By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
If you are passing through thorns, you must be very careful. Otherwise the thorns will get stuck up with your garment, and you will be inconvenienced. It is said in the Vedas, ksurasya dhārā niśitā duratyayā1. Just like we shave with a razor – the razor is very sharp. So if we can carefully handle the razor, we get our cheeks very clean and the business is done. But a little inattention and immediately it will cut and there will be blood.
The path of salvation is very difficult. Just as we are trying to go back to home, back to Godhead, Krishna, the path of which, is very difficult. Durgam means very difficult to pass over. But little attention will save you. A little attention such as, “I am passing through a very dangerous way, so I must be very careful.” So our attention should always be focused on how we are executing our spiritual life.
That is very simple. We should strictly observe the regulative principles2 and chant sixteen rounds minimum. That will save us. But if we become inattentive to these principles, then there is a chance of being pricked by the thorns. There are so many thorns all over. Or the same example – Ksurasya dhārā, shave carefully and make your face very clean, but a little inattentiveness and immediately produce blood. So we should be very careful in spiritual life.
[An excerpt from a lecture delivered on the Srimad Bhagavatam 2.3.19 delivered on June 15, 1972 in Los Angeles]Notes: 1. ksurasya dhārā niśitā duratyayā durgam pathas tad kavayo vadanti – Katha Upanisad (1.3.14): The path of spiritual realization is very difficult; it is sharp like a razor’s edge. That is the opinion of learned transcendental scholars. 2. There are four regulative principles enunciated by Srila Prabhupada, namely (a) No meat eating, (b) No illicit sex, (c) No intoxication, and (d) No Gambling.