Don’t trust the mind

Don’t trust the mind

A few days ago while chanting my japa my mind urged me to take a small break, make important phone calls, and get back to chanting. Initially I ignored these proposals, but soon my mind’s assertion became stronger.

The more I refused to listen to my mind, the more it got aggressive and I was miserable. To an external observer, I was ‘peacefully’ chanting my japa in the temple hall but internally I was exhausted by the struggle to concentrate. I could hardly focus on the Holy Names as my mind yelled that this phone call can’t wait. “It’s now; get up. Go, call Jigar and get the thing sorted before it’s too late”. I almost got up to rush to the errand, but remembered what I had resolved a few minutes ago. I had decided that I wouldn’t leave my chanting or the temple hall till I complete my sixteen rounds. But this issue seemed so urgent that I had to get up. But what about my resolve? “That’s later”, the mind said, “today you have to get this done before you chant”. Somehow I stuck to my chanting and could feel the constant beating by the mind. I felt so weak and tiny. Yet I continued because I had promised myself and Krishna that I would chant my sixteen rounds before I attend to anything else. And fortunately I had kept my mobile phone in the room. If it was with me, I’d have surely called Jigar or maybe fingered the phone constantly, and got distracted in my chanting. I felt a sense of victory over my mind but the mind was not going to give up easily.

As I continued moving the beads, and tried to listen to the syllables of the Hare Krishna maha mantra, the mind reminded me how one person had defamed me. “How dare he hurt me”, asked the mind, “I need to teach him a good lesson” Again I got lost. Fortunately a few minutes later I realized I was again misled by constant ramblings in the mind’s imaginary world. Again I pulled up and applied myself on praying and listening. Soon the mind escaped my grip, and yet another issue, then another person, and then another event and so on.
Finally when I completed my sixteen rounds, my mind said, “Run. It’s time for lunch” I rushed and caught up with a friend. After lunch I had a meeting to attend, and then someone came to meet me. Finally the sun set and I retired for the day.

The next morning as I sat for japa, once again the mind said, “You need to call up Jigar. It’s urgent”
“What the hell”, I screamed at my mind, “Yesterday, it was so important for you but after japa, the whole day you didn’t remind me about it, and today just when I am chanting again, you think it needs to be addressed.”

I had learnt an important lesson. Never trust the mind’s so called urgent and important things to do. It’s a desperate attempt to prevent me from surrendering to Krishna and let me keep the illusion of being in control of this world. Let go and live free! Remember Krishna is the Supreme controller. At least while chanting, just remember to listen to the Holy Names, and take out sometime during rest of the day to plan important things. But surely the japa time is not for planning or getting even with others. It’s time to explore our personal relationship with Krishna.

The thing that really helped me that day was making a personal promise to Krishna. I had promised I would chant and just as I began my chanting, my mind made desperate attempts to break my promise. But Krishna gave me the remembrance and also the strength to keep my word. Certainly it’s a humbling experience to realize we are tiny in front of the formidable mind. Yet it’s also a happy experience because the mere fact that we are aware of our mind’s whims is empowering.

And when we turn to Krishna, our japa becomes meaningful and sweet. That’s when you realize that humility is a sweet gift of Krishna, especially if we sincerely resolve to make chanting our number one priority. If good chanting is our goal we’d soon discover the enemies of mind and ego that block our path to Krishna. And that discovery is truly a humbling, yet happy experience.


  • Natasha Posted April 12, 2015 1:23 pm

    Hare Krishna prabhuji,
    I wanted to express my gratitude towards your efforts to put up these valuable articles in which you clear the concepts with real life examples. I cherish all the classes and lectures i have attended in viceroy court, it has helped me to become better and regular with my chanting. I am still struggling with regularity and attentive chanting, but this article of yours will definitely help me to get over with this obstacle too. I hope i can also resolve and with strong determination defeat this sadist mind, who enjoys making me feel miserable about myself.
    Looking forward to the healing doses of your articles which help me feel rejuvenated. Thanks a ton. Hare Krishna.

  • Nisha Posted April 16, 2015 1:01 pm

    Natasha, I agree with you completely, amazing article, especially the statement our chanting time is for Krishna and our endeavour should be to completely devote it to Krsna.
    Thank you very much prabhuji for nice article.

  • vraja bihari dasa Posted April 17, 2015 5:03 pm

    thanks a lot. i am glad i could be of some service to you…..please take care and chant hare krishna….
    vraja bihari dasa

  • gore machine Posted December 27, 2015 4:09 am

    You mentioned in your ‘don’t trust the mind ‘ article that after the rounds were done and it was off to eat…and the mind didn’t remind you of the important phone call till the next day…wait a second it’s the Supersoul that is the source of remembrance (as well as forgetfulness) and as Prabhupada said what is the use of your religion if you don’t talk(or listen) to God?Prabhupada said Supersoul can give instructions like …”go left…look up…” the mind to me is mostly images which i try to keep to images of gor-nitai and all the voices and songs are God and lastly let’s not forget Gaura’s order that offenses in the mind don’t count mainly i think because Supersoul is in control of the mind images. Thanks for your time ….gor nitai
    Gore Machine 2015

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