atyāhāraḥ prayāsaś ca
jana-saṅgaś ca laulyaṁ ca
ṣaḍbhir bhaktir vinaśyati
ati-āhāraḥ — overeating or too much collecting; prayāsaḥ — over-endeavoring; ca — and; prajalpaḥ — idle talking; niyama — rules and regulations; āgrahaḥ – too much attachment to (or agrahaḥ – too much neglect of); jana-saṅgaḥ — association with worldly-minded persons; ca — and; laulyam — ardent longing or greed; ca — and; ṣaḍbhiḥ — by these six; bhaktiḥ — devotional service; vinaśyati — is destroyed.
One’s devotional service is spoiled when he becomes too entangled in the following six activities: (1) eating more than necessary or collecting more funds than required; (2) over-endeavoring for mundane things that are very difﬁcult to obtain; (3) talking unnecessarily about mundane subject matters; (4) practicing the scriptural rules and regulations only for the sake of following them and not for the sake of spiritual advancement, or rejecting the rules and regulations of the scriptures and working independently or whimsically; (5) associating with worldly-minded persons who are not interested in Kṛṣṇa consciousness; and (6) being greedy for mundane achievements.
Human life is meant for plain living and high thinking. Since all conditioned living beings are under the control of the Lord’s third energy, this material world is designed so that one is obliged to work. The Supreme Personality of Godhead has three primary energies, or potencies. The ﬁrst is called antaraṅga-śakti, or the internal potency. The second is called taṭastha-śakti, or the marginal potency. The third is called bahiraṅga-śakti, or the external potency. The living entities constitute the marginal potency, and they are situated between the internal and external potencies. Being subordinate as eternal servants of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the jīvātmās, or atomic living entities, must remain under the control of either the internal or external potency. When they are under the control of the internal potency, they display their natural, constitutional activity – namely, constant engagement in the devotional service of the Lord. This is stated in Bhagavad-gītā (9.13):
mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha
daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ
jñātvā bhūtādim avyayam
“O son of Pṛthā, those who are not deluded, the great souls, are under the protection of the divine nature. They are fully engaged in devotional service because they know Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, original and inexhaustible.”
The word mahātmā refers to those who are broad-minded, not cripple-minded. Cripple-minded persons, always engaged in satisfying their senses, sometimes expand their activities in order to do good for others through some “ism” like nationalism, humanitarianism or altruism. They may reject personal sense gratiﬁcation for the sense gratiﬁcation of others, like the members of their family, community or society – either national or international. Actually all this is extended sense gratiﬁcation, from personal to communal to social. This may all be very good from the material point of view, but such activities have no spiritual value. The basis of such activity is sense gratiﬁcation, either personal or extended. Only when a person gratiﬁes the senses of the Supreme Lord can he be called a mahātmā, or broad-minded person.