members of the renounced order.
The perfect conclusion, however, is that if one actually desires to get out of the material world, he must take to devotional service, which begins with śravaṇaḿ kīrtanaḿ viṣṇoḥ: [SB 7.5.23] chanting and hearing the glories of the Lord. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement has actually proved this.
In the Western countries, many young boys who were addicted to drugs and who had many other bad habits, which they could not give up, abandoned all those propensities and very seriously engaged in chanting the glories of the Lord as soon as they joined the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. In other words, this process is the perfect method of atonement for actions performed in rajaḥ and tamaḥ (passion and ignorance). As stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.19):
kāma-lobhādayaś ca ye
ceta etair anāviddhaḿ
sthitaḿ sattve prasīdati
As a result of rajaḥ and tamaḥ, one becomes increasingly lusty and greedy, but when one takes to the process of chanting and hearing, one comes to the platform of goodness and becomes happy. As he advances in devotional service, all his doubts are completely eradicated (bhidyate hṛdaya-granthiś chidyantesarva-saḿśayāḥ). Thus the knot of his desire for fruitive activities is cut to pieces.