THE JOURNEY OF SELF DISCOVERY
"For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends: but for one who has failed to do so, his very mind will be the greatest enemy." (Bg.6.6)
The purpose of the yoga system is to make the mind into a friend instead of an enemy. In material contact, the mind is in a kind of drunken condition. As stated in Caitanya Caritamrta, "Forgetting Krishna, the living entity has been attracted by the Lord's external feature from time immemorial. Therefore the illusory energy(maya) gives him all kinds of misery in his material existance." We try to conquer many things-even empires-but if we fail to conquer the mind, we are failures even if we manage to conquer an empire. Even though emperors, we will have within us our greatest enemy-our own mind.
"HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA
KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE
HARE RAMA HARE RAMA
RAMA RAMA HARE HARE"
& be happy.
His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
By His Holiness Radhanath Swami
We are reading from SB Canto 5 chap 6. Activities of Lord Rishab Dev Text 3. Parikshit Maharaj begins this chapter by enquiring from Srila Sukadev Goswami, why it was that Rishabdev who was an incarnation of supreme personality of godhead who naturally had mystic powers. Why did he neglect them. He acted like an ordinary person who appeared socially to be mad. People abused him, insulted him, harassed him in so many ways. Simply by his glance he could have destroyed them but he tolerated it. And when there was a fire in the forest, he could have easily by his mystic powers extinguished it. But instead he willingly burnt in that fire. Why? So Sukadev Goswami describes how the nature of the mind is. It can be distracted from the spiritual path and the very cause of our downfall even if we attach ourselves with the mystic potencies. Because when the lord appears within in this world he appears especially in this instance to give an example to humanity what we should strive for, what we should see as sacred within our lives
anyabhilashita shunyam jnana-karmady anavritam. anukulyena krishnanushilanam bhaktir uttamam.
Rishabdev came to teach pure devotional service. Unalloyed uninterrupted love of God. That is what he spoke to his sons and that is what he demonstrated in his life. Srila Rupa Goswami explains what is pure devotional service. It is uncontaminated by the desire for anything except favorably pleasing the lord through loving service. What most people in this world today strive for through the practice of religion and spirituality is considered in this case to be contaminations, diversions, desire for personal material pleasures. That is karma kanda. Either in this world or attainment of the heavenly planets. Desire for liberation, freedom from suffering, salvation, from birth and death and even desires for mystic powers where we could read the people minds, where we could heal the sick, where we can raise the dead, where we could produce what anyone wants simply by recitation of mantra. There are mystic powers where sages can travel at a speed of mind. But all of these things, personal enjoyment, liberation and mystic powers are considered contaminations, impurities.
anyabhilashita shunyam jnana-karmady anavritam. anukulyena krishnanushilanam bhaktir uttamam
If we actually want to awaken the eternal love within our hearts, we can not even have a tinge of desire for all these things. How is that possible? And in this instance Sukadev Goswami describes how the essence of achieving this highest platform, the basis is sincerity to control ones mind. This is fundamental principle of any true spiritual path to control the mind and senses. It is declared in all the scriptures and all the great sage and rishis throughout history. In today’s modern world people in the name of spirituality dismiss this fundamental principle. It is not required to control the mind or the senses. It’s very difficult and if you say that’s what is required, most people will not listen to anything else what you say. When Srila Prabhupad came to
America, it was unbelievable what he did. So many others have come from India teaching yoga and spirituality but to tell the people of the west even the people of India
- no illicit sex, no intoxication, no gambling, no meat eating, very difficult. Who will listen? Prabhupad explains, some people must present the real essence of truth. If you want something cheap, you don’t have to pay much for it. Recently we were reading, people were asking that sometimes millions and millions of people join various spiritual groups. But when you tell them you have to control mind and senses like this very few will come. Prabhupad said that is true. If you sell broken glass or if you sell plastic jewelry then so many people will buy. But if you are selling diamond not so many people. Because you have to pay a higher price. So
explains in Gita that for one who controls the mind, the mind is the very best friend. But for one who fails to do so, the mind is the greatest enemy. In fact it is explained here in this sector of Bhagavatam really we only have one enemy and that is our own mind when it is uncontrolled.
yatato hy api kaunteya puruṣasya vipaścitaḥ indriyāṇi pramāthīni haranti prasabhaṃ manaḥ
the senses which include the mind are so strong and so impetuous that they forcibly carry away the intelligence even of a man who is endeavoring to control them.
Krishna explains in Gita, for one who does not control the mind and the senses there is no question of yoga. That’s what yoga is about. It is not simply about having a healthy body or living many years. Yoga is about controlling the mind and the senses – Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyan, Samadhi, they are all various stages of refining purifying and controlling the gross subtle body in such a way Samadhi is what the goal is and what is Samadhi? Total control of the mind.
Samadhi siddhir- isvara pranidhanat
To fix ones consciousness on one point without diversion. And Patanjali had explained that the perfection of Samadhi is to fix ones mind on the supreme lord.
yoginam api sarvesam mad-gatenantar-atmana sraddhavan bhajate yo mam sa me yuktatamo matah
Therefore Krishna tells in Gita that after describing the whole yogic process ashtanga yoga in the sixth chapter of Gita, He says of all Yogis he who abides in Me with great faith is most intimately united with Me and yoga and is the best the most perfect. So that is what yoga is, to reunite ones mind and the senses in
. Total absorption in
tAni sarvANi sa.nyamya yukta AsIta matparaH . vashe hi yasyendriyANi tasya praGYA pratiShThitA
tells in Gita “one must restrain the senses and simultaneously fix the consciousness upon Me”. Sukadev Goswami explains in previous verse how one hunter captures a dangerous wild animal. The hunter is very vigilant to keep guard over the captured animal. Because if he is inattentive that animal may escape from captivity. They run away or better yet may turn at the hunter at the least expected moment devour him. We have seen a couple of years ago there was a big international news that a very famous person and entertainer making huge amounts of money. Very very world acclaimed he was something like a magician. When he was playing in the place where you paid the most –
Las Vegas you have heard? It’s a place of gambling but it’s also a place for extremely wealthy people from all over the world come to enjoy. So only very very big named people can perform there. And he had a captive, I think it was a lion, and he does tricks with the lion. But one day right in front of all the audience it’s quite embarrassing. So many distinguished people in their tuxedoes, and their evening gowns they were all sitting there eating their very very expensive forbidden foods and drinking very very costly forbidden drinks. And enjoying like anything and all of a sudden GRRRRR the lion just turned against the man and with its claws just sliced his whole body open and the man had to be rushed to the hospital and was in critical condition for many days. Hare Krishna. So you capture a dangerous wild animal, you have to be very very vigilant and make sure it’s under control. Because of inattentiveness it can turn against you. It can turn against you and destroy you. So the mind is compared here in as such a wild animal. Prabhupad quoted Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur that practicing Krishna Consciousness is like the razor’s edge. That means practicing real spiritual life is like razor’s edge. If there is inattentiveness there will be blood. And what is that attentiveness.
manah shashthani-indriyani prakritisthaani karshati (BG 15.7)
The living entity is struggling very very hard in this world with the six senses which include the mind. Which is like a wild animal dangerous. A moment’s inattentiveness just a moment and it could be too late and it can spring upon you. And you will be helpless. And there are so many examples in the scriptures. Sukadev Goswami is explaining herein some examples, Prabhupad elaborates, there’s Lord Shiva. How he was attracted to avatar of Krishna, Mohini, now we understand Lord Shiva is such a great personality. Being attracted to Krishna in this feminine form was not really a defect. Because after all it was Krishna , She was Krishna . He was under the potency of Yoga Maya. So therefore we offer our respectful obeisances to Lord Shiva because its not for anyone that Krishna incarnates such a beautiful form to attract his mind. But at the same time the acaryas and Srimad Bhagavatam are explaining this lila from the point of view of teaching the world. Many of the Lord’s pastimes have these various levels. One is the Raas between the Lord and his devotees. The exchange of inconceivable living relationships. But on another level that same past time may be there to teach the world very very critical lessons. And this is the lesson that we must learn from this that even a Mahajan like Shankar who was also called Bhagavan even he’s inattentive. His mind can cheat him and it can be stolen away by illusion by the propensity to enjoy. Now one may say but this does not apply because this is a lila between Krishna and Shiva. But we must understand from the acaryas what is the purpose of this lila. It is in fact to teach the world a good lesson. And what is that lesson. Everyone should be very humble. No one should be proud. No one should think they are great. Because as soon as you think that way you are already in the clutches of maya and all the rest will follow subsequently. So if someone Lord like Shiva or Lord Brahma or Vishwamitra muni or Saubhari muni, if they were bewildered due to inattentiveness if their minds drag them down into such embarrassing conditions then what is our position? Our position is very humble. Srila Prabhupad explains the remedy of not falling into Maya’s control and how does maya work? Essentially through the mind. Maya can create so many external phantasmagoria that is trying to either create attraction or aversion but essentially its only successful if it affects our mind. Yes. If it doesn’t affect our mind, a great soul can be like a lotus flower in a very very muddy place material world there is distractions everywhere. By Maya’s potency there is distractions from the path of truth that are all pervading. Within in without but maya can only be successful when maya diverts our mind. Emerson has said that mind is such a thing that it can make hell into heaven or it can make heaven into hell. What is this mind? You cannot touch it, you cannot taste it you cannot feel it, you cannot see it. Its so subtle subtler than air, subtler than space. But yet it is all powerful within this world. It is due to the mind alone that the conditioned soul is trapped within the repetition of birth and death. Where a head of state can take birth as a dog. Where a demigod can take birth as an insect. That is the power of the mind where a person with all facilities could take their next birth as a worm in the stool of a hog. That’s the power of the mind. And who are we to compete? Its very difficult. Vishwamitra muni lived in the Satya yuga and Treta yuga. He was a real yogi who can perform severe tapasya and who was all to control the mind because to control the senses means just control. If you cannot control the mind you cannot control the senses. That illustration in our Bhagavad Gita that body is like our chariot and the senses are like five wild horses that just want to taste, want to touch, want to see, want to smell, want to hear and what is the mind? The mind is the reigns and intelligence is the chariot driver. If we have good intelligence we are listening, listening to the need of the soul, listening to Krishna, the intelligence that comes through Guru, Sadhu, Shastra where we must hold on very tight to control the mind and through the mind to control the senses and then our human form actually goes in the right direction. Otherwise there are 84,00,000(8million 400) species and the soul can end up in one of those chariots. So it is very critical to control the mind. But the problem is it is very difficult I don’t think anyone needs too many analogies or examples to know how difficult it is to control the mind. Does anyone needs to be convinced and anyone attempting to do so is already convinced. All day everyday mind very difficult. Maya is all powerful in this world.
daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya duratyaya. mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te BG 7.14
This material nature which is being orchestrated by 3 modes of nature very difficult to overcome how they affect our minds how they go so deep deep deep into our sub-consciousness. Very difficult.
Krishna tells one who surrenders to me can easily cross beyond it. And here in Srila Prabhupad is explaining how if we do not want to fall into the same trap as Shiva, Saubari muni, Vishwamitra and all the others, we must chant the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra offencelessly and then by the grace of Srila Haridas Thakur we may be saved from these allurements. Srila Haridas Thakur was tested in every possible way and he never failed the test. He was really infallible. Although by birth he was a mlecha, he was condemned and ostracized by many of the so called high level people of society, it doesn’t describe that he had great physical prowess in Phuliya gram he was sentenced to be tortured and then die. Did he reveal any mystic power there? He revealed a power greater than all mysticism. He was being beated, he was spit on, he was kicked, he was blasphemed in public, its quite humiliating for the false ego. Is it not? Sometimes if you are just in a public place and a bird you know drops his droppings on you. Its so embarrassing. Yes? I remember at Madhupriya’s house I was giving lecture and so many hundreds of people and then Phew! Phew! Phew! Birds were dropping on my head and on my clothes and I was just going on with the lecture. I deserved worse. But still in the mind you are thinking “really makes you look fallible” doesn’t it? Very nice. Krishna knows how to teach everyone good lessons. So if a bird just business man in his Mercedes coming out for nice ceremonial event. His wife is beautiful night gown and then a hawk, one of those big birds flies overhead and Phupp!! Very embarrassing. She will probably start to cry. Yes. She will be angry and she’ll cry “take me home take me home, I have to bathe, I have to change” it’s very embarrassing. Imagine Haridas Thakur in front of everybody, the whole town, he’s being spit on, he’s being kicked, he’s being dragged, he’s being beaten, swirling in the ground, apparently helpless. Now Haridas had mystic powers. He’s an avatar of Lord Brahma. Can anyone imagine Lord Brahma in a situation like that? But Haridas Thakur, he revealed the greatest mystic power. He revealed the power we should all be anxious for. Not to subdue our enemies. Actually in Bhagavad Gita Arjuna, he was supposed to fight the battle but the whole Bhagavad Gita was spoken to teach Arjuna and the world through him, how to control the mind and the senses. That’s the real battle. Fighting the Kurukshetra war was a detail. Yes. As far as Bhagavad Gita was concerned that was the detail. You just do what I am saying. Control mind, control the senses, fix your consciousness upon me, this is what you should do, this is how you should do. That is what Gita is about. And with this consciousness fight, whether you win or lose, is not important. What is important is this consciousness.
man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru
Always think of me, become my devotee, worship me, offer your homage unto me, and this way you will come to me without fail.
So Srila Haridas Thakur, despite being put in such a predicament, he tolerated it and he was constantly in the mood of compassion forgiving those who are trying to destroy him. Praying for forgiveness. And how is he able to maintain such a state of consciousness? Because he was constantly chanting the holy name “Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare”
Therefore Chaitanya Mahaprabhu teaches that we must follow in the footsteps of Haridas Thakur. Nama Sankirtan is the yuga dharma and Haridas Thakur is the namacarya. Acarya means one who teaches by example. Haridas Thakur is teaching us by his example. What are the qualities in which we can offenselessly chant the holy name. humble like the blade of grass tolerant like tree, offering all respects to others and not considering respect for oneself. In this state of mind we can chant the name of the Lord constantly. This is Haridas Thakur. In every type of trial came upon him. But he was so humble. And so deeply committed to chanting the holy names in that state that nothing could affect him. He wasn’t angry, he wasn’t vengeful, he wasn’t humiliated, even when he was beaten to death from sunrise to sunset through 22 market places. He maintained the integrity and what was that integrity? He was forgiving, he was tolerant, and he never gave up the chanting of the holy names. Incredible. And before and after that he was testing in either ways. In Benapole, beautiful prostitute came in the middle of the night when there was no one around and Haridas, he converted her to a Vaisnava. In Phuliya gram, while in his cave in the forest, Mayadevi herself came personally with all of her power to distract his attention but she could not. One insignificant apsara named Menaka distracted Vishwamitra. But maya with her whole potency could not distract Haridas. Because of his humility, his tolerance, and his complete absorption in the chanting of the holy names. So it’s very important. Prabhupad would sometimes say to his disciples “you do not take Maya serious enough. Maya is a big problem, she’s very powerful, she’s very subtle. Your problem is you do not take maya serious enough”.
Padam Padam Yad Vipadam Na Tesam
Danger at every step. So many allurements. Maithuna agar. Prabhupad is explaining of so many attractions. And how the attraction for sexual pleasures is so deeply rooted within all of material creation. There is the gross sex and there is a subtle set of profit adoration and distinction. Very very deep. Very powerful. We must take maya very seriously. Prabhupad said maya has the power of
. She’s empowered with
’s Shakti. She’s Krishna Shakti. Yoga maya is Krishna Shaktis for those who surrender controls them. And maya is Krishna Shakti for those who are not surrendering to Krishna . Very powerful. So to surrender toKrishna means, to perform tapasya.
tapo divyam putraka yena sattvam
Prabhupad says in this purport that one should never neglect austerities and penances. One should always perform them. And yet there are so many spiritual teachers who have hundreds and thousands and millions of followers who say don’t worry about penances and austerities. Just do this technique and you will become nice. Sometimes if anyone is not willing to do anything we say chant Hare Krsna yes eat this Prasad. If a person becomes little more serious we cannot cheat them. We will have to tell them that human life is meant for tapasya. So in this particular verse it is said all the learned scholars have given this opinion that the mind is by nature very restless and one should not make friends with it. Mind will present with himself or herself as your best well wishing friend. But we should not make friends with the mind. We should make friends with Krishna . We should listen to Krishna ’s words. We should not listen to the dictations of mind. When the mind becomes one with the word of Krishna the mind becomes our best friend because it can access to our best friend Krishna . But if the mind says anything else the mind is the worst enemy. So we must be very serious and very careful. That is why the association of devotees is so critical. Without association of devotees unless one is on a very highly liberated platform its very difficult to overcome the tendencies of maya. Rishabdev taught his example and he spoke to his 100 sons headed by Bharat Maharaja. But even Bharat Maharaja he was in a preliminary stage of bhava. They are actually symptoms of love for God that was going to manifest in his personality. He left his home, his wealth, his family and all the pleasures thereof he left it like a person leaves his stool after putting it on the ground. Very advanced person. But maya is so strong. She worked through a deer to distract his attention. Little by little by little. The downfall of Bharat Maharaj was not a sudden thing. Just one thing at a time. First there was an inconceivable circumstance that seemed so complex that here is a little deer with no one to protect it and I cannot neglect it. It will die if I just carry out my meditation as I have been doing. That’s how maya works. She puts us in very very complicated circumstances. Where it just seems unavoidable. Yes. Then little by little by little he became less and less dedicated to sadhana. And more and more concerned with the physical needs of this deer. And soon he was obsessed with attachment to the deer. He was crying for Krishna but now he’s crying for deer. He was feeling anguished for separation from Krishna now he’s feeling anguished for separation from animal. Hare Krsna. Little by little by little through the mind. So association of devotees is so important. Because in that association of devotees we get always reminded. The nature of the mind is that it gets distracted but then we come to Srimad Bhagavatam class and hear the truth we discuss with devotees we hear the truth, we see the deities we dance before the deities and everything comes again in its spiritual perspective. Association of devotees is critical. That only gives us support, necessary critical support and the blessing of guru and senior vasinavas give us strength. But then with all those blessings and all those support and strength that were given we have to use it. We are trained in the philosophy, we are given so many tools to use in our devotional service, but we have to use them. Using them means our free independent will. To live with dignity, to take shelter and chant Hare Krishna and seek the grace of Haridas Thakur and his representatives.
Krishna has descended within his name. Chanting Hare Krishna is not just a musical performance. On one level to attract people it may be like that. Where there is a musical performance and people are going like this. But actually if we want to be free of maya, we have to sincerely understand the power and nature of the mind and take shelter by somehow or other fixing the mind on devotional service and of all forms of devotional service the most powerful is the chanting of the holy name.
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Srila Prabhupad ki Jai. Is there any questions? We will end here Hare Krsna.