What is the cause of material desires?


Jayapataka Swami: Material desires are because we are identifying with the material body. We think we are this body and by satisfying the body’s demands, we are going to be happy. It is like George Harrison, the Beatle, he thought that if he is rich, famous and powerful, then he will have achieved the success in life. Then he became rich and famous, and had so much power and influence and he realized that this is not it, I cannot become fully satisfied. That’s when he met the founder of the Hare Krsna Movement, H.D.G. A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and Prabhupada’s mercy was given to him. He began to regularly chanting Hare Krsna right until the end of his life. So as long as we are in this material body we are going to have material desires. Who says material desires are bad? Material desires in themselves are not bad. It is when we forget Krsna, that is bad. If have a material body, we have to eat, we have to sleep. So many needs are there for the body, we have to have those things. So we need material desires, otherwise we cannot live. All Krsna says is do everything in moderation. ‘yuktahara viharasya’ – Be moderate in your eating, moderate in your recreation. He did not say don’t have recreation, don’t have fun, just do it in a moderate way. Eat spiritual food. You got to eat, why not eat spiritually? They are tasteful, what’s the problem?

HH Jayapataka Swami
Question and Answer Session
Polish Woodstock Festival, 2002