If you notice there’s a subtle, yet powerful principle in play here: be present, now. Srila Prabhupada always lived in the present. A successful sportsman wouldn’t allow his mind to cheat him when he is down by analysing the points he lost or the lost cause he was contending with. For lesser mortals, the inner dialogue when they trail behind is: ‘what’s the point of fighting a losing game? Next time, I’ll play better but right now I am disgusted, I should have done that…..’ The mind’s babble is unending; if you give it importance you never rise from the slip, and the match is lost.
The mind can offer many scripts and each appears convincing. If you ignore the mind’s proposal, it assures it has an alternative and then another one, until you succumb. Like this, we remain dutiful slaves of the mind. In the process we miss out on a simple, yet most effective tool to puncture the mind’s tirade. And that is ‘just be present, here and now’. Louise Hay, in her best-selling ‘You can heal your life’ said it crisply, “the point of power is always in the present moment”
In the spiritual tradition I come from, we softly chant the Holy Names of God on our prayer beads, and the entire focus is on hearing the sound. Srila Prabhupada gave a simple tool: Listen to the mantra you are chanting now. There’s no question of mind. He’d say, ‘simply listen’. When you listen to sacred sound, you enter a spiritual space. In other traditions the details may vary but wherever the practise is to ‘listen’ or ‘observe’ or ‘present’, we enter a space beyond the mind; it is here we touch divinity.
Srila Prabhupada has given us this beautiful chance to play the sport of life with a positive attitude. Let’s chant Hare Krishna and stay happy!