Devotional Service and the Mode of Passion

14th September 2014 • Illuminations on Bhakti

Candramauli Swami, SB lecture 1.2.19, Karlovac, New Santipur August 8, 2013.

The mode of passion is a hard struggle to enjoy material life. This mode you see everywhere. People get up early, go to work, spend all day working, sometimes in places they don’t like, or with people they don’t like…. in order to get money, so they can use that money to enjoy, or to live, both.

So, hard struggle to accumulate.Mode of passion means planning, arranging, working, thinking, ….. the mode of passion is, that “I do something and I must get some result from that activity”. Or, “if I do something, I should get some result in the future”. So the mode of passion means extended happiness or immediate happiness. Otherwise, why should I do anything, because I want something from it. That is called fruitive activity.

Sometimes devotees fall in to that. They see devotional service simply to gain something material or to find material happiness through devotional service. So that means there is a tinge of the mode of passion – working hard to enjoy.
Bhakti means to work hard, or even to engage all your abilities, intelligence….for what? Simply to please Krishna, simply to serve his devotees. That is bhakti.

The mode of passion and bhakti looks the same. One cannot tell, simply by looking toward someone, who is a devotee, but what is their consciousness? Are they working for themselves, or are they working for Krishna?Or are they using Krsna to work for themselves in order to enjoy the benefits of Krsna consciousness. So that is still the mode of passion. But it is “devotional service in the mode of passion”. And Krsna describes that in the Srimad Bhagavatam in the 3th canto.

The mode of passion is, if you want to give it one word, selfish. The mode of passion is – “ I am in the center”. Just like, we see people who are welfare workers, humanitarians … they do many things for society, other people, they open hospitals, feed people, …. but there is some desire for recognition, some profit, something. There is “something about me” that is still part of it. So the mode of passion is selfish, it is still the “me” centered thing.