My obsessive thoughts dont allow me to chant and if I force myself to chant i feel haterful towards the Lord. Please advice.
From: Latha Mataji
Transcription By: Jyoti Shirsangi Mataji
Edited By: Shyam Venkateswaran P
Question: I have got Obsessive-Compulsive-Disorder, I really feel that, I don’t love or respect any one. I get obsessive thoughts, and it doesn’t allow me to chant and if I force myself to do that, I really get the hatred feeling in the heart towards lord. Please advise me.
Answer: When we practice spiritual life, the principle is that the more we come to the spiritual level of consciousness, the more all material problems, whether they may be physical or they may be mental, and they will stop troubling us or decrease the amount of trouble they cause us. Because the extent of problems which we face depends on how much we invest our consciousness in certain situations. So, if a person is very attached to cricket and India loses the cricket match, then an Indian cricket fan will feel wild. But an Indian tribal, who doesn’t know about cricket, will not feel anything because that person had not invested his consciousness in there.
So, in general, if you want to rise above the mind and its problems, it’s important for us to lift our consciousness out of the body and the mind; as chanting is the Yuga dharma, chanting is the best way to do this. But, at the same time, due to certain past negative experiences, which may be conscious or subconscious, if we find ourselves averse to chanting, then that doesn’t mean that we must cut-off ourselves from Krishna’s mercy. We can find out whichever way in which we can attract ourselves to Krishna. So, if in the initial stage of our spiritual life we are unable to chant, then we can here Kirtans, we can take Darshan, we can read books, we can hear classes, especially, we must do a little bit more study about the mind, and if there is a physiological problem which doctors are telling us, then we may have to take some medications for that. Along with that, we can also understand spiritual principles which can help us to discipline the mind. So, for example, if you search on this website for understanding the mind, you will get a good amount of material on it, and some of it may be relevant for you, which will help you to deal with this specific problem which you are facing, of hating others and not valuing them, and not being able to be attracted to the Lord. So, you can find out at one’s own level, how one can connect oneself to Krishna because the principle is that we have to raise our consciousness out of the body and out of the mind towards Krishna, and how we may do it in a particular situation that may vary.
Sometimes, some people, after they get some sickness and are recovering, cannot tolerate any sounds. So, although Japa and Kirtans are very good for the soul, at that particular situation, if the person is hypersensitive to any sound and can’t tolerate any sounds, even the sounds of the holy names, then that is not the way to connect that person to Krishna. Then that person may have pictures of Krishna around and those can be used to remember Krishna. So we can consult senior devotees and rather than forcing ourselves to chant when that is actually creating obsessive aversion towards the Lord, maybe we can read more about Him, sing about Him, and hear Kirtans. Often, spiritual music can be a powerful way to break through the prison that the mind has created around our soul and to rise to the spiritual level of reality.
As far as valuing and respecting others is concerned, in general, we can start with one step at a time. We may have had some difficult experiences because of which we may have difficulty valuing and respecting others. But if in our present circle, if we find someone whom we feel to be authentic, who actually cares for us among the devotee circle, we can start with at least valuing that person and over a period of time, we learn that, yes, when I eat food, sometimes there is food poisoning, but that doesn’t mean that I become paranoid of food, and stop eating all food. I have to become cautious of the food that I eat, but without food properly being taken on a regular basis, I will become weak, sick and ultimately perish. So similarly, if we don’t have satisfying and fulfilling relationships around us, then the only relationship that we have left with us is with the mind, and the relationship with the mind can drive us crazy. So often the mind encloses us in a self created prison of isolation by making us suspicious about everyone, making us disrespectful about the Lord, also, and then once we isolate ourselves from everyone, then the mind torments us further. So, we can’t even seek anyone’s help when the mind is tormenting us, and often in such times, even if we seek someone’s help, at that time, we may be so barked out, irked and desperate, that people are unable to understand what is this we are saying, and why we are doing what we are doing, and what is troubling us. And that further, that incomprehension on the part of others which often seems like indifference or insensensitivity to us, further alienates us from them.
So if we want to break free from this prison of isolation that the mind has created for ourselves, then we need to find out some way to connect with Krishna, some way to connect with a trustworthy devotee.
So, if we find chanting difficult at this stage, that is primarily because when we chant, the mind is going to lose its control on us because the more the soul connects with Krishna, the more the soul becomes stronger, and when the soul becomes stronger, then the soul will no longer take the mind’s atrocities passively. The soul will resist and reject the mind and the mind doesn’t want that. And that’s why the mind rebels severely when we try to chant. But still, if the mind is rebelling severely, we can’t just neglect the mind entirely, at least in the initial stages. Then we can find some way around. So, when the river comes across some road blockage, the river finds some way- up, down, right, left. So similarly, if we are finding chanting difficult, then find some other way to keep letting our consciousness flow towards Krishna, and as we start becoming Krishna Conscious, we start perceiving the joy of Krishna Consciousness, and we will realize that actually there is indeed a benevolent Lord who loves us, who cares for us, and in whose presence and grace we can experience supreme peace and bliss. So, as we experience this for ourselves, then the mind loses its suspiciousness, and we lose our previous trust in the mind’s judgment, and then it will become easier to chant and to connect with Krishna through the chanting of the holy names. Till then, just focus on whatever way we can connect with Krishna, and whatever way we can connect with Krishna’s devotees, and try to raise our consciousness out of the prison of isolation in which the mind has placed us.