15.09 – When we mistake the mind’s petulance to be bhakti’s impotence, we sentence ourselves to perpetual dissonance
“This meditation stuff doesn’t work.” We may think like this when we don’t feel happy while chanting the holy names of Krishna.
The problem, however, is not bhakti’s impotence; it is the mind’s petulance. Let’s understand how.
The Bhagavad-gita (15.09) explains that the mind is the receiving center for inputs from all the knowledge-acquiring senses. These senses constantly bring in from the outer world alluring images of sense objects. Exposure to such images makes the mind crave for them. But its cravings stay largely unfulfilled not only because many of them are immoral or anti-devotional but also because our physical capacity to enjoy the sense objects is unchangeably limited. Due to such unfulfilled desires, the mind tends to become petulant just as children become sulky when refused a toy that has caught their fancy. So many are the desires that the mind craves for and sulks over that we may not even be consciously aware of any specific desire. Nonetheless, a generic sense dissatisfaction and irritability lurks in the background of our consciousness
With such negative feelings, what happens when we practice meditation? The mind just doesn’t let us focus on Krishna. Consequently, we are unable to relish the illumination, satisfaction and rejuvenation latent in the remembrance of Krishna. If we mistakenly conclude that bhakti is impotent, then we deprive ourselves of the only process that can ever free us from the mind’s arbitrary and autocratic moods. Thus we sentence ourselves to perpetual dissonance, slaving to fulfill the mind’s unending desires and sulking over their unfulfillment.
If instead we intelligently persevere with meditation irrespective of our feelings, then gradually our persistent remembrance of Krishna breaks down the wall of the mind’s petulance and grants us the ultimate fulfillment.
The living entity, thus taking another gross body, obtains a certain type of ear, eye, tongue, nose and sense of touch, which are grouped about the mind. He thus enjoys a particular set of sense objects.