Usually devotees make a distinction between Spiritual and Material Subjects.Some of the devotees in the name of being spiritual are averse to that which is material in their vision. This sort of distinction is caused because of the exposure to ideologies that encourage such distinction. Although this sort of approach is encouraged by circles that promote Bhakti, it is still not healthy with respect to the overall spiritual growth of the individual.
Individuals in Bhakti are seen to even talk disgracefully to people who have scant exposure to spiritual life. The gap between the spiritual and material in the heart of an aspirant seems to be so deep that one is constantly making distinctions internally and dividing the cosmos in one’s heart which will result in the overall contamination of one’s consciousness. The understanding of the material based on one’s interpretation is totally destroying the aspect of Compassion and all-inclusive nature of a tender heart which is the goal of a truly spiritual life.
There is no doubt that devotees should avoid gross materialists nay people with gross mentalities of lust , greed, anger, illusion, pride and envy , to protect one’s sadhana and one’s tenderness. Such evasion is supported by Guru and Gauranga. However there are devotees who make gross distinctions between spiritual and material. Raganuga Bhakti as propounded by Sriman Mahaprabhu looks at the entire creation as Spiritual. In the absolute sense , there is nothing material because everything manifests with the will of the Lord who is the cause of causes. When one ingrains this Shastric view in one’s mind , with constant practice one will be able to see the glory of every single thing as the manifestation of the Supreme. If a devotee sees a woman who appears to be lusty , he shuns the view thinking it to be a disturbance to his sadhana, However such approach is simply avoiding the deep rooted aspect of lust temporarily. However if the devotee practices mentally of connecting the woman as the creation of Krishna and the manifestation of Beauty , the same vision will become spiritual. If one hears a so-called mundane song , but is able to relate it to the Lord and appreciate it , that so-called mundane consciousness will simply disappear. Thus when the vision is applied in connection with Krishna , our internal focus will be tenderly transformed. Having said this , gross manifestation of that which is full of the mode of passion and ignorance can be safely avoided. With sadhana one will be equipped to transform one’s vision if one applies sufficient intent in one’s approach.
Every living entity is the representation of the Supreme Lord. It is said in the Shastras that one should be able to see the presence of the Lord in every living entity. This approach is extremely vital for one’s spiritual growth. One should be able to serve other living entities with respect to attaching them to the spiritual practices. Such an approach is appreciated by Krishna. To consider someone material when the person is not exposed to spiritual practices is to insult the Lord Himself. One has to cultivate the aspect of “Jive Doya” , Universal compassion. For such an approach one’s sadhana has to be perfect. When one is able to gel the material to the spiritual without any distinction , one will have transcended the toughest impediment of Bhakti. There are many people who feel that mundane music is harmful to the senses which are being purified for the service of the Lord. However such individuals have not achieved sensitivity towards the spiritual. Anything and Everything that reminds one of the divine connection , that which invokes compassion and feeling towards the Lord cannot be materialistic. Only deep sadhana can get one to that stage. There are other aspects of self-confidence, Anger control, positive thinking , effectiviness, efficiency and other things that are directed towards self-development and success in professional life. We need to realize that these aspects are purely in the mode of passion and are detrimental to the overall development of our spiritual consciousness. If one is forced into such activities because one’s profession demands it , one has to simply meditate on Guru and Gauranga and execute these activities for the pleasure of Guru. Then such an activity becomes a Yagna. One should ensure that one is keeping oneself surrendered during the entire process and continuously chanting internally when involved with such detrimental activities. When one is not aware of such activities and simply enjoys it , one will become bloated with Pride and Ego which will infect the chitta.
One has to ensure that through sadhana and right intent one is able to thin the gap between the material and spiritual and establish a universal approach towards the world so that one is able to enrich the Raganuga path as expounded by Sriman Mahaprabhu. As the enemies of the soul such as lust, greed, anger, illusion, pride and envy is either reduced or applied in service , the heart becomes tender and will become capable of viewing the entire creation to be infused with spiritual power. This is the ideal path of sadhana.