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Dear Prabhujis and Mathajis,
Hare Krishna! Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Gurudev!
Our beloved spiritual master H.H. Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj has deep love and affection for the young children and he always encourages them. When children recite the verses from Bhagavad gita and Srimad Bhagavatam, Maharaj becomes extremely pleased. So many parents took to Krishna consciousness just because of Maharaj’s encouragement and appreciation of the small children. In our own case also, when our son was young, Maharaj always made him come over to the mike and recite the verses or speak a few words before a big audience and appreciate him before so many people. As parents this appealed to us so much that ultimately we came under the shelter of Maharaj. Maharaj always says that these spiritual programs make a lasting impression in the young minds and this will keep them in good state even in their later years. Maharaj always blesses the children with the unique words ‘Don’t grow’.
We never understood why Maharaj is saying this to all the children. We always used to wonder how it is possible for the child not to grow. The real meaning of these words came before us when we were going through the fourth canto twenty ninth chapter of Srimad Bhagavatam. Here there is a talk between Narada and King Pracinabarhi. Narada is explaining to the king that the transmigration of the soul is caused by the subtle body which is the storehouse of all material desires. Till these desires are exhausted, the living entity has to transmigrate from one gross body to another. The gross body is only the instrumental outer covering and when the gross body dies, the root of the gross body which is the subtle body comprising mind, intelligence and ego continues and brings about another gross body. So the way to get rid of another gross body is to completely dissolve the desires and thus dissolve the subtle body.
The expression of desires of the subtle body requires a gross body with fully developed senses. In 4.29.72, Srimad Bhagavatam gives the example of the dark moon night to understand this. On a dark moon night the full shining moon is still present, but it appears not to be present due to conditions. In the same way, when a living entity is a child, the gross and the subtle body are not fully developed and the senses become very active only in the youth. Thus the activities of the subtle and gross bodies depend on how developed the conditions are. Srila Prabhupada very nicely mentions in the purport that, Unless the senses of the gross body are developed, they will not act on the subtle body. Similarly because of the absence of desires in the subtle body, there may be no development in the gross body.
Thus Maharaj wanted that there should be no material desires in the subtle body and if that is the case, there may be no development in the gross body. So by blessing ‘Don’t grow’, Maharaj is actually blessing the children not to undergo the transmigration process and thus be caught in the vicious cycle of birth and death. We can see from the scriptures how the Sanat kumaras even though very old in years, maintained themselves eternally as small children. They always looked like boys of four or five years. The real liberation is when we get out of the clutches of the subtle body and the way to attain this is that the mind is to be absorbed in the lotus feet of the lord and thus be free from all kinds of material desires.
The whole of our life we are acting either in the gross body platform or in the subtle body platform. When we are sleeping in the night, we get so absorbed in the dreams and thus we completely forget identity of the material body. When we are awake, we forget about the activities in the dream or our identity in the dream and are engrossed in the bodily activities. Thus while sleeping, we forget the activities of the gross body, and when active in the gross body we forget the activities of sleeping. Srila Prabhupada states in his purport to SB 4.29.71 that actually both states- sleeping and waking are creations of illusory energy. The living entity actually has no connection with either the activities of sleep or the activities of the so called wakened state. Then the question arises as to what are we supposed to? Srila Prabhupada gives the answer in the same purport when he writes that, ‘Because of our ignorance of the spiritual body, of which we have no experience, we do not know of the activities of the spiritual body, and in ignorance we jump from one false platform to another. We act sometimes in relation to the gross body and sometimes in relation to the subtle body. If, by Krishna’s mercy, we act in our spiritual body, we can transcend both the gross and subtle bodies. In other words, we can gradually train ourselves to act in terms of the spiritual body.’
So the idea is that there should be a complete cessation of the actions and reactions of the gross and subtle bodies and in this way we should not grow our material senses and material desires, but regain our spiritual senses and engage them in the service of the Lord. For attaining this, our prayer is
sthitih sevaa gatir yaatraa smritis cintaa stutir vacah
bhuyaat sarvaatmanaa vishno madiyam tvayi cestitam
"Let my normal condition be service, let my movement be holy pilgrimage, let my thought be remembrance of You, and let my words be glorification of You. O Vishnu, let the activities of my entire mind, body and soul be engaged in You."
Thank you very much,
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada and Gurudev,
Vaijayanthimala devi dasi,