The theme of our discussion for the morning Bhagvatam class was fear. The sanskrit word for fear is bhaya. It is one of four proclivities natural to all of us which include eating, sleeping and mating. Fear is an unpleasant emotion stirred-up by some encroaching danger or evil. It makes you hesitate, to cower or shrink. It is often conjured-up when we are alone.
The beautiful thing about Krishna Consciousness is that one is really never alone and that the protector, Krishna, is present. Omnipresent! Srila Prabhupada, our guru, expressed a weakness in us, his students. He said, "The problem is that you don't fear illusion". How true this is! For renunciants or those who aspire for spiritual progress, fear is a must. A vigorous or healthy, sound fear for the things that entangle us in self-indulgence is a quality to embrace. And if we are genuine in our approach to spirituality we will shun temptations and stay protected.
Some folks I've met avoid any opportunity for spiritual participation as if it's the plague. For them it is actually fear that they experience - a fear of losing sense gratification whereas a spiritualist encounters fear for gaining sense gratification.
There are a whole lot of people who fear walking a few city blocks. It is common enough that for picking up a few items at the local convenience store it means hopping in the car and driving to that corner store. This is misplaced fear and at all costs we should try to avoid such unhealthy fear.