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ART OF MIND CONTROL
Compiled By Radheshyam Das M. Tech. (IIT)
Director, BACE Pune.
WHY ARE MANKIND'S PROBLEMS INCREASING DESPITE RAPID GROWTH OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY?
As we move into the 21s;Cen-tury, we see that Science and Technology have reached heights, which could not have been imagined a few hundred years ago. There are so many modern amenities today like air-conditioners, vehicles, 5-star hotels, the finest of vehicles, a communication system due to which the entire earth has shrunk, etc. The purpose of Sciences is to either eliminate all miseries, or at best to reduce miseries, and thereby bring more and more happiness in the lives of the common people. So what should we expect to find in the technologically most advanced countries? We should expect the msost cher-ished qualities of love, peace and fraternity amongst the citizens. However, the present day scenario is just the opposite.
The world's leading economic giants, such as the United States of America and Japan, although hundreds of times more scientifically and technologically advanced than India, strangely show the highest suicide rates amongst the young and rich citizens! People are somehow 'surviving' in these countries. They are always anxiety-ridden, frustrated and very disturbed. We are not philosophizing — we are just stating facts. The divorce rate in America today is more than 75% in the first three years of marriage. More and more people (especially of the higher income class in the Western countries) are forced to take sleeping pills in order to sleep at night, and they also visit psychiatrists regularly. People are so terrified they have to screen their guests through a lens on their door, and for better safety they install several security systems. This 'culture' has now invaded Indian cities. People move exactly like rots or zombies with no emotions, or at best false emotions. If one moves out of the house after dusk and comes back alive, successfully escaping the drugs and women-hunting violent criminals, he can be considered exceptionally lucky.
WHAT IS MISSING IN OUR MODERN SOCIETY?
His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON, would often give an example, which illustrates the condition of modern society today. If we take a pack of dogs and put them in a locked room, what do you expect to happen? Would they be smiling at one another? Would they develop loving relationships amongst themselves? One would hardly expect that! In fact they would be barking, screaming, biting, quarreling and killing one another. A very similar situation can be observed in today's society. If 'Knowledge is power', what are we doing with all our knowledge if we are unable to control the world situation today?
One need not blame the government, politicians, bureaucrats, police officials, judiciary etc. for the problems that the world faces today. We are INTERNALLY DIS-TURBED, so we create disturbances for others. We have to evaluate the nature of our mind to understand the ART OF MIND CONTROL.
ARE YOU A BAG OF FLESH WORTH RS. 110 ONLY?
The biggest problem is the identity crisis. Who am I? Am I this body, mind, intelligence, or the head, or the nose? If one can find out one's real identity, then he can work towards achieving lasting happiness. We are not these bodies; we are pure spiritual souls (Atma). The existence of the soul is not based on the blind faith of a group of religious followers, as some people wrongly think. It can be proved through logic and understanding.
Once a scientist analyzed all the chemicals present in the body and the total "Market Value" of the components of the body was just Rs. 110/-.!!! Anybody who argues
Know Who You Are Before You Know Your Mind
Am I This Body?
Ami This Hair?
Am I This Hand?
Am I Thls Nose? /?
Who Am I ?
It Is Easy To PointToYour Eye Or Nose,But Can You Point Yourself
that this body is all in all, and that there is nothing as a soul of higher dimension within his body, has to ask himself whether his parents would sell him off for Rs.110?
If your friend travelling on his bicycle falls off it, what will you do? You will forget the cycle worth Rs.2000/- on the road and rush the body of your friend worth Rs.110/- to the nearest hospital. Even if your friend, riding in a Mercedes Benz, faces a head-on collision with another car, you'll anxiously rush to the hospital with his Rs.110/-body, bothering the least about the Rs 25/-lakh car lying on the road side. So it is not difficult for a sane man to appreciate that there has to be something very special and superior in a living body, which everyone values so much, even though one may not be in complete knowledge of the eternal soul. The soul is the real eternal personality residing in this temporary body. Yet the entire world, with all its advancement, is only learning to pamper this useless body worth Rs.110/-, which is nothing more than a bag of chemicals.
The sou! can be compared to a driver and the body to a vehicle. The soul is the spark of life that makes the body appear alive and when the sou! leaves the body, we say the person is 'dead'. An analogy of a car can be given in this regard. There are headlights in the car to see the road, you also see with your eyes. The car produces sound with the horn, you also speak. The car has four wheels, you also have two hands and two legs. The car moves from place to place and you also do the same. But once the driver gets down from the car, the car cannot budge one-inch on its own, even after 100 years. Similarly when a man dies, the body is exactly like a car without a driver. The body, which we see, is actually dead. It appears to be alive because of the presence of the soul. When the soul leaves the body, the body becomes inactive.
The body is also compared to a cage and the soul is compared to a parrot in the cage. So if someone takes very good care of the cage by polishing it very carefully and keeping it clean, but ignores the needs of the resident parrot, then the whole purpose of keeping the parrot in the cage is defeated. In today's society people are making all possible arrangements only for bodily comforts and luxuries, but spiritually everyone is starving, and hence everyone is unhappy and dissatisfied.
THE MISERABLE FERRIS WHEEL GAME
The nature of the spirit soul is Sat-Cit-Ananda i.e. the soul is eternal, full of knowledge and full of bliss. In contrast, the body is temporary and full of ignorance and suffering. Because of this incompatibility between the two, the soul, who is meant to be happy in an eternal blissful atmosphere, is never happy in this temporary miserable body. The soul has to repeatedly experience birth, old age, disease and death in different bodies.
Hence Shankaracarya has sung:
punar api jananam punar api maranam,
punar api janani jatare sayanam
iha samsare bahu dustare kripaya pare pahi murare
"O Murari, Lord Krishna, I am repeatedly tossed in the waves of birth and death. I am forced to be born again and again and forced to die again and again. In this way I have been occupying the wombs of millions of mothers. Please kindly shower your merciful glance upon me and deliver me from this ocean of nescience."
In this way, the soul sometimes is damned to occupy a dog's body or blessed to get a human body, depending on his past desires and activities. This cycle of birth and death is like a Ferris wheel where sometimes you are at the top and sometimes at the bottom. Similarly the soul keeps on taking one body after another until he becomes completely purified and becomes a surrendered devotee of God.
TWO POINT FORMULA:WITHDRAW YOUR SENSES & ENGAGE THEM IN GOD'S SERVICE
Contrary to Vishvamitra is the story of the great devotee Srila Haridas Thakur. Haridas Thakur absorbed himself completely in mantra meditation in chanting the Holy names on Lord Krishna. He would chant three hundred thousand names of the Lord each day. The body of this extraordinary saint, who was constantly in trance, was maintained by spiritual strength from chanting, and he barely slept at all. He was so influential that all the neighboring people offered their respects to him. But a landlord named Ramachandra Khan became envious of Haridas Thakur being 32
unable to tolerate the great respect which was offered to Haridas Thakur, he schemed to dishonor him. He sent a beautiful prostitute to allure Haridas in the dead of the night.
The prostitute, after dressing herself in a seductive way, went to the cottage of Haridas Thakur. Exposing part of her body to his view, she sat down on the threshold and spoke to him in sweet words. She told him, "My dear Haridas, O great preacher, great devotee, you are so beautifully built, and your youth is just beginning. Who is the woman who could control her mind after seeing you? I am eager to be united with you. My mind is greedy for this."
Haridas Thakur replied, "I shall accept you without fail, but you will have to wait until I have finished chanting my regular rounds on my beads. Until that time, please sit and listen to the chanting of the Holy Name. As soon as I am finished, I shall fulfill your desire." When the night came to an end, the prostitute became restless. Seeing this, Haridas said, "I have vowed to chant ten million names of Krishna in one month. I tried my best to chant the Holy name all night, but I still did not finish. Tomorrow I will surely finish, and my vow will be fulfilled. Then it will be possible for me to enjoy with you in full freedom." The prostitute left and she came again that night. The same thing happened. Haridas continued to chant and the prostitute sat nearby waiting for him to finish his vow. This continued for three continuous nights. By her constant hearing of Haridas' chanting, the mind of the prostitute changed. She began to cry and fell at the lotus feet of Haridas Thakur and revealed her evil intentions. She begged Haridas, Kindly instruct me in my duty by which I may get relief from material existence." Haridas answered, "Chant the Hare Krishna mantra continuously and render service to Tulasi by watering her and offering prayers to her. In this way you will very soon get the shelter of the lotus feet of Krishna." Haridas Thakur was not the least affected by the prostitute. In fact, he converted her into a great devotee of the Lord.
When one engages in devotional service (Krishna consciousness), then automatically material enjoyment becomes distasteful. Krishna explains in the Gita that, besides re-straining the senses from sinful activities, we must engage our mind in His service and thus fix our consciousness on Him. He says in the Bhagavad-gita (B.G.2.61):
tani sarvani samyamya yukta asita mat-parah
vase hi yasyendriyani tasya prajna pratisthita
"One who restrains his senses, keeping them under full control, and fixes his consciousness upon Me, is known to be a man of steady intelligence/' The sure-shot method of controlling our mind and all our senses is to engage them in positive spiritual activities. In Vedic times the saintly kings would take taxes from the general people and use it to help the devotees to preach Krishna consciousness. They would build temples, which were like universities of Vedic wisdom and culture. These big temples of the Lord were built right in the center of the town so that many people could gather there for spiritual education. These kings would not only help in propagating Krishna consciousness throughout the world but would also strictly practice the principles of bhakti in their own lives. The exemplary standards of devotional service set by the saintly kings were followed by the common people and thus they too would get a chance to progress on the path to the spiritual world -back home, back to Godhead. An excellent example of such a great devotee-king was Ambarisha Maharaja. The king engaged all his senses in the service of the Lord and was able to conquer his desires, as mentioned in the Srimad Bhagavatam (9.4.18-20).