Pratikulasya varjanam

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While on the neophyte platform, a sadhaka practising vaidhi bhakti, despite endeavouring to incorporate all the favourable activities, in accordance with the first injunction of the verse on Sharanagati, namely Anukulasya Sankalpa, may not be able to make the desired progress, if the unfavourable disturbances are not removed. This removal of everything unwanted, also known as Patikulasya varjanam,  forms the next division of Sharangati, also known as prapatti or Shradha. By constant association with vaishnavas and performance of the different limbs of bhakti, one is sure to get purified, however, this may take a long time if one is not vigilant to keep away from destructive factors.

Once on the purified platform, the devotees do not have to extraneously endeavour to avoid anything, as they shall automatically only be attracted to activities, talks and thoughts which are in relation to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. However, till one does not reach that platform, some effort must be put to avoid unfavourable actions. While considering what is unfavourable, one should understand that anything which is not directly or indirectly related to the Lord is unfavourable, as association with matter makes one desire for sense gratification. Paraphernalia used in the service of the Lord is considered to be pure and does not entangle one in the material world. However, all else gives rise to attraction, which leads to anger, lose of intelligence and so forth. In Sri Upadeshamrita, Srila Rupa goswami has warned sadhakas against six particular faults which destroy bhakti. In the second verse of the Nectar of Instruction, he has stated:

atyaharah prayasas ca
prajalpo niyamagrhah
jana-sangas ca laulyam ca
sadbhir bhaktir vinasyati

Bhakti is destroyed by the following six kinds of faults: (1) eating too much or collecting more than necessary, (2) endeavours which are opposed to bhakti, (3) useless mundane talks, (4) failure to adopt essential regulations or fanatical adherence to regulations, (5) association with persons who are opposed to bhakti, and (6) greed or the restlessness of the mind to adopt worthless opinions.

One must therefore carefully guard against these six faults if one wants to make rapid advancement in spiritual life. Srila Bhakti vinod thakur says that if one finds himself compelled to perform activities that he understands are not conducive for one’s bhakti but is not yet able to give them up, one must wholeheartedly pray to the Lord that he is not able to give them up yet and needs the Lord’s mercy and help to overcome the attachment to those particular activities. When one thus prays constantly, the Lord shall surely help the devotee overcome these faults, after which progress of the path of devotion is certain.  By thus staying aloof from everything unwanted, the sadhakas bhakti can blossom, even if he may be externally surrounded by these things, just as a lotus flower, although growing in muddy water, always remains above it.