Uncomfortable? Still you should go.

This is the first reason why devotees living in cities try to avoid going to the farm community. Devotees think that they are living in a city for so many years and suddenly without all comforts of the city, they would not be able to perform devotional activities with a healthy state of mind.
This similar reason was given by Harikesh prabhuji one of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples of not living on a farm.
This is a morning walk conversation on 12th August 1976, Tehran.
Harikesh prabhuji is asking Srila Prabhupada that what should I do if I don’t find myself comfortable living on a farm? He said that as I was raised in a city I feel more comfortable there. So Srila Prabhupada in reply to this question said that this nature is Rajasik.
{Harikesh: I mean I was born in a city, raised in a city, and feel very good when I’m in a city, but when I’m on a farm, I’m very disturbed. So where…
Prabhupäda: Räjasika. You have got räjasika. So that means your mode of nature is räjasika. There are three kinds of—sättvika, räjasika, tämasika.}
As we read the conversation we find that Srila Prabhupada insisted to all his disciples during this morning walk session that even you don’t feel comfortable on the farm, still you should go. Srila Prabhupada on reply to the question of Harikesh prabhuji asking about the plan they are going to execute for the people who feel comfortable living in a city, Srila Prabhupada said that even having a propensity towards Rajoguna, you can overcome it by Satvguna.
Generally, it is seen that when a person says that it is very comfortable to live in a city, he/she is trying to say that in the city we have all facilities to fulfill our needs.
The things we are calling them as basic needs in city life is just a way to gain artificial comfort. In reality, our basic needs are just food, cloth, and shelter.
In city life, we are so much dependent on modern technology that even for one day we are away from these facilities, we get disturbed.
This means we are not living a simple life. Srila Prabhupada in one of his lectures, beautifully explains this attraction towards city life.
{The glaring attraction of city, that is mäyä. In the modern age people are more attracted by the city life, but we should know city life… Not for the devotee; generally, people in general, they like city life, but that is mäyä. Mäyä means “which is not fact.” We are thinking that this way we shall be happy, but that is not fact. This is called mäyä. Mä-yä—”it is not.” You are thinking that in this way you will be happy, but it is not. This is called mäyä. (May 25, 1975, Honolulu)}
Devotees sometimes give the reason of Yukta Vairagya. But thing is that Yukta vairagya is not limited to just using material facilities for devotional service. It includes that if the devotee, by the mercy of Krishna gets material facilities, he/she uses it for the service of Krishna and if those material facilities get finished, the devotee will not get disturbed in doing devotional service.
This can be seen from the life of Srila Prabhupada. When Srila Prabhupada was preaching in India, he didn’t have any facility. No money, no resources to print books, just nothing. Still he was preaching enthusiastically. And when Srila Prabhupada got success in west and Srila Prabhupad got all the facilities, he used all that resource in service of Krishna, without fail. Srila Prabhupada was not at all dependent on these material facilities.
H.H Bhakti Vikas swami says in his book Brahmcharya in Krishna Consciousness that, without vairagya there is no possibility of yukta vairgya.
It is very difficult for an immature devotee to differentiate whether he/she is following yukta vairagya or it is just simply an excuse for sense gratification.
Now, the question arises that why Prabhupada said that living comfortably in the city is rajasika?
In the city, it is easy to get all the objects of sense gratification. And due to this comfort we are at risk of engaging our self in sense gratification. This is the symptom of being effected by Rajogun.
rajo rāgātmakaṁ
BG 14.7
rajaḥ — the mode of passion; rāgaātmakam — born of desire or lust
This sense gratification increases our lust and Krishna also says this in Bhagvad Gita
käma esa krodha esa
rajo-guna-samudbhavah
mahäshano mahä-päpmä
viddhy enam iha vairinam
Translation-It is lust only, Arjuna, which is born of contact with the material mode of passion and later transformed into wrath, and which is the all-devouring sinful enemy of this world.
It is very difficult to live simply in city life. The whole society is forcing us to get entangled in Maya by making us working day and night.
lobhaḥ pravṛttir ārambhaḥ
BG 14.12
translation- when there is an increase in the mode of passion the symptoms intense endeavor, and uncontrollable desire and hankering develop.
In city life we have to meet non-devotees who are trying to engage us in sense gratification.
It is stated in Srimad Bhagwatam 3.31.32
yady asadbhiḥ pathi punaḥ
śiśnodara-kṛtodyamaiḥ
āsthito ramate jantus
tamo viśati pūrvavat
Translation-If, therefore, the living entity again associates with the path of unrighteousness, influenced by sensually minded people engaged in the pursuit of sexual enjoyment and the gratification of the palate, he again goes to hell as before.
Sometimes devotees try to justify this point by saying that a pure devotee is not affected by any material condition. So we should ask them a question that are we pure devotees of the lord? Are we on a stage where we are not affected by material conditions? If this is the real justification then why the first step on the path of surrender to the Supreme Personality of Godhead is
änukülyasya sankalpa
prätikülyasya varjanam
The devotee first should be determined to accept conducive environment for devotion and reject non- conducive environment for devotion.
This is the first step to be surrendered to lotus feet of Krishna.
Devotion is not dependent on anything. Devotion is dependent on devotion only. But to become strong in devotion in the best way, Acharya gave us this principle to engage 24hrs in devotional service that is
änukülyasya sankalpa
prätikülyasya varjanam
Srila Prabhupada implemented farm community project to train us in simple living and high thinking. And by this help, we will become strong in Krishna consciousness.
Srila Prabhupada further said that it is our tendency is to live naturally in coordination with nature.
{Prabhupäda: That tendency is there, why these bungalows are here? They do not like to live in the city. They are paying so high rent. Why? The inner tendency is to live like this, with trees, with lawn.}
Srila Prabhupada made a beautiful point here that living in a city is an artificial way of living. In reality nobody wants to live in a concrete forest. That’s why even western poets also criticize city life.
In one lecture Srila Prabhupada quoted western poet Cowper who wrote in one of his poems that ‘city is made by man and village is made by God.’

Vishvambhar Das

(Disciple of H.H. Bhakti Vikas Swami(Disciple of Srila Prabhupada))

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