15 February 2021
The Nature of the Mind
sri krsna caitanya prabhu nityananda sri advaita gadadhar srivas adi
gaur bhakta vrnda
Today devotees from 630 locations are chanting japa. Now it is 670 , 674. The count is increasing!
preshthalibhih sevyamanau smarami
In a temple of jewels in Vrindavana, underneath a desire tree, Sri Sri Radha-Govinda, served by Their most confidential associates, sit upon an effulgent throne. I offer my most humble obeisances unto Them.
(Abhidhey adhideva Pranam)
Demigods have reached Goloka or Vrndavana yesterday. By the mercy of the Lord they have reached Goloka Vrndavana and not Gokul Vrndavana.
Today in the morning chanting session, thoughts of Vrndavana were coming in my mind. Then I thought which should do Vraja Yatra while chanting and doing kirtan. Let us do Vrndavana Yatra, Vraja-mandala Yatra.
I began the Yatra from Krishna Balaram temple. I could not visit many places because wherever my thoughts went, I was stuck at that place. I was remembering the pastimes of that place. I went to Bhatrond. It is the first place on Vraja-mandala Parikrama. The yagya patni offered a variety of food to the Lord and His friends in the Ashoka vana of Bhatrond. Possibly many of the dishes offered were made of rice that is why it is known as Bhat-rond. They offered sweet rice and many other dishes. I was remembering this pastime and most of the time was spent here. Moving a little further my soul reached Akrur ghata. I was doing Parikrama in my mind.
My mind and soul were merged in this Parikrama which I was doing in my mind. Our many activities are performed in the mind. We assume that our mind is doing a certain activity, but actually that work is done by our soul. Our mind is controlled by the soul. Our mind then becomes atamaram and by resting with the soul it remembers everything.
man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi satyam te
pratijane priyo 'si me
Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend. (BG 18.65)
In this verse man does not refer to mind. man-mana refers to mat-mana : it means engage your mind in My thoughts. ‘t’ transforms into ‘n’.
I was remembering the pastimes of Akrur ghata. Then I was stuck there and my chanting was going on
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna
Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
I was in Akrur ghata and remembering the pastimes of that place. I must have gone there at least fifty times in my life. I have remembered pastimes of that place at least fifty times. Then I meditated on that pastime again and again.
mano durnigrahaṁ calam
abhyāsena tu kaunteya
vairāgyeṇa ca gṛhyate
Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa said: O mighty-armed son of Kuntī, it is undoubtedly very difficult to curb the restless mind, but it is possible by suitable practice and by detachment. (BG 6.35)
The Lord has said to Arjun that he has correctly said that the mind is unstable and restless. This unstable and restless mind can be controlled by practising to control it. Always remember Krsna in your mind and practice to do this by suitable practice and detachment. These two words are used in Bhagavad Gita in the sixth chapter. Here the Lord has discussed meditation and ashtanga yoga. Here Kṛṣṇa has advised how to control the restless mind and how to calm it by suitable practice and detachment. I will remind you how to control the mind so here Kṛṣṇa who is the authority and the owner of our mind has said two things.
Our mind belongs to the Lord. Five elements belong to the Lord. The mind, intelligence and false ego are the material natures of the Lord. Nature belongs to Him. The five elements - earth (pritvi), water (jala), fire (tejas), wind (vayu) and space (akasha) are known as material nature. Mind, intelligence and false ego are also elements. Five great elements exist, but the other minor elements are mind, intelligence and false ego. They are also the Lord’s material nature. Nature is the Lord’s opulence. Mind is characterised by restlessness. Arjun has said to Kṛṣṇa that the mind is very restless.
chañchalaṁ hi manaḥ kṛiṣhṇa pramāthi balavad dṛiḍham
tasyāhaṁ nigrahaṁ manye vāyor iva su-duṣhkaram
The mind is very restless, turbulent, strong and obstinate, O Krishna. It appears to me that it is more difficult to control than the wind. (BG 6.34)
The Lord replied, ‘Yes I am already aware of this. You need not tell Me about it as I am the creator of the mind and its restlessness.’ Arjuna has also said that controlling the mind is more difficult than controlling the wind. ‘I can control the wind, but controlling the mind is more difficult than this.’ The Lord said, ‘ Yes! It is difficult, but not impossible. Even if it is impossible we can make it possible. We can control the mind. By suitable practice we can control the mind, Kaunteya.’ Arjun has addressed Kṛṣṇa as Hé Kṛṣṇa and now Krsna is addressing Arjun as Hé Kaunteye!
The Lord said, “You are saying that the mind is restless, but there is a but, by suitable daily practice and by detachment we can control it. These two are methods to control it. Practice makes a man perfect, suitable practice along with detachment.” Rag - virag are opposite words. Rag means attachment and vi-rag means detachment. Be detached and practice detachment. Rise early in the morning at brahma muhurta. If you are attached, you are like Hiranyakasipu. Hiranya means sona [ gold] and kashyapu means sona[sleep]. Sona and sonā means living entities are attached to gold and sleeping. Hiranya and kashyap resembles kamini and kanchan. Kamini means with whom we try to satisfy our senses. It is possible that the woman is kami. Women are full of desires for sense gratification. Man is kami and the women is known as Kamini. Those who are attached to Kamini and Kanchan means they are attracted to gold and sleeping and enjoying. Sleeping and Kamini are a type of sense enjoyment. Detachment is to avoid Kamini and Kanchan. Otherwise you will enjoy the early morning, sweet sleep and will try to enjoy sense gratification. Throw away, leave that sleep and jump out of the bed. Gauranga Mahaprabhu is calling ,
jīv jāgo, jīv jāgo, gauracānda bole
kota nidrā jāo māyā-piśācīra kole
Lord Gauranga is calling, "Wake up, sleeping souls! Wake up, sleeping souls! How long will you sleep in the lap of the witch called Maya? (Arunodaya Kirtana song 2 verse 1 by Bhakti Vinod Thakure )
Kṛṣṇa says the same thing that mind control is possible by suitable practice and detachment.
I have shifted a lot from my main topic of discussion. I was actually saying that when I reached Akrur ghata while chanting I remembered many pastimes of that place. I also said that I have been there many times. We have done kirtan, Katha of the pastimes of that place. When we listen and glorify pastimes then we remember it again and again. We practiced remembering Kṛṣṇa. We went to Akrur ghata, did kirtan, listened to various pastimes and then remembered it again. In this way it becomes second nature. By practicing and detachment we become experts. When we go on Parikrama it is austerity and there are some inconveniences also. It is austerity of speech, mind and body.
nāyaṁ deho deha-bhājāṁ nṛloke
kaṣṭān kāmān arhate viḍ-bhujāṁ ye
tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena sattvaṁ
śuddhyed yasmād brahma-saukhyaṁ tv anantam
Lord Ṛṣabhadeva told His sons: My dear boys, of all the living entities who have accepted material bodies in this world, one who has been awarded this human form should not work hard day and night simply for sense gratification, which is available even for dogs and hogs that eat stool. One should engage in penance and austerity to attain the divine position of devotional service. By such activity, one’s heart is purified, and when one attains this position, he attains eternal, blissful life, which is transcendental to material happiness and which continues forever. (SB 5.5.1)
Lord Rishabh Dev had 100 sons and He advised them like this. We are also His sons. The Lord has said to do austerity. Actually our land is a land of austerity.
The sons of Bharat mata perform various austerities so we call her Bharat mata. We never say American mata because America or other Western countries are lands of sense gratification. Bharat is the land of austerities therefore Bharat mata ki Jaya! All glories to those who undergo various austerities! Rishabh Dev Lord has said, " My dear sons, you should engage in penance and austerity.” Do austerity for Me to achieve Me. It is called Divya austerity. Kṛṣṇa has said this in Bhagavad Gita
yat karosi yad asnasi
yaj juhosi dadasi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya
tat kurusva mad-arpanam
O son of Kunti, all that you do, all that you eat, all that you offer and give away, as well as all austerities that you may perform, should be done as an offering unto Me. (BG 9.27)
Offer your austerity to Me, offer whatever you eat and whatever you donate and whatever sacrifices you do to Me. In this list austerity is also there. Lord says to do the austerity for Me. Everyone is doing austerity and there is a lot of inconvenience, but this austerity is not divine austerity. Our austerity should be divine as Rishabh Dev Lord has preached in the fifth canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam. Prabhupada cited this example many times. Rishabh Dev is talking about detachment. He said that you will be purified. Our thoughts and emotions will be purified. In Kaliyuga everything in this world is polluted. The water is polluted and air pollution is there. The list is big. In this list of polluted things the most dangerous thing are our thoughts which are polluted.
kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann
asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ
kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya
mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vraje
My dear King, although Kali-yuga is an ocean of faults, there is still one good quality about this age: Simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom. (SB 12.3.51)
In Kaliyuga everything is faulty. Even beliefs are faulty. If we want to purify anything then we should first purify our mind. The mind is doing all kinds of thinking, feeling and willing. The mind is full of faulty thoughts like garbage so it is polluted. Rishabh Dev is saying that by doing divya austerity you will be purified and sanctified then you will attain divine, eternal happiness.
I had not said anything about the pastimes of Akrur ghata. I just mentioned that I was remembering the pastimes of Akrur ghata. Continue your practice and detachment. We should practice,
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna
Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
This is a method about detachment. There are some prohibited things given. What are they ? We should avoid the ten offences against the holy name and other offences also. Do not indulge in meat eating, gambling, intoxication, illicit sex. These four sinful activities are prohibited. Do not do these activities. This is mainly known as practice and detachment. Chant and do Kirtan of Harinam and avoid sinful activities. Then eternal bliss and happiness is waiting for us. When this living entity practices detachment, then we have the right to that eternal bliss and ocean of happiness. We should aim to achieve it.
utsāhān niścayād dhairyāt
saṅga-tyāgāt sato vṛtteḥ
ṣaḍbhir bhaktiḥ prasidhati
0There are six principles favorable to the execution of pure devotional service: (1) being enthusiastic, (2) endeavoring with confidence, (3) being patient, (4) acting according to regulative principles [such as śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇam [SB 7.5.23]—hearing, chanting and remembering Kṛṣṇa], (5) abandoning the association of nondevotees, and (6) following in the footsteps of the previous ācāryas. These six principles undoubtedly assure the complete success of pure devotional service. (NOI verse 3)
This is possible by being enthusiastic, patient, etc. My time is up now. I have some other engagement. I take your leave. I will leave you alone to hear and chant and remember.
Gaur Premanande Hari Haribol!