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"My Dear Mind"
As with other obstacles, the Vaisnava acaryas are aware of the obstacles presented by the wayward mind. They have expressed this struggle in "Prayers to the Mind." Some of the favorites are Bhajahu Re Mana by Govinda dasa, Manah Siksa by Ragunatha dasa Gosvami, and Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura's prayers to his mind. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura prays, "Oh my mind, why aren't you a Vaisnava?" Each of these verses can be studied carefully, and they will help us to better understand the dilemma of the uncontrolled mind. In their songs to the mind, the acaryas recognize that the mind is different from the real self. They often identify the mind as being a non-Vaisnava. The devotee enters into a dialogue with the mind and makes strong appeals in favor of Krsna consciousness. The intelligence or soul speaks to this uncontrollable person, the mind. The higher self does not have complete control of the situation, but he makes his appeal, "My dear mind, please be a Vaisnava. Why are you lusting after women? You should know that all women belong to Krsna." And Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura asks, "My dear mind, why are you lusting after fame? Do you not know it's not better than the dung of a boar?"
Let us not describe our friend the mind only in a negative way. Sometimes when we rise early we are in a peaceful state, and we begin to chant japa with the cooperation of our friend. The scriptures give the analogy of the chariot driver and the horses. The driver is compared to the intelligence, and the reins are compared to the mind. When we chant in good consciousness, we can feel the pull of the reins (the mind), but we maintain control. When a driver is conducting powerful horses, he is not angry with them or fighting against them, but he enjoys the control and also the pull of the horses. When the horses are running quickly, under control, it is an exciting cooperation. When we chant nicely, we will find that with a slight effort we send messages to the mind, "You're doing very nicely; please continue hearing the holy names." But we remain vigilant, and as soon as the mind veers a little to the left, we tug it back onto the main road. We warn our friend, "Do not go after sense gratification." And neither do we completely ignore the mind. If the mind repeatedly says, "But it's too hot in here, it's too hot for chanting," we may reply, "All right my friend, I'll open the window. But you just go on chanting Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare." When the mind finally submits to chanting the Lord's names, then mind, body, intelligence, and soul all enjoy a samadhi of transcendental loving service. In this state of intimate union with Lord Krsna, we can easily deal with any obstacles that appear on the road.