Canto 7: The Science of GodChapter 9: Prahlāda Pacifies Lord Nṛsiḿhadeva with Prayers

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 7.9.40

jihvaikato 'cyuta vikarṣati māvitṛptā

śiśno 'nyatas tvag-udaraḿ śravaṇaḿ kutaścit

ghrāṇo 'nyataś capala-dṛk kva ca karma-śaktir

bahvyaḥ sapatnya iva geha-patiḿ lunanti


jihvā — the tongue; ekataḥto one side; acyutaO my infallible Lord; vikarṣati — attracts; me; avitṛptā — not being satisfied; śiśnaḥ — the genitals; anyataḥto another side; tvak — the skin (for touching a soft thing); udaram — the belly (for various types of food); śravaṇam — the ear (for hearing some sweet music); kutaścitto some other side; ghrāṇaḥ — the nose (for smelling); anyataḥto still another side; capala-dṛk — the restless eyesight; kva ca — somewhere; karma-śaktiḥ — the active senses; bahvyaḥ — many; sa-patnyaḥ — co-wives; iva — like; geha-patima householder; lunanti — annihilate.


My dear Lord, O infallible one, my position is like that of a person who has many wives, all trying to attract him in their own way. For example, the tongue is attracted to palatable dishes, the genitals to sex with an attractive woman, and the sense of touch to contact with soft things. The belly, although filled, still wants to eat more, and the ear, not attempting to hear about You, is generally attracted to cinema songs. The sense of smell is attracted to yet another side, the restless eyes are attracted to scenes of sense gratification, and the active senses are attracted elsewhere. In this way I am certainly embarrassed.


The human form of life is meant for God realization, but this process, which begins with śravaṇaḿ kīrtanaḿ viṣṇoḥ [SB 7.5.23] — hearing and chanting of the holy name of the Lord — is disturbed as long as our senses are materially attracted. Therefore devotional service means purifying the senses. In the conditioned state our senses are covered by material sense gratification, and as long as one is not trained in purifying the senses, one cannot become a devotee. In our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, therefore, we advise from the very beginning that one restrict the activities of the senses, especially the tongue, which is described by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura as most greedy and unconquerable. To stop this attraction of the tongue, one is authoritatively advised not to accept meat or similar uneatable things nor to allow the tongue to hanker to drink or smoke. Even the drinking of tea and coffee is not permitted. Similarly, the genitals must be restricted from illicit sex. Without such restraint of the senses, one cannot make advancement in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The only method of controlling the senses is to chant and hear the holy name of the Lord; otherwise, one will always be disturbed, as a householder with more than one wife would be disturbed by them for sense gratification.

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