MIND acronym 2 – Mind imagines pleasure

by Chaitanya Charan dasSeptember 23, 2015

Program at New Ramana Reti temple, Alachua

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MIND ACRONYM- 2 MIND IMAGINES PLEASURE

I welcome all of you to today’s talk. Actually this is the second part of the series which I started 2 days ago on the MIND.
So it’s a 4 part series I’m talking about the mind in terms of its acronym M, I, N, D. So how the mind deludes us:
M is it magnifies the problems.
I is it imagines pleasure.
N is it neglects opportunities.
D is it denies reality.
So I talked in the first class. M- magnifies problems.
*Summarization of the first lecture*
Another aspect of countering this is recognizing the other tendency of the MIND: The mind imagines the pleasures.
It means that for the eternal soul actually to enjoy material objects and to think that one will get pleasure in that it is manasijaà. Prahlad Maharaja in his prayers in the 9th chapter in the 7th canto says that, the pleasures of material world are manasijaà . jaà is from born, manasi is from the mind: ‘that born from the mind’. Now in this same prayer Prahlad Maharaja also says that there’s some pleasure,
kuträçiñaù çruti-sukhä mågatåñëi-rüpäù
kvedaà kalevaram açeña-rujäà virohaù
nirvidyate na tu jano yad apéti vidvän
kämänalaà madhu-lavaiù çamayan duräpaiù
So he’s saying, ‘oh! Lord Narsimha you’re telling me to ask You some benediction. But kuträçiñaù what benediction can I ask you? çruti-sukhä he says, All the pleasure that is here, we here about it a lot. Here the word ‘çruti’ doesn’t refer to scriptures in terms of spiritual sound vibration. It refers to ‘çruti’ in terms of the Vedic descriptions of karmakand, Vedic descriptions heavenly pleasures. So çruti-sukhä this is pleasure that we here about but when we try to experience it then mågatåñëi-rüpäù it is like a mågatåñëi – it is like a mirage. We hear about it, we crave for it but when we actually go there and enjoy, it’s an anti-climax. So normally in a mågatåñëi, in a mirage there’s no water at all, but Prahlad Maharaja gives us more advanced understanding here. Actually this prayer is in the form of a rhetorical question, series of rhetorical question. He says ‘what benediction can I ask from you oh Lord! Because the pleasure of heaven that are talked about in scriptures that, the sensual pleasures they are just like a mirage. Somebody may say why a mirage? You’ve a healthy body, with this healthy body you can enjoy. So kvedaà kalevaram açeña-rujäà virohaù this body, what is it ? He says açeña-rujäà virohaù it is the breeding around for unlimited diseases.
Scientists have found cures for many diseases but many more diseases have also come up and essentially the body is in the net analysis far greater the source of misery. Therefore he says nirvidyate na tu jano yad apéti vidvän although we know that the pleasure is illusiory, that the body is source of misery, still we are not able to give it up. nirvidyate na I can’t give it up, and who not just foolish people vidvän, even wise people can’t give it up oh lord! kämänalaà madhu-lavaiù çamayan duräpaiù kämä is like fire, Analam is fire, lust is like a fire, and he uses 2 metaphors which seemed to be mixed over here. One he says lust is like a fire, But madhu-lavaiù means the drop of honey, nectar over there and çamayan duräpaiù it is extremely difficult to pacify to give up this desire. So first he said, the pleasures like a mirage mågatåñëi, and in the same verse Prahlad Maharaj also says that the pleasure is like a drop of honey. So what is the reality? Is there pleasures in the world or there is no pleasure in this world?
Actually there is pleasures, when the scriptures says that pleasures of world is illusory, what it means? I started by saying that for soul to think that I can get the pleasures through the material body that is an illusion in an absolute sense. Just like if a person is watching a movie and say that person is watching the show and is going through the whole panorama of emotions. When the villain is beating the hero, he feels fear and when the hero is beating the villain he becomes excited. When the hero and heroine embrace he cheers and whistles. He is going through whole panorama of emotions. This movie watcher is watching the show. Is the pleasure real or not? Within that framework one may say I’m really experiencing the pleasure. People laugh and cry, they go through a variety of emotions but from the absolute point of view, after the movie is over what is the point? Nothing. As long as we identify with the body there is some pleasure. But actually the movie has nothing to do with our life and to get into the movie is itself is an illusion. So from the point of view of the soul the pleasure that we get through the body is an illusion. But while we are in bodily entanglement we do experience pleasure. When the senses come in the contact of sense objects we do experience pleasure and this is also pointed out in the Kaushitaki Upanisad as well as in the Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu in an indirect. Both these places pleasure is compared at various levels. So for example it says that the earthly pleasure if it is of a particular quantity the heavenly pleasure is a thousand times more and the pleasures of Satyaloka and Brahmaloka is thousand times more. The pleasure of Brahmananda is thousand times more to that. The Kaushitaki Upanisad goes only up to Brahmananda in the hierarchy but Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu goes further and it goes right upto Bhaktyananda- the happiness of devotion, which is oceanic, Sindhu is an ocean. Actually Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu, Srila Prabhupada kept the translation short and poetic Nectar of Devotion. If it were to be literal translation then it would be – Bhakti rasa. Bhakti Rasa Amrita Sindhu it would have been-the nectarian ocean of the mellows of devotion. So Srila Prabhupada translated it simply as Nectar of Devotion.
The point here is we know Bhaktyananda is real and the Brahmananda in one sense is real and is spiritual happiness. So if that happiness is said to be some thousand thousand times of earthly happiness. If earthly happiness is zero, then no matter how many thousands of times you multiply that will also be zero only. So the earthly happiness is there but as compared to that the spiritual happiness is far greater.
madhu-lavaiù what Prahlada Maharaja is saying? Yes ! there is pleasure but actually it is so little. It is so little but the mind imagines. So the imagination of the mind is not in the reality of the pleasure but it is in the magnitude of the pleasure. There is a pleasure but it lasts for a few moments but the mind imagines that it is going to last forever and is going to be so great that for the sake of this pleasure I’ll give up anything and everything. So when mind catches us, infatuates us with the imagination of the pleasure then wghat happens is person gets so captivated just like in the early days 1920s -30s roughly the harms of smoking were not known. People would smoke, thinking that it is a fashionable to have a cigarette in your mouth; it was considered to be a fashionable thing to do and later on when the harms of smoking started coming out, cigarette companies had to suppress it. But eventually studies came out and pointed out the same thing and they could’ve suppresses it. Then this cigarette companies changed pack and while advertising instead of portraying smoking as a fashionable they started portraying smoking as heroic, as courageous. That means although there is danger still we will smoke. The result was after the warning started to be put ‘cigarette smoking is injurious for your health’, cigarette sales went up rather than going down.
nirvidyate na tu jano yad apéti vidvän just knowledge doesn’t help one to give up this pleasure. Because the mind imagines something else. Oh! I’ll be heroic. Although there is danger still I’ll take the risk. And therefore I’m a hero. When not being heroic one is being foolish. When the mind imagination gets caught for something the whole intelligence gets lost. Just like people in advertises are portrayed as saying that smoking cigarette, they say, ‘it’s cool’. How the fire and smoke be cool? It’s cool and you’re a fool. It can’t be but the mind imagines. So the mind imagines the pleasure in what sense? There will be a little pleasure but the mind imagines the magnitude to be so great. Ok there might be a risk that I will get some lung cancer but this pleasure its work it, doesn’t matter. People know when they drink they are going to get over a hangover next day. But the mind makes them think- it’s worth it. So the mind imagines the magnitude of the pleasure to be far greater than what it actually is. There is a little pleasure them ind makes that a much bigger.
Bhaktisiddhanta saraswati thakur tell a story of how the mind takes us on a trip of a down imagination. There was a poor milk man and he had just an old cow which would not give milk and one day it gives some good milk, he put that in a pot and he was in the market and he was thinking, ‘oh now I will sell this milk. And after I sell this milk then I will get money and with that money I will get a new cow, and when I get a new cow then I will get many pots of milk, with the many pots of milk I will sell it I will get more cows then I will have cowshed, when I have a cow shed then I will have a good house and then when I get a good house then I will get a wife and then I will enjoy and if my wife doesn’t obey me I will discipline her and he was dreaming and moved his hand around and the pot in front of him , the pot spilled. And what was there was also lost. So the mind makes us go on a fantasy drive based on something which is very tiny.
The mind imagines pleasures and to counter this imagination of the mind we often see this example of the chariot body. In the example of the chariot body, the chariot is the body. What is the role of the mind here? Mind here is the reins, senses are the horses, the intelligence is charioteer, and Soul is the passenger. So normally the point of this example is that the charioteer should control the horses, that’s true. I would like to focus on another point here. This intelligence has to control the mind and the senses, the charioteer has to control the horses but controlling the horses will be much easier before the horses gain momentum. That means if the horses going on a particular track, the horse sees this is the road and horse sees juicy vegetables on the side of road and horse starts going off the track. Now initially the horses start takes few steps in that direction, the charioteer just pulls the reins and gets the horse back on track. It’s very easy. But if the charioteer was little dull and he let the horses run and the more the horse running in that direction, the horse momentum will become stronger. Once it gets a momentum it will be extremely difficult, much greater force is required once the horse starts running full charged to get the horse under control. So that horse gaining momentum is like the mind getting into imagination. So the more we let the mind imagine something, fantasizing about the pleasure the more difficult it is to counter it. That’s why highlight of the mind is if mind imagines pleasures, it is the imagination that gives momentum to the mind and yes the fruits, vegetables are there on the road and the horse is blindfolded. The horse has to at least see the road, and while seeing the road the horse may see other things. But what the charioteer should do is not let the horse run in that direction. So to the extent that imagination can be checked to that extent, controlling the mind becomes easier. So before I talk how the imagination can be checked this point of the mind imagining pleasure is related with the point that the mind magnifying the problems. Because the two are apart of the same package. Just like suppose say in India people love cricket. So a person is watching the world cup, India got till in semi finals. Somebody says that I love India, I watch every match, delights in every match that India wins. India came to semi finals and lost in the semi finals. At that time the person say now I will renounce cricket, I’ve become detached from cricket, I don’t care. When he says like that but if one has attachment of cricket one can’t just wish it away. One’s consciousness is involved in invested in cricket. When the consciousness invested in cricket it’s locked in it and we can’t just pull it out.
So to the extent we imagine pleasures or we let the mind imagines pleasures to that extent we will also let the mind magnify the problems. Because it is the same force of the mind, same nature of the mind. When they say the mind magnify the problems? It is through imagination. What if it I let a glass of water to spill will how does a mind convert that small accident into a morale shattering disaster? How does it do that? It does it by imagination. Oh in the future when I will be walking on a wooden floor, carrying some inflammable liquid and we spill it and there will be some spark over there in a whole house catches a fire. Better you never carry water again, so what the mind is doing is imagination. So if let the mind imagine pleasure then we are basically letting the mind work, functioning in the direction of material imagination and then that the same mind will also magnifies the problems. That is why when we see the Bhagavad-Gita it talks about not just giving up material pleasures but it talks about always dualities. It talks about give up both sides of dualities, as in the well known verse 5.22 where Krishna says the wise people do not delight in pleasures because they lead to misery but just before 5.22 what Krishna says, in 5.20 of Bhagavad-Gita, na prahåñyet priyaà präpya
nodvijet präpya cäpriyam
sthira-buddhir asammüòho
brahma-vid brahmaëi sthitaù He says na prahåñyet priyaà präpya one doesn’t delight in getting something enjoyable externally, not just one grieve on getting something distressing externally. In 21st also same thing, bähya-sparçeñv asaktätmä the person is detached from external stimuli, such a person Krishna says na teñu ramate budhaù in fact such a person will not delight in external pleasures. So if we find that the mind is also magnifying problems that is because one reason for it also can be that, we are often letting the mind imagination go wild in terms of pleasure and once the mind gets the habit of imagining then it will imagine problems also. Krishna also normally gives the chariot body analogy in the as chariot is the body, but Krishna also use is in the Bhagavad Gita Manoratah the mind as the chariot..
idam adya mayä labdham
imaà präpsye manoratham
idam astédam api me
bhaviñyati punar dhanam in 3.13 he says the mind is imagining. He is talking about materialist, I’ve got this much wealth, and I will invest here and it will become double then I will buy that it will become triple, and then I will get this much, and I will have that much. And in this way the mind is imagining, so use the word Manoratah -The chariot of the mind. Now when the chariot of the mind the idea in the past the chariot was the one of the primary means of movement and then warriors would attack, the chariot would go very fast, like that the mind goes very fast manorathah. This imagination of the mind by which it imagines pleasures. Unfortunately in today’s culture this imagination is further aggravated. How’s that? The whole advertising industry, what fuels the imagination of the mind? It is the sensory stimuli. We see something with eyes, we feel something which is soft, something fragrant and then that sense the mind on an imagination.
So today much of the technology, it actually makes the sensory stimuli more and more stimulating and detonating. For example, in this world there are different sense objects. For a man woman is a sense object and for a woman a man is sense object. And now in the real world there is a variety, in terms of, some people are good looking, some people are average looking; some people are not so good looking. But what the media does is that present the most attractive sense object so everyone, everywhere and depict them aggressively. In the media everywhere we see the most good-looking people and when we see them, women when they see their figures and compare these figures on the movies then they start feeling I’m not good looking at all.
Once I was in a college and students sometimes write some provocative slogans on their T-shirts, so this student had written, ‘90% of the world’s women are beautiful the remaining 10% are in my college’. Why this perception comes up because what we think of 90% of the world is what we see in the movies and there not only are the most good looking faces shown but even those good looking faces there’s so much make up and artificial dressing of that is done and when the senses get fed that kind of sensory fair then what real life offers seems to be very pale in comparison. So in today’s the mind’s imagination is fueled to a wild degree. Prabhupada says in Krishna book that the senses, the tongue and the genitals they want gratification. This is the mind imagines newer and newer ways to gratify the senses. And unfortunately our mind’s imagination is bad enough but now today through the media the world’s imagination becomes the mind’s imagination. Different people imagine different things and that become fuel for our mind’s imagination. That’s why the excessive glamorization of the pleasures also, there is pleasure in sense gratification, and if we see dharma, artha, kaam, moksha, this is not a tirade against everything worldly. Kama is also a part of the 4 purusharthas. It is not to be rejected. Krishna says dharmäviruddho bhüteñu
kämo ‘smi bharatarñabha- I’m the kama, Prabhupada translates very bluntly, there are some commentators who translate Kama more generically as ambition. I’m ambition that is not contrary to Dharma. But Prabhupada translates this even more specifically say, I’m sex life that is not contrary to religious principles.
So Kama is naturally a part of human life, when there is excessive glamorization of that then it doesn’t remain a part of life but it becomes the primary purpose of life. That is what people are constantly thinking upon. kämopabhoga-paramä
etävad iti niçcitäù Krishna talks about Kama in various senses in the Bhagavad- Gita, for example in 3.36-43, Arjuna asks what is that impels me to do wrong things? Krishna answers it is Kama and here He says Kama is the enemy. But in the seventh chapter Krishna uses Kama in a different sense, in a positive sense. Kama that is not contrary to the Dharma I’m that Kama, and then 16 chapter when He was talking about the divine and demoniac nature that there he talks out kämam äçritya duñpüraà 16.10 he says these people the ungodly people instead of taking shelter of Krishna they take shelter of Kama and duñpüraà this is insatiable. So for the demoniac Kama; Prabhupada translates that for such people sense gratification is the prime necessity of life, this they are ascertain. This is the result of the mind’s imagination. So yes what is an important of life but make it the only purpose of life that is destructive. And this can happen not just with respect to Kama in the narrow sense of sex it can happen with respect to anything. Any form of addiction essentially what is happening is, whether it is alcohol, whether it is smoking, drugs or there can be less blatant forms of addiction. People can get addicted to watching TV, People can get addicted to internet. Nowadays there is device addiction. They just can’t stay without devices. Constantly click some buttons, press some buttons. So these are may not be as harmful, but in all addictions what is happening; I don’t how much it happens in America, India often the Wi-Fi or internet goes off. And people get so agitated. If I don’t have internet, I can’t check my email, SMS, facebook updates. The agitation when the internet is gone is far greater than the relief when the internet comes back. After it comes back, we don’t even notice it. Yes it is there, sometimes some urgent might comes, and urgent message might come and may have to deal with it. But quite often the mind makes the whole thing into a much bigger issue than it needs to be.
The mind imagines and today’s media, today’s culture further aggravates the imagination. Here kämopabhoga-paramä
etävad iti niçcitäù people think that this is the only purpose of life, material enjoyment. So how do we counter the imagination of the mind? If we are not so much familiar with the chariots, we don’t use chariots but we use cars. So instead of Manaorathah we use manocar, the car of the mind if we say. If there is formula 1 racing, where they have very fast cars within moments they just get to such a high speed. The mind is like that. At one moment it is here and next moment you can cross all around the globe. It may be Australia, America, china, Japan. It can go anywhere.
Usually when we attend classes, our body sits and our mind goes for walks here and there. And often when there is joke, the mind comes back again and miss the joke, then it says what is the joke? So now when a car moving very fast, the car’s fast motion is like the mind’s imagination.
So what we are discussing is how we counter the imagination of the mind? So now if a car is moving very fast there are primarily two ways, in which the car can be stopped. One is an external barricade and a second is an internal brake. You can have internal brake or you can internally turn-off the car also. Primarily there is external stop and there is a internal brake. When external barricade is put it can stop a car but if the car is coming very fast then it may just kick the barricade and in some moments it just breaks the barricade and go out and go on still. So the external barricade refers to the social ethics, the social rules and regulations. When the society has respect regard for certain ethical principles they become like the external barricade for the mind’s imagination. The mind may imagine but at least people will not act on it. So if a society starts relativising morality and society starts stribulizing morality, then the mind’s imagination knows no limits. So to the extent there is a external culture which approves moral behavior and disapproves moral behavior. That acts like external restraint for the minds’ imagination. But again come introduce culture most of these external restraints, the external barricades have been removed. For example often in today’s world whether it is movie or whether it is internet quite obscene imagery and obscene media photos are often depicted and this is **37.33** for now there is a very subtle change of values by change of words. So for example if in a movie there are very sexually explicit scenes. The way the media changes our value is oh! There are very bold scenes in the movie. That’s not boldness, but that’s shamelessness. But by calling it bold, everybody wants to be bold, so it is only matter of time when people don’t dress conservatively they would be cowardly. What is the boldness in just being shameless? There is no boldness. But what is happening is the external barricades that is there in terms of say dressing conservatively, that is removed by the change in the vocabulary. Or for the example whenever there are sexual explicit movies, they are very gentlemanly sounding name- adult entertainment. It is adulterous entertainment. It is not adult entertainment. Is it like adult entertainment? You get a car license, you get voting right and you watch adult entertainment. Is it like that? It isn’t like that. The way the language is used they subtle change of values is happening by that. So the point I’m making is that the external barricades which are there on the mind’s imagination getting fueled the are largely be removed today and that is why although there is always in the material world sexuality but in today’s world never before in world’s history has been there so much aggressive fueling of the mind in terms of sexuality as it is in today’s culture. And that’s why the responsibility is much more for us on the internal brakes. Of course if we live in a devotional culture even if the external culture does not give value to the morality, but the devotional culture gives values to morality that can act as our protector to some extent. The mind is going to imagine but there are external factors the imagination we don’t act on the imagination. We think several times before we act on it. But internal brakes become all the more important when external barricades are not there.
What do we mean by internal brakes? When the car is moving the brake is mechanical function, device, object, which you force down by which the vehicle slows down. So how do we if the mind’s imagination is running on some direction. Different people had might be different things. Some people it might be food, some people it might be money. Krishna also talks idam adya mayä labdham imaà präpsye manoratham for different people it might be a different direction which the mind’s imagination goes.
What is the brake that we can apply. We check the mind. The brakes basically slow down by contemplating philosophically how the pleasure is not what it is made out to be. The mind is imagining, ‘oh it is such a great pleasure’ but if we can reflect back it is not that I’ve never enjoyed this pleasure in this world before. I’ve enjoyed it before. There might be a little pleasure. But nothing worth getting so excited about it. So if we can philosophically contemplate, there are two things here, philosophically shastra tells us that ‘ok there is little lot of pleasure but it is not all that great. But if we can reinforce the scriptural knowledge with contemplation on our experiences. The mind has very selective memory that means if a person drinks and then gets a hangover then the next time the urge to drink comes only the pleasure of that drinking is recollected. The pain of the hangover is not recollected. So by this selective recollection the mind acts deceptively. So what we need to do? To change the imagination of the mind, the fuel for the imagination is some perception or some recollection. An alcoholic sees a bottle of alcohol, that is the perception. And along with that there is recollection. Oh last time I drank so much, so I went high. So there is perception and recollection. We live in a world where we can’t avoid perception and for most cases we have indulged in sense pleasure in the past so we can’t even avoid recollection. At least the memories are there. We can’t just erase the memories, they are there. But dhyäyato viñayän puàsaù saìgas teñüpajäyate -Krishna doesn’t say drishyato viñayän puàsaù it is not that seeing is the cause of the problem, he says that contemplating causes the problem. When we contemplate, what we are doing actually? The perception and the recollection are joined together. The perception is what we are seeing now, the recollection is what we are remembering and when two are joined together they fuel the imagination. What we need to do is not let that joining go on for too long. If the mind remembers, an alcoholic remembers I drank and it was so good, but then next morning I had such a terrible hang over the mind will not remember that. But we have to consciously but if we want to avoid being deceived by the mind we have to recollect that.
So for example if after some experience of sense pleasures we after at all frustrating, why did I waste my time, my energy? So if that feeling of emptiness, that realization of the emptiness if we consciously remember that, cultivate that remembrance, we may write it down. Write down scripture’s verses in which you get stronger conviction. So the internal brake is basically what that we don’t let we counter the mind’s imagination- there is so much pleasure, there is nothing great here. So how we can counter that, that there is nothing great here that is by using scripture and experience go together. What is realization? Sometimes we say I got a realization. What is realization actually? Realization means that which is a reality I accept it to be a reality it becomes a realization. For example, this world is dukhalayam, a place of misery, now when I hear this, I may think ok I have had misery in my life, but you know if I had money then I will become happy. So when we hear scriptural truths, we accept it but we accept it conditionally. Possibly true but not necessarily be true. Suppose I go to a very wealthy person’s house, a huge bungalow and then mind imagines this must be so happy. And then often when if a renunciate goes to some wealthy house, the people in general in the material society, even if they have problems they conceive it. Because admitting your problems admitting that you are not happy is also seen as a failure. You’re so wealthy you must be successful, you must be happy. And if you say I’m a millionaire and I’m miserable. What kind of person? So especially in front of competitors people even don’t admit that I’m unhappy. But if they meet some saintly people, they say this person is not my competitor so they openly tell there are some. Then that person say I’ve a big palace like house, but my wife divorced me and went away and my daughter has run away with someone, my son is waiting for me to die to get the inheritance. And each of these is like a bomb on the imagination. I thought he was happy. Where is the happiness? So what is happened, the scriptures tell us just material things can’t make us happy. But this experience helps to see the reality, so when that which is a reality we accept it, we experience it to be a reality it becomes the realization. So we all have had realizations of the nature of the material pleasure. There is pleasure but it is not what it is imagined to be. Our realizations if we can bring to the forth and recollect them then that can act as a brake for the mind.
Scripture realized especially that can acts as a powerful brake but ultimately our process is not the process of suppression. The manorathah the chariot of the mind, our goal is not simply to stop the chariot of the mind, our goal is to direct it towards Krishna. And directing it towards Krishna means we should always think about Krishna, always remember Krishna. Srila Prabhupada gave a beautiful lecture, he says that so the devotee thinks that there is a throne in my heart and Radha Krishna are sitting on that throne. And the devotees imagine that Radha and Krishna are sitting in my heart and then he says, ‘This is not an imagination’, this is the reality. Firstly what does it mean? Are Radha and Krishna really there in our heart? Yes! Krishna is there in our hearts. And where Krishna is there, Radharani is also there. These divine couple are inseparable. Now in what sense is it imagination and in what sense is it not imagination? In this sense that ultimately Krishna is presence in the heart, it is not imagination. But in the sense that right now I can’t pursue Krishna in my heart, in that sense I’m imagining. Yes! There is throne in my heart and Krishna is sitting on that throne. So this is imagination used in devotional service. When Srila Prabhupada said that, ‘I was all alone walking on the streets of New York and so there are temples there are devotees only time is separating.’ What is this? This is imagination of devotional service.
We are not just trying to suppress our imagination, we are meant to use our imagination in devotional service. What does at our level using imagination in devotional service mean? It is premature for us to imagine that, ‘oh now I’ve become a Gopi, and dancing with Krishna in Rasaleela. That is premature, that is Sahajiya but according to our situation we can visualize, if we are trying to do some service for Krishna we can visualize, If I trying to sing, you can visualize Yes! I’ll become a good singer and I’ll sing in a way that pleases Krishna and Vaishnavas. If I’m doing book distribution we can visualize that I will be able to do lot of book distribution, and please people will get benefitted. Whatever service we are doing we can use our imagination in that service. Similarly we can imagine that if we are taking darshan we are coming to the temple to take darshan we can imagine, what Krishna dress in today? In this dress Krishna looks like this. So there are various ways depending on our specific nature, interest, talent. If we will be able to use our imagination in different ways in Krishna’s service. We are saying always think of Krishna, takes the mind with Krishna. The mind does these 3 things: thinking, feeling and willing. So when we take direct all the faculties towards Krishna. So thinking is more of a fractional thought, remember verses, remember philosophical points, we may remember some instructions, that are a good. Feeling the aspect is largely fueled by imagination. Emotions are strongly connected with the imagination. If we want to fix the mind in Krishna forcefully we need to visualize our imagination and that way we with the external barricades of the social or the devotee communities, moral principles, social designations with our own internal brakes, in terms of our realization of spirituality and the spiritualization of the mind’s imagining, mind‘s imagination by these three things we can direct our self to Krishna and not only bring the mind under control. Krishna says that mind is the enemy but he doesn’t say, he is the enemy and kill the enemy. We have not just have to control, our goal is to convert the mind, that means if the mind is the enemy which you want to control but Krishna says the mind can become our friend. So when then mind becomes our friend, what does it mean? If the mind starts imagining about Krishna, thinking about Krishna constantly then it will become our friend. Of course we may be a long way from that but it will happen gradually with the process of purification and especially when the mind starts imagining things connected to Krishna then struggle in Bhakti will become lesser.
I will conclude with the last point of about imagination, the word imagination can very easily make us uncomfortable, because imagination can be speculation and it can mean deviation. Basically the word imagining we often use it in the sense of false. But imaginary it is not always in the sense of false. The imagination or imaginary it can also mean that which will become real. The more positive word we going to use is ‘visualization’ or ‘vision’. Essentially when something imaginary means that has no bases and realities at all. But what we are talking about is, it is base and reality we are eternal souls, we have eternal relationship with Krishna and that we relationship will manifest as we move forward. So it’s imaginary not in the sense of false. We are using imagination in Krishna’s service doesn’t mean that we are thinking of false things and living in a false world rather which the process of Bhakti will manifest in future that we will bring about right now. So one example in the Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu of using the imagination in Krishna’s service is Manasapuja, means what that if I’m not able to serve Krishna literally serve Him with the mind and considered a valid form of devotional service. So there is that story of poor Brahmana who couldn’t offer any proper food to Krishna, so he thought I’ll offer delicious Kheer in the mind and he prepared delicious kheer and he was preparing and said let me check how hot it is and he touched the kheer and his fingers burnt. Now it is all in the mind but what happened, physically his finger burnt. Through this Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu is telling us, quoting a Purana over here and say that the mental cant can also become real. We shouldn’t dismiss the mental as mere false. Manasah puja in the standard scripture example of using the imagination in Krishna’s service and by thus using our imagination. So I may not be able to chant attentively but when I’m not able to chant the mind adds a dialogue to it, ‘see you’ve been chanting for so many years, even now you’ll not be able to chant, after chanting for so many years you are not be able to chant attentively. So what reason is there for you to think that today you will chant attentively? So better don’t even try to chant attentively, just give it up. Yes we may not be able to concentrate continuously but surely we can concentrate for some time, for few rounds, few mantras we will chant, that’s purifying. But the mind with its internal dialogue discourages us. So what we can do is? Ok I’m not chanting attentively but I can imagine. If I was chanting attentively what would I do? Suddenly if I’m relaxing on the back no, just imagining that I’m going to Samadhi, while I’m going into Nidra, so if I was chanting attentively surely I would not be leaning back and almost as if I was – if I imagine what would I be doing if I was chanting attentively? Then itself can stimulate us and we can chant even if you are not able to chant attentively, we can express our desire to chant attentively and that we can do by imagining. Even if I’m not be able to study scriptures, I don’t get time to study scriptures but we can imagine if only I had some time to study, that imagination will please Krishna, because we are expressing our desire. So because the material world is limited we may not always be able to actualize our desires, even our devotional desires but just as materialistic people don’t let the inability to fulfill their desires stop them from imagining the fulfillment of those desires. Poor people there may have not much money and they don’t have lot of prospects also for earning money, but still they imagine, ‘oh if I had a car, I would be going around car, if I had money I would be flying around in a plane, If I had money I would have palacial house. So if materialistic people don’t do let limitations, stop them from imagining things, imagining material things, why should we as devotees let material limitations stop us from imagining service Krishna. Yes I don’t have time to study the scriptures right now, but why can’t I imagine? Yes how would I get absorbed. I’m not be able to go to the temple to a particular festival, but I can imagine if I were in the festival. And I would be taking darshan, dancing in kirtan, I would be hearing the katha that will spiritualize our imagination,. So the world can stop us sometime to practice the devotional service, because of its obligation, because of some circumstances, but the world can’t stop our imagination. If we direct our imagination towards Krishna then we will take one tangible stair towards becoming internally connect with Krishna at the continuous level or at least far greater then what we would be otherwise.
I will summarize, I started by talking about how the mind magnifies problems. And I talked about the mind imagines, imagines pleasures. so there is a little pleasure in material existence, Madhulavaih like a drop, mind imagines it to be so big that its irrestistance, and this imagination is in today’s culture aggravated into further many times by the media, which displays the most enduring sense objects and thus fuels the mind’s imagination much more. And then we discussed about how this imagination functions on the joining of perception with recollection. When we see something and we recollect something, the problem is selective deceptive recollection. The mind remembers only the pleasure and it forgets all the complications that came after that. So to avoid the mind’s imagination will lead to us, we have external, when the car moves very fast the external barricades which can stop it like the social regulations, which prevent us from acting on our imagination. And there is a internal brakes and they are our own philosophical intelligence, our own recollection of spiritual ** of which we have had realization. The realization means that which is a reality we accept it to be a reality. And lastly discussed more than just stopping the imagination, we want to spiritualized imagine. So we imagine I can be serving Krishna, I can be rendering, I can be doing various devotional activities. As Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu talks about Manasapuja similarly it is not just deity worship, you can do manasa seva in various different ways and that even if the world stops us from rendering service to Krishna, the world isn’t have to stop our imagination and we can think connecting with Krishna. In tomorrow’s talk I will talk about the next two things: how the mind neglects opportunities and it denies reality. Thank you very much!

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Chaitanya Charan das
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