jihvaikato ’mum apakarsati karhi tarsa
sisno ’nyatas tvag udaram sravanam kutascit
ghrano ’nyatas capala-drk kva ca karma-saktir
bahvyah sapatnya iva geha-patim lunanti
A man who has many wives is constantly harassed by them. He is responsible for their maintenance, and thus all the ladies constantly pull him in different directions, each struggling for her self-interest. Similarly, the material senses harass the conditioned soul, pulling him in many different directions at once. On one side the tongue is pulling him to arrange tasty food; then thirst drags him to get a suitable drink. Simultaneously the sex organs clamor for satisfaction, and the sense of touch demands soft, sensuous objects. The belly harasses him until it is filled, the ears demand to hear pleasing sounds, the sense of smell hankers for pleasant aromas, and the fickle eyes clamor for pleasing sights. Thus the senses, organs and limbs, all desiring satisfaction, pull the living entity in many directions.
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura mentions that after understanding this verse one should merely offer, without attachment, the bare necessities to the guru of one’s body. One should keep one’s body fit and working in the simplest possible way, and that is the sum and substance of service to this so-called guru. If one desires to faithfully serve the body, one should consider that the body pulls the consciousness of the conditioned soul in many ways at once, and thus for the servant of the body there is no possibility of understanding God or even of becoming peaceful.