Canto 5: The Creative ImpetusChapter 14: The Material World as the Great Forest of Enjoyment

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 5.14.4

yathā hy anuvatsaraḿ kṛṣyamāṇam apy adagdha-bījaḿ kṣetraḿ punar evāvapana-kāle gulma-tṛṇa-vīrudbhir gahvaram iva bhavaty evam eva gṛhāśramaḥ karma-kṣetraḿ yasmin na hi karmāṇy utsīdanti yad ayaḿ kāma-karaṇḍa eṣa āvasathaḥ


yathā — just as; hi — certainly; anuvatsaram — every year; kṛṣyamāṇam — being plowed; api — although; adagdha-bījamin which the seeds are not burned; kṣetram — the field; punaḥ — again; eva — certainly; āvapana-kāle — at the times for sowing the seeds; gulma — by bushes; tṛṇa — by grasses; vīrudbhiḥ — by the creepers; gahvaram iva — like a bower; bhavati — becomes; evam — thus; eva — certainly; gṛha-āśramaḥ — family life; karma-kṣetram — the field of activities; yasminin which; na — not; hi — certainly; karmāṇi utsīdanti — fruitive activities disappear; yat — therefore; ayam — this; kāma-karaṇḍaḥ — the storehouse of fruitive desire; eṣaḥ — this; āvasathaḥ — abode.


Every year the plowman plows over his grain field, completely uprooting all weeds. Nonetheless, the seeds lie there and, not being completely burned, again come up with the plants sown in the field. Even after being plowed under, the weeds come up densely. Similarly, the gṛhastha-āśrama [family life] is a field of fruitive activity. Unless the desire to enjoy family life is completely burned out, it grows up again and again. Even though camphor may be removed from a pot, the pot nonetheless retains the aroma of camphor. As long as the seeds of desire are not destroyed, fruitive activities are not destroyed.


Unless one's desires are completely transferred to the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the desire for family life continues. even after one has taken sannyāsa. Sometimes in our society, ISKCON. a person out of sentiment may take sannyāsa, but because his desires are not burned completely, he again takes to family life, even at the risk of losing his prestige and disgracing his good name. These strong desires can be burned out completely when one fully engages in the service of the Lord in devotional service.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness