MIND acronym 3 – The mind neglects opportunity and denies reality
Lecture at New Ramana Rati, Alachua
MIND acronym 3 – The mind neglects opportunity and denies reality.
I am discussing the acronym mind and
M is- the mind magnifies the problems then
‘I’ was the mind imagines the pleasures which we were discussing yesterday.
How there is pleasure in material existence but the mind imagines far greater than what it actually is and in that way specially imagination in the momentum by which the mind drags us into an undesirable activity and we discussed about how this imagination of the mind can be checked by external barricades of social rules by internal brake of our own realizations and it can be redirected, spiritualized through the principles of Manaspujas and Manasa Seva.
Today we discuss the next two parts:
‘N’ is the mind neglects opportunities.
‘D’ will be the mind denies reality.
These two are related neglects opportunities and when I talked about the mind magnifies problems at that time one feature I mentioned is how in the present we have a problem but the mind adds the past and the future to the present and burdens us unnecessarily.
So the same way the mind makes us neglect whatever opportunities are there. How is that? In one sense this point is related with the first but here I have focused on one peculiar way in which the mind deludes us. That is through misappropriation of the feeling of guilt.
Guilt is the natural human psychological response to harmful behavior. Just like in our body if there is a wound, when there is a wound and there is a cut in the body then there is natural the body’s immune system gets activated, the WBCs come out and then and then clotting and healing takes place. So sometimes when some germs come into the body, the body may heal its own temperature to try to defend itself and drive it out. So it’s just biochemical and physical defense mechanism. Similarly there is also psychological defense mechanism. What is that psychological defense mechanism? That is our conscious and the feeling of guilt that comes when we do something against our conscious. So internally we are prompted to avoid doing wrong things and to do right things. Now this conscious is as Krishna tells in the Bhagavad-Gita,
sarvasya cähaà hådi sanniviñöo
mattaù småtir jïänam apohanaà ca
That, ‘I’m situated in the hearts of all living beings’ and He guides us from within. The conscious can be culturally conditioned that means, for example if somebody has grown from childhood in a culture where meat eating is the norm, then that person may not feel anything wrong while eating meat. And that time the person is grown in the culture where meat-eating is not done, is frowned upon then the person eats meat that would be a pinch of conscious. The conscious can be culturally conditioned but underlying the cultural conditionings there is a principle that everyone accepts there is something which is right and something which is wrong. What is right and what is wrong may vary according to person to person but there is this principle of rightness and wrongness.
So now if somebody says ‘hey you are unfair at that time’. If somebody accuses ‘you are unfair when you spoke like that’ and that person may explain ‘okay why I spoke like that, even if I was unfair why I was fair or actually I was not unfair,’ but in both ways person tries to defense, person assumes that unfair is bad and ‘I’m trying to explain how I am not unfair or I will try to say circumstances forced me to behave the way I did.’
The point I make which I’m making is that people accept that we should not be unfair. They may be unfair in some situations so now the conscious vivekabuddhi which we have is called in Sanskrit viveka the capacitive discrimination; this we can look at some of the philosophical perspective and social. I’ll explain how culture perspective, different people may consider different things to be wrong from a philosophical perspective the conscious can be conditioned by the modes: in goodness, passion and ignorance. Because goodness is close to transcendence so in goodness the conscious is the clearest. In ignorance the conscious is that the demist. For example if a person is a serial killer the person’s conscious has become so dimmed, so bad that the person commits murder and doesn’t feel anything. Why is that because one has distilled oneself from the voice of conscious. Alienated oneself completely, so that voice of conscious is there in all of us but we can go towards it and we can go away from it and this is meant to protect us. We all want to feel good about ourselves but not in an egoistic sense, in the sense that conscious use its natural tendency about our wanting to feel good about ourselves and protect us from doing wrong things.
There are these three things: this is some wrong activity, this is the soul and this is Krishna. So some wrongdoing is there the voice of conscious should come here, when I start something wrong then the voice of conscious stops me, it makes me feel guilt. The guilt is like a watchdog, just like when a thief comes and dog barks stop stop stop! the feeling of the guilt is like a watchdog that starts barking when the sinful desire comes into us or we are prompted towards sinful actions. When sin comes into our consciousness the guilt is the watchdog that barks the other conscious the feeling of guilt and makes us want to stop from doing this. However the mind is so sinister, that instead of this guilt coming in between us and the wrongdoing. The feeling of guilt comes between us and Krishna. The feeling of guilt is meant to protect us from going away from Krishna but the mind makes the feeling of guilt come between us and Krishna. How is that? That actually if I have done something wrong then yes it’s natural to feel bad but what is the solution? I have to take shelter of Krishna and by taking shelter of Krishna, I can purify myself but when we do some mistake, when something wrong happens then the mind makes this and say, ‘you’re like fool, your good for nothing person, you are a fallen person, you’re a sinful person’ and in this way the mind disheartens us in our practice of Bhakti and that guilt actually prevents us from going towards Krishna. Rather it makes us lacks in the process that will take us towards Krishna. So when guilt comes between us and Krishna instead of coming between us and the wrongdoing, then what is coming in between us and Krishna, that is not guilt that is pseudo- guilt. This is pseudo-guilt, the false guilt. It is actually a form of temptation. Normally we think of temptation as lust anger, greed but in the generic sense anything that takes us away from Krishna is a temptation. So normally when we feel guilty, when guilt feelings come that should make us take shelter of Krishna. We have a song like aamaar jeevana sada paape rata; where Bhakti Vinod Thakur expresses amazing humility but at the end of such songs is that he wholeheartedly takes shelter of Krishna. ‘Krishna You only can save me and I take shelter of You’, but in our case when we feel guilty that guilt makes us disheartened. What is the point? I can’t practice Bhakti.
To give 3 different examples, suppose a boxing match is going on, two boxers are fighting and boxer A hits big punch and this boxer B falls down and after the boxer B has fallen down, he’s fallen but he is not knocked down. So when there is a strong blow like that, what should the boxer do? The boxer should look around at one’s own coach and ask the coach what should I do? And when you look at the coach and then ask the coach and the coach says, ‘Come on, get up,’ the coach will give some advice but if instead say the boxer has fallen down and he asks, ‘will I be able to fight? Would I be able to win? The coach will encourage ‘yes you can fight, you can win’, but if instead this boxer was fallen down, the boxer consult his opponent only, ‘can I win?’ ‘Never never’. So what happens is first the mind knocks us down and the mind makes us to do wrong things and then the mind says ‘you’re never going to do that’, first the mind makes us the wrong things and then we end up consulting the same mind, ‘will I be able to do right things? Mind is never going to say that you can do the right things. so in this way the mind by its discouragement it keeps us away from Krishna and it actually this time we may be feeling bad ‘why did I do such things? why did I do that wrong things? why did I do that?’, now that feeling of regret or remorse or repentance, when we do something wrong all that is healthy if it takes us towards Krishna but we know that pastime when some devotee told Srila Prabhupadam ‘I am the most fallen’ and Srila Prabhupada said, ‘You are the most nothing. I am the most fallen in this, the mind is so sinister that I am fallen we mean to say but the mind gradually shifts the focus from the fallen to I. That means we become self-centered, we are going to the mode of self-pity and self pity is not humility. I’m keep feeling sorry for myself ‘oh this is wrong going, this is like this, this is like that’. So we ultimately want to be Krishna-centered not self-centered. So if even this feeling of guilt make us self-centered, ‘I am so fallen. I’m so this. I am so that. I’m useless that I can never change’. All that is happening is we become I-centered, we are not becoming Krishna-centered. So this is minds trick by which it keeps us away from Krishna.
So there is that prayer in Puranas-Bhuskhalita Padanaam….. This tells us small front while trying to walk taking the first steps an infant and slips and falls, falls flat on the ground and that small child how that child is going to rise again it is by taking shelter of the same floor on which the child has fallen. Similarly the prayer ‘Oh Lord I have committed so many offenses to You but it is only by taking shelter of You that I’ll rise again’. So if anything makes us disheartened in taking shelter of Krishna we should know that that is maaya for us. Anything that makes us disheartened in taking shelter of Krishna, even if that disheartenment seems to be coming from valid cause, such as our own misdeeds but even if you have done something wrong that does not mean that you are not strong practicing Bhakti. The only way we can stop wrongdoings is by practicing Bhakti more intensely. The mind denies opportunity what it means is that when we have an opportunity to correct something wrong that we have done in the past. Mind makes us so caught in self-pity that it does not let us do what we can do, to set things right. So we neglect the opportunity for doing something by which we will correct ourselves. We may not be consistent but we can be resilient. Consistent means always being able to do a high standard of practice daily, everyday, in day and day out. That’s consistency. And now consistency is difficult as long as we have not come to the mode of goodness. Krishna says,
yeñäà tv anta-gataà päpaà
bhajante mäà dåòha-vratäù
So here in 7.28 He says that bhajante mäà dåòha-vratäù
when can we practice Bhakti determinedly yeñäà tv anta-gataà päpaà when we have become free from sinful activities and janänäà puëya-karmaëäm when we have actually done pious activities for several lifetimes then we will be able to te dvandva-moha-nirmuktä at that time being free from the delusions caused by duality we will be bhajante mäà dåòha-vratäù so determined practice of Bhakti is not so easy but just because our practice of Bhakti is not consistent, that does not mean that we have to give up the practice. Yes as I said this boxer falls down by the opponent the boxer can get up again and fight. So consistency means going on at the same level regularly. If we can’t be consistent we can be resilient. Resilient means even if I fall I’ll rise again, even if I fall and rise again.
So in that way we can continue practice Bhakti. So what the mind does is because I have fallen down what is the point of rising again? Even if I rise again I am going to fall. In this way our mind makes us disheartened.
So if we look at our worldly desires which often cause us to do wrong. Now the devoted desires it is not that they are constantly tormenting us. Yes there is some level of agitation that is there constantly but the temptations if we consider the graph of temptation there are sometimes there are spikes. The desires become very strong and at that time it is almost impossible to resist them. That time we feel it is impossible and when those desires become very high, the spikes come out like we have electric current sometimes there are spikes and the electric current becomes very high. So like that our desires are going like this and then suddenly spike goes up. Suddenly stronger desires come up, desires increases sometimes. So now that spike like desires it comes very strong at that time it is not easy for us to resist and at that time we may succumb and even if we are not able to resist when those desires become very high what is important is what we do between these spikes. There is something strong desire came and I did something wrong afterwards strong desires may come it is not that it is going to be there for 24 hours a day. So in between what we do is very important. If we are purifying ourselves in between the next time this strong desire comes we will be better prepared to face it and if we keep practicing even if something wrong happens the important thing is that we by making sure that in between we don’t let our Bhakti be stopped. We will purify ourselves we will become stronger. Now why do these spikes come? These spikes come because of our past conditionings. Presently also we get tempted by certain things but in either way the spikes come they may not be in our control immediately but just because something is not in our control that does not mean that nothing is in our control. That is the trick of the mind, it denies opportunity. This sometimes that desire may become so strong, for example at simple level I may decide I’m not going to overeat but next time there is an opportunity I overeat it. And then it’s one thing to overeat but when we overeat it is not just that we eat the food, we let the food eat us, means we dwell on it so much ‘why did I over eat?’ So now that is not required when Prabhupada was asked, ‘what do you do if you over eat?’ He said, ‘if you over eat work hard, work hard for Krishna. So what happens is okay I may have sometimes overeaten but I don’t have to let that thought eat me up. What do I do in the remaining time? So because of some wrong things that we made the mind makes us so disheartened that all the other time when we have the opportunity to do something right we don’t do it. So in this way the mind makes us neglect opportunities. So we are defined in our Bhakti not by how we fall but by how we rise. We will all fall and falling will happen, yes but how we rise that is what is going to matter in the long run. If we keep rising we will keep moving on towards in our Bhakti. And this brings us to the next point D is denies the reality. Now there are various levels of reality. One level the mind denies is that I’m going to die; the mind very forcefully denies the temporary nature of material existence. So there is one Greek philosopher he said that ‘the death will never happen to me, why? Because when I’m there death is that is not there and when death will be there then I will not be there’. Some twisted logic he says I’m going to save one from death. The point is the mind denies the reality of death. That is one level of denial and I’ll focus on another aspect of denial that the mind denies the highest reality; the highest reality in all existence is the reality of the Krishna’s love for us. Krishna loves us not because of who we are but because of who He is. That means He is the all loving supreme person suhådaà sarva-bhütänäà He is the benefactor, the well-wishers of all living beings. So his love for us is not dependent on us. His love for us is because He is loving. Yes what is dependent is our experience of His love, Krishna loves us always but if our consciousness is turned away from Him we can’t experience His love. Just like the sun gives us light if I close my eyes the sun doesn’t stop giving light but I can’t see that light. So like that if we start chasing the worldly objects we start loving worldly things then we cut-off our ability to experience Krishna’s love but Krishna keeps loving us and this the mind denies reality. The mind makes us imagine that, ‘oh I am all alone struggling in this world. The whole big bad world is against me and I am all alone and how will I fight’, and again by denying the reality of Krishna’s love the mind keeps us away from Krishna. Going back to the earlier example, earlier verse I quoted that bhajante mäà dåòha-vratäù that we can become determined in our practice of Bhakti only after we are purified but Krishna by the end of the Bhagavad-Gita says,
mäm ekaà çaraëaà vraja
ahaà tväà sarva-päpebhyo
mokñayiñyämi mä çucaù
Krishna says, ‘You just surrender to me and I will free you from sinful reactions’. In the 7.28 He is saying you become free from sinful reactions, you become free from sin then you can become determined but in 18.66 is saying however you are you just surrender to me and even if there is sins I’ll free you from those sins. So in the Sri Vaishnava tradition the acaryas have given example that, that when a mother is giving potty training to the child when you have to respond to the nature, you should go to the toilet and respond or you should respond here and if the child messes up and dirt one’s cloth and the mother seems to get angry and she says, ‘don’t come close to me unless you clean yourself, clean up the mess. don’t come to me otherwise. Now if the baby says ‘I don’t know how to clean myself. What is the mother going to do that she will pick her up and clean the baby. So like that when Krishna is saying that,
yeñäà tv anta-gataà päpaà
‘You become pure then you come to me’, that like mother says that you first clean yourself then you come to me but when the baby say, ‘I don’t know how to clean myself,, Krishna says, ‘you come to me I will purify you’,
ahaà tväà sarva-päpebhyo
mokñayiñyämi mä çucaù
So I will purify your sinful reactions’. So the point is Krishna’s love for us is the highest reality in all of existence and to the extent we live in the light of this reality to that extent the mind troubles will become lesser and lesser. What the mind does is that it makes us build a wall around our heart and then it complaints, ‘I’m feeling lonely. It makes us build a wall around our heart that means it makes us forget that right next to us in our heart Krishna is there. Krishna loves us and Krishna is always accessible to us. Just turn to him in devotion but having distracted from Krishna, having blinded us to Krishna’s love and afterwards it’s all you are alone, no one cares for you. This world is such a big bad place. What can you do? And that way the mind again makes us discouraged. Generally when problems come in life the tendency of the mind is to try to cast to blame. One way is if the problem comes in my life we blame the world. ‘Because this person did like’. The other is we blame ourselves, ‘I’m such a fool, I am an idiot, I’m such a nonsense’, and the third is that we blame God, ‘God doesn’t exist and that God doesn’t care. So basically actually none of these three responses are helpful. If we blame God then we cut ourselves off the supreme help that is available for us. If we blame others, then we lose whatever opportunities we may have to correct ourselves to improve. But what about blaming ourselves, the blaming ourselves if it is done in a mood in which we can actually feel encouraged and inspired to improve, that is good. Otherwise by blaming ourselves if we become disheartened, if we become discouraged then that self-blame is also a negative form of self-centeredness. Normally when we talk about self-centeredness, it is like I’m so good, I’m so great, I’m this, I’m that, but the mind can take the same thing in opposite way and make us self-centered, ‘oh I’m so bad I’m so fallen’. Let’s try give a physical example of this, most people they want to look very good. They may dress very attractively, have lot of makeup, use the latest best personal care items. So that they look very attractive and then they attract attention of others and that is the way they want to be the center and now that same tendency wanting to be the center can come in a perverse way in some people and that is among hypochondriacs. People act as if they are sick and they act as if they are sick for what purpose to attract attention, ‘oh I’m so sick, I had this disease I had this problem, I had this, I had that, one small rash they make it imagine like a fracture. So basically whether a person is trying to look very good or is trying to look very sick, under line both of them the mentality is self-centered. So just as this can happen at a physical level can also happen at an inner level. Where at one level I want to portray the world that ‘how clever I am, how impressive I am, and gain attention that way and the other is by telling, ‘how useless I am, how good for nothing I am, how fallen I am,’ that way also the same self-centeredness can be expressed in a negative way. So our process of purification centers on remembrance of Krishna and enters on keeping Krishna at the center and if any trick of mind makes us think less of Krishna and think more and more about ourselves then that is a temptation, that is the temptation we should need to resist. Even if I am very fallen, even if I am good for nothing but still Krishna loves me
api cet su-duräcäro
bhajate mäm ananya-bhäk
sädhur eva sa mantavyaù
samyag vyavasito hi saù
So Krishna says that, ‘my devotees to be considered saintly even if the devotees have done terrible activities.’ What this verse tells us that there is nothing that we can do which can stop Krishna from loving us. There is nothing that we can do that can stop Krishna from loving us. There is nothing that we can do because of which Krishna say I’m fed up with you and I’ll leave your heart and go away. No! Krishna will be there always in our heart.
muktäya bhüri-karuëäya namo ‘layäya
Gajendra in his prayers says, ‘Oh lord you’re so merciful,
paçu-päça I am caught in this, caught by this animal, is referring to animal not just the crocodile which caught him. He is also talking about bodily conception of life which is animalistic. So I’m caught in that and please Oh lord! liberate me from it. Why is it? muktäya You are liberated, so you can liberate me but the Lord may say that you are bound by your own karma, why should I liberate you? bhüri-karuëäya You’re extremely merciful, so you please liberate me, yes by my karma I deserve to be bound but you are merciful, so please bhüri-karuëäya liberate me, then the Lord may say I have tried to liberate you so many times but you never listen to me so alayäya my dear Lord you never get tired, you will never get tired. So there is nothing that can make Krishna so fed up with us, He will say I don’t care there is nothing that we can do which can make Krishna stop loving us. If this reality we can understand and keep that in the center of our conscious, even that the theoretical understanding, even if we don’t have much realization of this even in the theoretical principle we keep this in mind that will enable us to resist the various ways in which the minds distracts us. So ultimately everything as I discussed earlier three things: the mind magnifies problems, that imagines the pleasures, it neglects opportunities, all those are true but the fundamental problem is that the mind denies the reality of Krishna’s love for us. Srila Prabhupada says that in Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur told him that the biggest problem in the word is the lack of Krishna consciousness. So what is the Krishna consciousness means it is the profound phrase Krishna consciousness at one level we can say we being conscious of Krishna in the sense of consciously trying to fix our conscious on Krishna, that is Krishna consciousness but to get the inspiration, to get the motivation, the struggle to fix our conscious on Krishna even if we have lesser level, both preliminary level of Krishna consciousness and that is yes Krishna exists, Krishna cares, yes Krishna cares, if we just Krishna loves me we can love him more than anyone else and then that will inspire us to be Krishna consciousness. What does that mean that Krishna consciousness also can be at multiple levels so Krishna consciousness can mean my conscious attempt to recollect Krishna, to think of Krishna but before that even if I have the preliminary level of consciousness that yes Krishna loves me, then that will inspire, ‘okay Krishna loves me and why should I think about this and that. Everything goes to Krishna.
So that ability to fix the mind with Krishna constantly that it will take a long time for us to come to but even our focus on Krishna is intermittent right now but even with that intermittent focus we can move on words Him.
I will conclude with one point then we can have question and answers.
In our spiritual lives sometimes we may become very proud thinking that, ‘oh I have done so much service, I have made so much advancement and I’m so good at this, I’m so good at that. So at that time if we start becoming proud we need to look at how far we can go. If we look at the way the Goswamis practice Bhakti, if we look at how Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu used to cry tears of ecstasy, by looking at how far we have to go we can develop humility. We can avoid pride but sometimes opposite can also happen. If we become discouraged, practicing Bhakti for so many years, what is happened? I’m still the same old person it seems. So that time if we look how far we have to go we will become further discouraged at that time we need to look at how far we have come. If we look at our own lives few years ago, few decades ago there is a significant difference, a dramatic difference that is there. How was that come that is come by the process of Krishna consciousness, So if we want to be encouraged we need to look at, if we are feeling discouraged then we should look how far we have come, when we look at how far we have come then that will make us gives us faith, yes this process does work. I may be moving forward slowly and sometimes our Bhakti seems to be like we make two steps forward and sometimes I may thing three steps backwards but actually we are taking steps forward and we are moving on towards Krishna. So by when the mind starts discouraging us by remembering how far we have come by the practice of Bhakti that can give us the encouragement that this process does move on, this process does take us forward.
So on a regular level every day we will face the same problems. Sometimes lust will come, sometimes anger will come, the anarthas will keep troubling us and if we try to check our purification based on that day-to-day fluctuation of our consciousness. We may feel that am I really purified but this day to day fluctuations, simply happen because we live in a highly materialistic society, but what we can see is the long term change. Long-term change means, say before I was introduced to Bhakti I used to love to eat eggs and now when we live in a temple where there is no exposure to that, when I was on the flight to America, both the people were sitting next to me both of them were eating eggs and I just observed it was almost like after 12 years I saw eggs for the first time, I hardly see eggs and then it just stuck me I did not feel any desire for that, not only I did not feeling desire for that but as Yamunacarya says, ‘I spit at the thought I just didn’t feel attraction. So it struck me Yes I have my own temptations there is this dramatic change that has happened. I didn’t even notice it, but it has happened
So when all of us when we look at our own lives then you might have had some conditionings which would have been very difficult to give up but by the practice of Bhakti we have been able to give them up. So if you try to look for our purification on the day to day basis it will not work, like the mother is taking care of the child and every day the mother takes a tape and says how much my baby has grown. You cannot measure the growth of the baby like that. Growth is a gradual process. Similarly Bhaktilata beeja that is growing in our hearts it is growing gradually. Every day we are hearing, chanting. It is growing but it will be gradually. I was talking about denies reality so one way the mind denies reality is I said it denies the reality that Krishna loves us but another way the mind denies reality is that the process of bhakt works. The process of Bhakti works by shifting our focus to the everyday’s struggle that we are going through. We start feeling what is happening in my life? Is a really the process making any difference as long as we are in the material world the aadhyatmik, aadibhautik, aadidaivik this klesas are going to come for the devotees and non-devotees. So externally in some ways our life may seem similar to those of the non-devotees in terms of the problems that we face but is a world of difference that is suppose there are two patients in the hospital and both of them are in pain but one of them is in pain because the disease has not yet been diagnosed and no treatment has been prescribed and the other is in pain because his disease is not yet cured but the disease has been diagnosed and the treatment has been prescribed So although both may be in pain but both are not at the same level. If both of them focus on the emotion of the moment, if the patient who is being treated focuses only on the emotion of the moment, I’m taking the treatment, why am I in pain? that will make the patient give up the treatment think that the pain is not yet gone but the treatment has been, the disease has been accurately diagnosed and treatment has been prescribed then that pain is going to decrease and go away.
So like that if we focus just on the events of the moment whatever is happening, now we may feel that this all the problems of life are there my mind gives me problems what is the process of Bhakti can give me? But if we see long-term perspective our situation is very different from those who do not even know what is the problem. and what is the solution is. So by Krishna’s mercy and by Srila Prabhupada’s mercy we are like that patient whose disease has been diagnosed and the treatment also started and by remembering how the treatment has worked in our lives, how it has transformed our hearts by refusing to let the mind deny that reality, we can get the inspiration to move onwards. As we keep moving onwards in the process of bhakti then we will start realizing and relation Krishna’s love more and more and then Susukham Kartum Avyayam The process of Bhakti will become joyful. So when this process will become joyful sometimes we say that material enjoyment, material pleasure is temporary but spiritual happiness is eternal. Once one devotee asked me a question but do you know even spiritual happiness is temporary, I come to temple, I dance in Kirtan, I feel happy, and I go back again I will not feel happy, so what is the difference? material happiness is temporary and spiritual happiness is also temporary. Now spiritual happiness is not temporary but our experience of spiritual happiness is temporary. Just like the thick clouds which cover the sun and below the cloud there is darkness and sometimes that there is a crack in the clouds by which the sun light streams in. So what does this mean is that the sun light is always there but sometimes the cloud covering parts so that the light can stream in. Similarly Bhakti Vinod Thakur explains in HarinamCintaMani that the clouds of anarthas covers our consciousness. Krishna is like the sun, He is the source of supreme happiness and what we call, what we may think as a temporary experience of some spiritual happiness .Yes sometimes I feel happy when take darshan, sometimes I feel happy when I chant, sometimes I don’t. What’s happening? the sun is always giving light but because of the clouds we are not able to see the sun, we are not able to see the light. Similarly Krishna is always the source of happiness but sometimes because of the conditionings, because of the lower modes influencing us then what happens our connection with Krishna gets cut and because of which we are not able to experience the joyfulness of Bhakti but as we become purified the clouds apart more and more, as the clouds part and more and more the sunlight starts streaming more and more,
käma-lobhädayaç ca ye
ceta etair anäviddhaà
sthitaà sattve prasédati
In the second chapter of the first canto the process of Bhakti is described. It is said that by practicing the process of Bhakti tadä rajas-tamo-bhäväù the lower modes go away käma-lobhädayaç ca ye greed and lust go away then ceta etair anäviddhaà as the conscious becomes purified sthitaà sattve prasédati we become situated in mode of goodness and then prasédati Bhakti becomes joyful and then
Then prasanna-manaso when we practice Bhakti joyfully and then the truth of Krishna bhagavat-tattva-vijïänaà
the truth of Krishna love becomes a living reality for us. So it is not only is the process of Krishna consciousness working so I talked about denial of reality and I’m talking the third part in it. The first part of denying the reality is the reality of Krishna’s love, second is the potency of the process of Krishna consciousness and the third is the happiness of Krishna consciousness. We all have experienced the happiness of Krishna consciousness, sometimes or the other, Some glimpses we have had and those glimpses may be temporary for us now that is because the modes, the conditioning of the modes interferes with our experience of Krishna. But as we become purified that interference will become lesser and lesser, our connection with Krishna becomes stronger and then we will be able to relish the happiness of Krishna consciousness more and more. So by meditating on whatever experience of happiness we had in Krishna consciousness, we see that these are not just temporary like material pleasures but these are advance glimpses of what I’m going to get in future as I become purified. And by that we can move onwards in our Bhakti. prasanna-manaso we can practice Bhakti joyfully.
I started by talking about, the mind neglects opportunity and denies reality. In respect to neglecting opportunity I had focused primarily on, how the mind converts guilt into pseudo-guilt, so guilt is meant to keep us away from wrongdoings. Guilt should come as a wall between us and wrongdoings but pseudo- guilt makes us feel so bad about ourselves but makes us so self-centered so disheartened in our practice of Bhakti that it comes between us and Krishna. Anything that comes between us and Krishna is Maaya, it is temptation. So if we are becoming self-centered then we need to know that is the feeling that we should give up, even if I am fallen it doesn’t matter even if I am sinful, it doesn’t matter still I have I have this opportunity to practice Bhakti right now. So whatever lower desires come within us they come like spikes, now what we do in between those spikes is what is going to in the long run define our spiritual advancement because of those spikes coming in it may not be possible for us to be consistent and always practicing the same level of Bhakti but still we can be resilient, ‘okay I’m knocked down but I’ll rise again’. So the mind neglects opportunity means because you have fallen once, the mind says you stay fallen. Just like one boxer knocks down the opponent and the opponent who has been knocked and he asks the person who has knocked him down, ‘will I be able to win? –never. So the mind neglects opportunities and by knowing that we always have the opportunity to rise and practice Bhakti, we can counter the mind. And much more hope giving way to counter the mind is to deal with the next step- the mind denies the reality.
So our practice of Bhakti is not our, rather Krishna’s love for us is not centered on who we are, but centered on who He is. He is all loving supreme person, there is nothing that we can ever do that can make him stop loving us and He is tireless in his love for us and to this extent we live in the reality of His love, in the consciousness that he loves us that will inspire us to try to direct our love towards us. So through scriptures studying them and we can remember, remind ourselves as a reality of Krishna’s love and then by observing ourselves not in the same sense of day to day fluctuations but in terms of long-term transformation we can see the process of Bhakti works. It does purify ourselves, does transform us and by remembering whatever experiences of bliss, happiness we had in Bhakti. This is what awaits me ahead once the clouds of conditioning get purified.
In that way, the mind denies the reality of Krishna’s love, the reality of the potency of Bhakti and the reality of the happiness of Bhakti and by countering these denials we can steadily progress in Bhakti and come to the level of Susukham Kartumavayam joyful practice of Bhakti.
Thank you very much..!