His Grace Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Transcribed Lectures

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Bhagavad-gita 6.5

Vilnius, Lithuania


Vrindavana Dhama ki jaya!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari: We are studying the Bhagavad-gita, any particular verse- anywhere?

om namo bhagavate vasudevaya
[Gurudeva sings three times and devotees repeat]

So tonight we are reading from the Bhagavad-gita, Chapter number 6, "Dhyana Yoga", text number 5.

uddhared atmanatmanam
natmanam avasadayet
atmaiva hy atmano bandhur
atmaiva ripur atmanah


uddharet--one must deliver; atmana--by the mind; atmanam--the conditioned soul; na--never; atmanam--the conditioned soul; avasadayet--put into degradation; atma--mind; eva--certainly; hi--indeed; atmanah--of the conditioned soul; bandhuh--friend; atma--mind; eva--certainly; ripuh--enemy; atmanah--of the conditioned soul.


“One must deliver himself with the help of his mind, not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well”.


The word atma denotes body, mind and soul--depending upon different circumstances. In the yoga system, the mind and the conditioned soul are especially important. Since the mind is the central point of yoga practice, atma refers here to the mind. The purpose of the yoga system is to control the mind and to draw it away from attachment to sense objects. It is stressed herein that the mind must be so trained that it can deliver the conditioned soul from the mire of nescience. In material existence one is subjected to the influence of the mind and the senses. In fact, the pure soul is entangled in the material world because of the mind is involved with the false ego which desires to lord it over material nature. Therefore, the mind should be trained so that it will not be attracted by the glitter of material nature, and in this way the conditioned soul may be saved. One should not degrade oneself by attraction to sense objects. The more one is attracted by sense objects, the more one becomes entangled in material existence. The best way to disentangle oneself is to always engage the mind in Krishna consciousness. The word hi is used for emphasizing this point, i.e., that one must do this. It is also said:

mana eva manusyanam karanam bandha-moksayoh
bandhaya visayasango muktyai nirvisayam manah

"For man, mind is the cause of bondage and mind is the cause of liberation. Mind absorbed in sense objects is the cause of bondage, and mind detached from the sense objects is the cause of liberation." (Amrta-bindu Upanisad 2)Therefore, the mind which is always engaged in Krishna consciousness is the cause of supreme liberation. [End of purport].

om ajnana-timirandhasya
cakshur unmilitam yena
tasmai sri-gurave namah

sthapitam yena bhu-tale
svayam rupah kada mahyam
dadati sva-padantikam

Sankarshan das Adhikari: The average man on the street, if you told him that “you need to become liberated”, he will say "What are you talking about? I am already liberated. I can smoke whatever brand of cigarettes I want to smoke. I can drink whatever liquor I want to drink. Whatever I want to eat, I can eat. Whenever I want to have sex, I can have sex. I am already liberated, what are you talking about?” So what is Krishna talking about here anyway? What is this liberation? If we told them what our lifestyle is, they will tell us that we are prisoners; we have been captured by this brainwash cult. We are slaves of a cult leader. So what is the actual proper understanding? The fact is that the mind is very much inclined in its unregulated state for sense enjoyment, isn't it? [Aside: Sri Sri Gaura Nitai ki jaya!] The mind becomes attracted to some objects of sense enjoyment. The senses meditate on it. And then one wants to fulfill that desire. A lot of times you really can't do that, but sometimes you can and even when you do gratify the desires, still you are not satisfied. Why? Because the actual reason of our existence, the substance of our very identity is to have a loving relationship with God. We do not exist for the purpose of sense enjoyment. Sense enjoyment is simply something to keep the body going, that is all. Just like on your car you have a gasoline gauge that shows when your gas gets very low then a little warning light comes on: "It’s getting empty, better fill your tank, otherwise you will be in trouble." So, is the purpose of life to put gasoline in your tank? The purpose of your car is simply to put gasoline in its tank? No. Your car is meant to bring you to the temple. It is something you use to get to your desired destination. Putting the gasoline in the tank is something you do for the real purpose of getting to the destination. So the real purpose of this human life is to cross over the ocean of nescience to achieve the transcendental kingdom of the Supreme Being. So, while you are using this human body for that purpose, it is understood that you have to put some gasoline in your tank. You have to put some air in the tires. But that is not the purpose of having an automobile. People are foolishly thinking that the purpose of this human body is just to gratify it like anything. Put as much air as possible in the tires. Squeeze as much gasoline as you possibly can in the tank. Put as much water as you possibly can in the radiator. That is not the purpose of an automobile. So, our mind is diverted by this foolish pursuit, this mad pursuit of sense enjoyment. We have gone crazy after sense enjoyment. So Krishna consciousness means coming to your senses, getting control of your mind. They say our minds are being controlled by a cult leader. But that is not a fact. Our program is you become the master of your own mind, vaco vegam manasah krodha-vegam. In this way control the mind, control the senses. We are all meant to become gosvamis, one who brings the mind under control. We are meant to bring the mind under our own control. That is the purpose of this bhakti-yoga system. It is described in this verse. If you bring that mind under your control then that mind, which was your greatest enemy now wonderfully becomes your best friend. Because you are engaged now in Krishna's service, you are fixing it in Krishna consciousness.

So then the question remains, how do we make that transition from having a mind which is our worst enemy to where the mind becomes our best friend? How do we make the shift in consciousness? Well, that is what we are struggling to do here. That is the whole life of a devotee, sadhaka, one who is on the path of sadhana bhakti. Day in and day out, week after week, month after month, year after year, we are engaging in this process of Krishna consciousness for the purpose of bringing our rascal minds to the point of submission at the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krishna. And this is a lifetime endeavor because these minds are very nonsensical. For millions of lifetimes, our minds have been running wild, like naughty children drawing crayons on the walls and drooling all over the floor. All kinds of nonsense things our minds have been doing. So we have to become very, very sober. And that great acarya Govinda dasa, he is giving us the tip on how we can bring that mind under control. [sings]

bhajahu re mana sri-nanda-nandana
abhaya-caranaravinda re

"My dear mind, you simply engage yourself in the devotional service of that wonderful little boy, that Divine Son of Nanda Maharaja. You simply serve that boy Krishna, my dear mind."

It is interesting to note, the different tactics of bringing the mind under control. Because Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura said that "In the morning you should take a pair of shoes and you should beat that mind one hundred times and in the night before taking rest you should go to that hallway and grab that broom and take that broom and beat your mind one hundred times.” So Bhaktisiddhanta is saying “Beat the mind” but Govinda das he is saying "My dear mind". He is being very sweet and kind to his mind. So which way is the proper way to bring the mind under control? Do you say "My dear mind"? Or do you say "You rascal mind"? Which is the bona fide method? Both methods are coming from great acaryas. Therefore both methods are correct. So which one will you use? Just like a soldier on the battlefield he has many different weapons. He has his hand grenades. Hand grenade it is like a little bomb. "Phoosh". It is just a little hand-thrown bomb. Hand grenade, they call it. He has his rifle with a bayonet on it, which is a long knife at the end of the rifle. He also knows how to use his fists if he has to. He has his, what is it called, rocket launcher? He has so many varieties of weapons according to different circumstances. So if you want to defeat your mind then you must arm yourself with many, many different weapons. You have your shoe, that is one weapon; you have your broom stick, that is the other weapon. And then you have nice sweet words also, that is another weapon. According to whatever is most effective in that situation, that is the technique that you use. If, by saying, “My dear mind, you don’t really need to have fifteen gulab jamuns", if that works then you can do that. So you just see what is effective and you do like that. As Prabhupada often says, “phalena pariciyate”, a thing is judged by its result. So how do you know if you are successful in advancing in Krishna consciousness? Does somebody have to tell you? "My dear Prabhu, you are advancing so nicely in Krishna consciousness". Does someone have to tell you? Actually there is a very nice verse, if I can remember that verse...

bhaktih paresanubhavo viraktir
 anyatra caisa trika eka-kalah
prapadyamanasya yathasnatah syus
 tustih pustih ksud-apayo ’nu-ghasam

The detachment from all material things and direct perception of the Lord occur simultaneously for one who is engaged in devotional service. Just as nourishment, eradication of hunger and satisfaction occurs increasingly with each bite for one who is engaged in eating. So just as when you are hungry and you honor some prasada you feel very good. In the same way, if you are actually advancing in Krishna consciousness, you have feelings of devotion for Krishna within your heart, you will lose all interest in material sense gratification and you will come to the point where you will directly perceive God with your eyes.

Actually Prabhupada told me that in one letter. He said, “Now you just qualify yourself to see Krishna face to face". So that direct perception of God is another one of the symptoms of someone who is advancing in Krishna consciousness. Just as we get full by eating, we can actually feel how we are advancing in Krishna consciousness. It is something tangible. We can see the difference in our consciousness. We can feel the difference in our consciousness. So we have to see that we are actually advancing in Krishna consciousness. If there is a body of water and it is not flowing, then what does it become? It becomes stagnant. If the water is flowing then it stays nice and clean and clear, but if it stops flowing then all kinds of algae grows. So this means we must always be advancing in Krishna consciousness. If we are static or if we are not moving forward then we cannot be ecstatic. So if you want to be ecstatic you have to constantly be trying to advance yourself in Krishna consciousness at every minute. You should never feel that I am advanced enough now. You should always feel that I need to become more Krishna conscious. I need to become more advanced in Krishna-bhakti. I have to develop more love for Krishna's devotees. I have to develop more dedication for my spiritual master. I have to become more dedicated to serving Prabhupada's movement with my life and soul. In this way we should always be pushing ourselves more and more and more and more to become pure devotees of Krishna. Being a nice devotee is not good enough. We must become perfect. That is our Krishna consciousness process. If we have any material desires at the time of death, guess what happens? We take birth again. So who feels like coming back for another birth in this material world? Would you like to take birth again? I have had enough misery myself. So let's make this our last lifetime in this world. Let us become very, very serious to become pure devotees. And get out of this damn, nasty place.

Devotee: You said that we should beat our mind with a stick or shoes but sometimes it happens that our mind takes revenge and it starts to beat us. So how to explain this and how should we avoid this?

SDA: You have to beat it harder than it beats you. You have to be a stronger fighter than your rascal mind.

Devotee: If this life is our first life as devotees, is it enough for us this one life as devotees to go back to Krishna.

SDA: Yes. Yes. Even if this is your very first lifetime to be a devotee, if you take it with absolute determination and seriousness, you will go back to Godhead in this one lifetime. Would you like to do that? Very good! Now you must do that. You must make that your determination, "This will be my last lifetime in this material world". No more taking birth again. “punar janma na vidyate", he never takes birth again”, Krishna says.

Devotee: Our karma from previous lives that we are sometimes indecisive, we cannot make some decisions with our intelligence. How to make our intelligence…?

SDA: Your karma is that you are in a state of indecision?

Devotee: Yeah. Indecisive, like I cannot decide sometimes. So, how to make our intelligence more strong?

SDA: Hmm.

tesam satata-yuktanam
bhajatam priti-purvakam
dadami buddhi-yogam tam
yena mam upayanti te

“To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love I give them the intelligence how to come to Me.” [Bg 10-10]

sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto
mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca

So you have Krishna right there in your heart. He is the source of unlimited intelligence. And He is right there next to the soul. All you have to do is connect with Him by the science of devotion. And then you will get great intelligent. I remember one day I was standing there with His Holiness Tamal Krishna Gosvami and he was taking darsana of Sri Sri Radha Kalachandji. He made one comment. He said that “by taking darsana he was getting intelligence”. So that is one tip. When you take darsana of Sri Sri Gaura Nitai you have to beat your mind and remember that you are not dealing with some brass statues. You have to remind yourself that you are dealing with the Supreme Personality of Godhead and He is standing here. So if you will simply take the darsana with love in your heart that, “Here is Krishna, I must surrender to Him, I must give Him my love”, then you will have all intelligence and you can make all decisions perfectly. But, in the mean time, before you come to that stage, you have to find senior devotees who can help you make your decisions properly. Is that alright? Your question is answered or you still have some? It is answered. Okay.

Devotee: Does this principle to beat our mind apply to advanced devotees or to all devotees.

SDA: The advanced devotee is even more humble. The more you become advanced the more you feel very, very humble.

Translator: But he says that when devotee is not high he is identifying himself with his mind. When he beats his mind, he beats himself. And the mind beats him.

SDA: No don't do that. One brahmacari, he used to slap himself really hard. Don't do those kinds of things.

Devotee: So materialistic kinds of people think, “All my thoughts and my desires are because I identifies myself with my mind.”

SDA: Well, you can call yourself a rascal that is alright, because you are a rascal.

Translator: So he says there is difference then, to beat himself to his mind and to call himself as a rascal.

SDA: Well, the difference is both are good, both are healthy. You are a rascal. You gave up the kingdom of God to come here and try to become God. You really are a rascal. Isn't it? Now by the grace of Prabhupada you are being saved. So if you think your mind is a rascal or you think that you are a rascal, in either case you are right. You are absolutely correct.

na mam duskrtino mudhah
prapadyante naradhamah
asuram bhavam asritah

Anyone who gives up the spiritual world and comes here to this material world is duskrtina. Duskrtina means you are a rogue, a rascal, ruffian, gunda. You are nonsense. That is why you have come to this material world. You try to imitate Krishna. So now you have to give up your rascal mentality that “I am the lord” and simply surrender fully at the lotus feet of Krishna. This is what the acaryas are telling us we have to do. "Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah": we must tread the trail that is laid out to us by the great acaryas. Just like today we were coming from Riga to Vilnius. We had to take the standard road. Otherwise we would not have gotten here. If we had just gone off driving through the fields with the car, we would have never gotten here, especially on time for the lecture. So we just took the standard road and we got here almost on time by going 140km/hour. [Laughs] So you have to stick to the pathway. You cannot deviate. Follow that standard pathway which is given by the acarya and then your life will be successful. Is that alright?

Alright! So we will stop here.

Srimad Bhagavad-gita ki jaya!

Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!

Devotees: Sri Sankarshan Das Adhikari ki jaya!

[Transcribed by Her Grace Bhaktin Priya]


Index of Transcribed Lectures