Skandham-5, Chapter-1, Slokam-17.







Even if he goes from forest to forest, one who is not self-controlled must
always fear material bondage because he is living with six co-wives—the mind
and knowledge-acquiring senses. Even householder life, however, cannot harm a self-satisfied, learned man who has conquered his senses.




Sréla Narottama däsa Thäkura has sung, gåhe vä vanete thäke, 'hä gauräìga'
bale däke: whether one is situated in the forest or at home, if he is engaged in
the devotional service of Lord Chaitanya, he is a liberated person. Here this is
also repeated. For one who has not controlled his senses, going to the forest to
become a so-called yogé is meaningless. Because his uncontrolled mind and
senses are going with him, he cannot achieve anything, even by giving up
household life and staying in the forest. Formerly many mercantile men from
the up-country of India used to go to Bengal, and thus there is a familiar
saying, "If you go to Bengal, your fortune will go with you." Our first concern,
therefore, should be to control the senses, and since the senses cannot be
controlled unless engaged in the devotional service of the Lord, our most
important duty is to engage the senses in devotional service. Håñékeëa
håñékeça-sevanaà bhaktir ucyate: [Cc. Madhya 19.170] bhakti means engagement of the purified senses in the service of the Lord.



Herein Lord Brahmä indicates that instead of going to the forest with
uncontrolled senses, it is better and more secure to engage the senses in the
service of the Lord. Even household life can do no harm to a self-controlled
person acting in this way; it cannot force him into material bondage. Sréla
Rüpa Gosvämi has further enunciated this position:



éhä yasya harer däsye
karmanä manasä girä
nikhiläsv apy avasthäsu
jévan-muktah sa ucyate



"Regardless of one's circumstances, if one fully engages his activities, mind and
words in the devotional service of the Lord, he should be understood to be a
liberated person." Sréla Bhaktivinoda Thäkura was a responsible officer and a
householder, yet his service to the cause of expanding the mission of Lord
Caitanya Mahäprabhu is unique. Sréla Prabodhänanda Sarasvati Thäkura says,
durdäntendriya-käla-sarpa-patali protkhäta-damsträyate. The sense organs are
certainly our greatest enemies, and they are therefore compared to venomous
serpents. However, if a venomous serpent is bereft of its poison fangs, it is no
longer fearful. Similarly, if the senses are engaged in the service of the Lord,
there is no need to fear their activities. The devotees in the Krishna
consciousness movement move within this material world, but because their
senses are fully engaged in the service of the Lord, they are always aloof from
the material world. They are always living in a transcendental position.