However, when I spend time with Krishna, mind’s crafty schemes are not necessarily checkmated. He is biding his time, and would pounce on me at the least expected moment. He is determined to keep me in the external world, and he does that with myriad thoughts. But the more attentive I am in my Krishna consciousness practises, the more awareness I have and I can see my mind’s cunning deceptions.
Attention in devotional practises leads to awareness, and this means you realize the giant demon can do nothing. The mind may scream, yell, demand and get boisterous but he can’t touch you – because you are not the mind! He can’t really harm you.
When the mind realizes that I have ‘awareness’ and I have caught his manipulating my Krishna time for his advantage, he immediately distracts me with another thought. His hold on me is insidious and strong. He is unsparing.
He is like the legendary Australian cricketers, expert in sledging. When the Aussie fielders utter provocative obscenities, there’s nothing personal about it. They just want the batsman to be distracted or lose his concentration. And if he is off guard, they could get him out. The mind thus shouts, entices, flatters, plays the victim card, and the list is endless.
How do we bat well in the face of repeated attacks by the mind?
Two time tested methods to deal with the mind are: busy with a higher purpose, and journal with Krishna.
Get busy for Krishna! But would the mind quieten simply if I am busy? No! Remember it’s busy ‘for Krishna’. The ‘for Krishna’ is the game changer. And this means the ‘intent’ to please God, Krishna. The mind would cooperate if I connect to Krishna; if I connect my intention to Krishna.
First we perform the Krishna activity, namely chanting, study scriptures, associate with devotees etc. Then as we absorb in the activity or we are attentive in our practises, we remember Krishna with loving affection – we offer our heart in gratitude. This culture alone can help a sincere sadhaka – a spiritual practitioner, tolerate the mind’s relentless tirade, and soon you realize you’re out of your mind’s lap and in Krishna’s loving arms.
“In the beginning it is said a man must elevate himself by his own mind. Mind is the driver. The body is the chariot, or car. So just like if you ask your driver, “Please get me into Krishna consciousness temple,” the driver will bring you here. And if you ask your driver, “Please get me in that liquor house,” the driver will drive you there. So driver’s business is to drive you wherever you like. Similarly, your mind is the driver. If you can control… But if the driver takes your license, that wherever he likes he will take you, then you’re gone. Then your driver is your enemy. But if your driver acts on your order, then he’s your friend. So actually, the yoga system means to control the mind in such a way that he will act as your friend, not as your enemy.”
– Srila Prabhupada (lecture on Bhagavad Gita, 6.2-5, Feb 14, 1969, Los Angeles)
To be continued….