Hare Krsna! (2 part series)
When you think about your life, is there anything that is holding you back? All the great people of our time agree that the only person holding us back, is ourselves. What is it specifically that is blocking us?
There could be a variety of reasons, but the most likely stopper is our mind. Lord Krsna says in the Gita, that “For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his mind will remain the greatest enemy.” (BG 6.6)
We have all had days were we “space out”, get distracted, and don’t achieve much. If only we could conquer our mind. Imagine a mind that is your best friend, the possibilities would be endless. So how do we control the mind? Lord Krsna says “it is undoubtedly very difficult to curb the restless mind, but it is possible by suitable practice and by detachment.” (BG 6.35)
There are 2 aspects: suitable practice and detachment. We will discuss detachment more in part 2.
For now, I want to leave you with a story about a guru and his restless disciple:
A disciple and his teacher were walking through the forest. The disciple was disturbed by his constantly flickering mind was in constant unrest.
He asked his teacher: "Why are most people's minds restless, and only a few possess a calm mind? What can one do to still the mind?"
The teacher looked at the disciple, smiled and said:
"I will tell you a story. An elephant was standing and picking leaves from a tree. A small fly came, flying and buzzing near his ear. The elephant waved it away with his long ears. Then the fly came again, and the elephant waved it away once more".
This was repeated several times. Then the elephant asked the fly:
"Why are you so restless and noisy? Why can't you stay for a while in one place?"
The fly answered: "I am attracted to whatever I see, hear or smell. My five senses pull me constantly in all directions and I cannot resist them. What is your secret? How can you stay so calm and still?"
The elephant stopped eating and said:
"My five senses do not rule my attention. Whatever I do, I get immersed in it. Now that I am eating, I am completely immersed in eating. In this way I can enjoy my food and chew it better. I rule and control my attention, and not the other way around."
Upon hearing these words, the disciple's eyes opened wide and a smile appeared on his face. He looked at his teacher and said:
"I understand! If I allow my five senses to rule, then my mind is in constant unrest, because the senses are always going here and there for pleasure. But if I am in charge of my five senses and I focus my attention on one thing, then my mind becomes calm".
"Yes, that's right", answered the teacher, "The mind is restless and goes wherever the attention is. Control your attention, and you control your mind".
Nitai Kirtan das
(Look out for part 2, coming on Mon)