Philosophy CT03-003

Published on January 20th, 2016 | by Madhudvisa dasa | Full size image


How to Control the Mind?

From the many responses to the previous article about controlling the mind I can see this is a topic many are interested in. Controlling the mind is a challenge we all face and it’s something that intimately affects every one of us. Krishna continues speaking to Arjuna in the Bhagavad-gita (6.6) on the same subject of controlling the mind:

For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his very mind will be the greatest enemy.

In this Sixth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita Krishna will instruct Arjuna on the meditational system of yoga. So here, in the beginning of the chapter, Krishna is letting Arjuna know he has to control his mind, and later in this chapter Krishna will describe to Arjuna the process of meditational yoga like astanga yoga or hatha yoga as a way to control the mind. So these verses on controlling the mind are an introduction to the yoga system.

The purpose of the yoga system is to control the mind in order to make it a friend so that it can help us in reaching perfection in the human form of life. Unless the mind is controlled the practice of yoga is simply a waste of time. The modern so-called yogis generally do not take the necessity to control the mind and the senses at all seriously, so for them the practice of yoga is simply a waste of time.

One who can not control his mind lives always with the greatest enemy and thus his life and its mission are spoiled. The eternal natural position of every living entity is to carry out the order of the superior but as long as one’s mind remains his unconquered enemy, one has to serve the dictations of lust, anger, avarice, illusion, etc. But if we can conquer the mind and voluntarily agree to follow the dictation of the Personality of Godhead who is present within the hearts of everyone as Supersoul then the mind will be automatically controlled.

Real yoga means meeting the Paramatma within the heart and then following His direction. For the devotees who take to Krishna consciousness and really follow the process as it is taught to us by Srila Prabhupada perfect surrender to the dictation of the Lord takes place automatically.

Many people have asked for the exact details of how to control the mind, but the simple answer is a devotee of Krishna automatically controls his mind, so to control the mind one simply has to become a real devotee of Krishna. And the process of becoming a devotee of Krishna is also simple. We just have to live in such a way that we always remember Krishna and never forget Krishna and we can adjust our lives so our every action is service to Krishna under the direction of our bona fide spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, who is a pure devotee of Krishna.

There is no way we can become Krishna conscious on our own strength, so in the same way we can not control our minds on our own strength. We have to surrender to the pure devotee of Krishna and follow his instructions and by the mercy of the pure devotee of Krishna we will be able to control our minds and make further advancement in Krishna consciousness. It is possible by Srila Prabhupada’s mercy and Krishna’s mercy only, it is not possible to control our mind by our own strength.

For one who has conquered the mind, the Supersoul is already reached, for he has attained tranquility. To such a man happiness and distress, heat and cold, honor and dishonor are all the same.” (Bg. 6.7)

Every living entity is intended to follow the dictation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead who is within everyone’s heart as the Supersoul (Paramatma) however when the mind is mislead by the external energy, maya, one becomes engaged in material activities. The goal of the yoga system is to fix one’s mind on the superior nature, Krishna. When one’s mind is fixed on Krishna he has no other alternative but to follow the dictation of the Supreme.

The mind must accept some superior dictation and follow it. The effect of controlling the mind is that one automatically follows the dictation of Paramatma or Supersoul. This transcendental position is at once achieved by one who is in Krishna consciousness. The devotee of the Lord is unaffected by the dualities of material existence, namely distress and happiness, cold and heat, etc. This state is practical samadhi, or absorption in the Supreme.

So from this we can understand that one who is actually in Krishna consciousness will automatically follow the superior dictation of Krishna who is situated in everyone’s heart as Paramatma or Supersoul. And for one who is following the dictation of Krishna in this way, his mind is already controlled.

So the question we should really be asking therefore, is not “How can I control my mind?”, rather we need to ask “How can I become a pure devotee of Krishna?” Because for one who is engaged in pure devotional service his mind is automatically controlled.

If you Love Me Distribute My Books -- Srila Prabhupada

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

78 Responses to How to Control the Mind?

  1. hitesh sharma says:

    Observing your thoughts with complete alertness without judging them is best way to control your mind.

    Hare Krishna

    • NONSENSE!!!!!

      You can not control your mind in this way. Why speculate are write such nonsense. To control the mind you have to control the tongue. Tongue has two businesses. One is vibrating and the other is tasting. So to control the mind you first have to control the tongue by only using it to vibrate the Hare Krishna mantra and Krishna Katha and only allow it to taste Krishna Prasadam.

      This is the only way you will be able to control the mind.

  2. p satyanarayana says:

    8 May 2016

    Hare Krishna

    Dear Sirs: Namaskarams.

    Your clarification on reader’s question is a good illustration to understand that “eternally we are servants of Lord Krishna and engage in the service of Krishna and also compassionate towards mankind for their survival and promote Krishna consciousness among them for universal peace and devotion to Lord Krishna, however difficult task indeed in practical human life. Your clarification is a good spiritual inspiration to one and all followers.

    Secondly, you have rightly analized for readers information that the whole gist of vedas and Upanishads are centralized in the 2nd to 9th chapters of this Great Epic, which is very much indeed useful to readers of the Great Scripture.

    Hare Krishna.

  3. chatamayi ddasi says:

    Yogis have such a different definition of samadhi.
    At a recent Yoga Teacher training seminar in Massachusetts, samadhi was explained as “merging
    into freedom, your inner essence.” Without orientation by devotion,
    this leaves one in a wall -less void . Merge with WHAT? I asked. No intelligent explanation could be given. Too bad all these young hopeful instructors will swallow, and pass on the same noncommittal
    concept to their students.

    Lack of surrender obvious. Still want to be the controller.


    HARE KRISHNA prabhu
    I am trying to become a devotee but sometimes what happens is that lust conquer my mind and i am defeated by the lust.Then i become very much demotivated and i start feeling guilty.At that time what should i do in order to get same enthusiasm and motivation for the service of LORD KRISHNA?

    • Hare Krishna Pravin

      If we fall down then the way to get back in Krishna consciousness is by chanting Hare Krishna, strictly following the four regulative principles and reading Srila Prabhupada’s books and being engaged in devotional service. So we just have to pull ourselves out of maya and force ourselves to chant Hare Krishna and the chanting of Hare Krishna will give us the strength and enthusiasm we need to be properly situated in Krishna consciousness.

      So just chant Hare Krishna, force yourself to chant Hare Krishna, even though you do not feel like doing it, and that will drag you out of maya for sure, as long as you keep chanting Hare Krishna…

  5. nischay says:

    Hare Krishna
    My name is nischay I am 21 yrs old.With lord Krishna’s teachings of controlling mind by doing meditation I have fortunately started controlling my mind to some extent. But please help me with this that there is a time in my life that even by meditation the negative thoughts does not completely go away. Even though I have strictly restricted and surrendered all the negatives but still sometimes the thoughts pop up in my mind… Please help me with this Hare Krishna…..

    • Hare Krishna Nischay

      It is natural. Sometimes the wrong thoughts may come. But we have to flood our consciousness with Krishna. And that will drive out all the bad thoughts. So we need to chant the Hare Krishna mantra at least 16 rounds a day, read Srila Prabhupada’s books at least 1-2 hours a day and strictly follow the four regulative principles [no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication] then, if we sincerely follow these things, gradually we will only be thinking of Krishna and how to serve Krishna…

  6. Sahil says:

    Thank for sharing this . I was trying to control my senses now I know where I was getting wrong

  7. Guruji.How to control the mind when u are bombarded by provocation and temptation always. Even on the net and n tv you have news items that are provocative and ads that seduce. Even your mobile phone is bombarded with sms. it is really very difficult.

    • Hare Krishna

      You have to immerse yourself in Krishna consciousness. You need to surround yourself with Krishna. Better to spend time reading Srila Prabhupada’s books and chanting Hare Krishna than to waste time on net. It is a science of complete absorption. And Srila Prabhupada is teaching us this science in his books how we can completely absorb ourselves in Krishna consciousness. If you are completely absorbed in Krishna consciousness then nothing else can disturb you. So we need to read Srila Prabhupada’s books and learn this science…

  8. K.venkateswarlu says:

    Thank you prabhu for sending msges regularly. We are learning a lot on krishna consciousness
    If one day we miss your msg we are feeling hungry to hear from you. That much edicted to your e’ teaching
    When 2 /3 days gap comes in your msges we think what happened , whether prabhu is not well or what?like that we think

    • Hare Krishna Prabhu

      Unfortunately I am only one man with so much service that I do not have very much time to write the mails… It is impossible for me to keep up with everything. So I suggest you read Srila Prabhupada’s books. Do not wait for me to send the mails. I am just putting a few little drops of the oceans of nectar you will find if you take the time to read Srila Prabhupada’s books…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  9. P. Satyanarayana says:

    11 Oct. 2015

    Hare Krishna Prabhu

    Dear Sir in Holiness – Namaskarams.

    The gist of the article is most important to every devotee to control one’s mind and unattach to various evils during the course of daily life. The Sadhana (practice) enlightened in your following sentences will definitely changes one’s mind and becomes spiritually-friendly.

    “So the question we should really be asking therefore, is not “How can I control my mind?”, rather we need to ask “How can I become a pure devotee of Krishna?” Because for one who is engaged in pure devotional service his mind is automatically controlled.”

    Hare Krishna Prabhu.

    Kind Regards.

    P. Satyanarayana

    • Hare Krishna Prabhu

      Yes. We have to know that the only way to control our mind is by engaging our mind in the service of Krishna. We have to have practical service. We have to be practically using our mind, intelligence and senses in the service of Krishna under the direction of a pure devotee of Krishna. That is the only way we can control the mind. We have to surrender to a bona fide spiritual master and serve him by following his instructions.

      It means that our minds will always be busy thinking how to execute the orders of our spiritual master. So when our minds are always constantly busy thinking how to fulfill the orders of my spiritual master, then the mind is controlled, because it has no time to think of anything except how to serve the spiritual master.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  10. Surjya Prasad Datta says:

    I have a query Sir!!
    Why human brain suffers from anxiety, restlessness or making a image of things that never happens in reality!!
    I believe, I pray to God!!
    Still sometimes I suffer from a sensation of certain unusual things that never actually happens with me, thus I loose focus and energy on unnecessary issues !!!

    Waiting for your kind reply ?

    Surjya Datta

  11. Rishi says:

    Hare Krishna
    I want to know that how much severe is a vaishnava aparadha.
    It is of three types mental verbal physical
    I want to know is anybody commits an aparadha if just a thought comes into his mind against a vaishnava. If yes what should he do at that moment

    • It depends on how pure the vaisnava that you are thinking badly about. A lot of so-called vaisnavas these days are actually not servants of Krishna but servants of Maya. Kali-chela, servants of Kali. So if you think badly about one of these servants of kali dressed up as a Vaisnava then that is not Vaisnava-aparhada.

      The thing is we have to advance to the stage of madhayam so we can differentiate and see who are the vaisnvas and who are the cheaters. Then we will be safe. If we can not distinguish a pure devotee from a cheating rascal then we are in a very dangerous position.

      In Kali yuga we have the benediction that we are not penalized by thoughts. So if any bad thought comes into our mind we can just start chanting Hare Krishna and that thought will go away. This is the way to control the mind. Chant Hare Krishna and force the mind to hear the chanting of Hare Krishna.

      So the answer to your question is chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

  12. Krishna says:

    I need a spiritual master .. Any one can help me?

    • Yes. Read Prabhupada’s books. You will find your spiritual master there… That is if you are really looking for a spiritual master. Most people who say “I am looking for a spiritual master” are rascals who have no intention of surrendering to a spiritual master. Accepting a spritual master means surrender. You have to be prepared to surrender. To give up your own personal opinions and desires and ideas and submit yourself as a blank slate to be instructed by the spiritual master. Then you have to make the orders of the spiritual master you life and soul. So if you read Srila Prabhupada’s books with this mood your life will be very successful.

  13. shivani says:

    How can I become a pure devotee of Krishna?

  14. Rishi says:

    Can thinking something within the mind wrong about a pure Vaishnava even unknowingly or unintentionally can cause severe offense to the person and can stop him from doing devotional service?

    • Offenses to a pure devotee of the Lord are very serious things. But pure devotees of the Lord also are very rare.

      So the point is to surrender to Srila Prabhupada, to make the mission of Srila Prabhupada our mission in life and work for that seriously 24 hours a day seven days a week 365 days a year.

      When we do that so many who consider themselves to be pure devotees of the Lord will be offended with us and will curse us and criticize us and blaspheme us. But it will have no effect. In fact it will actually bounce off us and effect the pretenders.

      Actual pure devotee of the Lord is a different thing. Actual pure devotee of the Lord will be very glad to see we have surrendered to Srila Prabhupada and are serving him.

      So the main point is to surrender and if we do actually surrender and somehow get the mercy of Srila Prabhupada so many enemies, claiming to be pure devotees of the Lord, will appear. But these are not actually pure devotees of the Lord, they are not even devotees. They are cheaters in the dress of Vaisnavas. Kala-chelas. Servants of Kali. So we should not take any notice of such cheaters nor should we give such cheaters any respect.

      So you should not bother your mind with all these worries. Your mind should be too busy bothering with how to spread Srila Prabhupada’s Hare Krishna movement all over the world.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  15. Rishi says:

    Hare Krsna!!
    As it is stated that in this age of Kali Yuga controlling the mind is the most difficult job. So a great problem arises that whether a person does a sinful act while just thinking something wrong in the mind but not doing it practically. If a person is not affected by sin by just thinking only would he shold control such negative thoughts or he shold let them come in mind without paying any attention on them.
    Jai Prabhupada!!!!!!!!

    • Hare Krishna Rishi

      In Kali-yuga we have the benediction of not being guilty for the sins that only come in our minds. But we have to be very careful to drive these sinful thoughts out of our minds with the powerful vibration of:

      Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
      Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

      Because if we do not drive the sinful thoughts out of our minds with the Hare Krishna mantra and if we continue to meditate on these sinful thoughts then they will become manifest and then we will be responsible for them and we will have to suffer for them.

      So chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Rohit says:

        Hare Krsna Madhudvisa dasa prabhuji. Is there any sin in speaking or expressing angry thoughts or venting but not acting on angry thoughts or on venting. Because a lot of times in anger or in venting i say things out but do not act on them. So will i suffer if i speak out angry thoughts or vent but not act on it.

        • Everything is sinful except serving Krishna.

          We have to adjust our lives so the only thing we ever do is serving Krishna.

          So this is a great science and to live in this way we have to learn the science.

          Srila Prabhupada has written almost 100 books specifically to teach us this science.

          We have to read Srila Prabhupada’s books and learn this science of how to be Krishna conscious constantly, 24 hours a day.

          Then there will be no anger except anger against the demons who are against Krishna consciousness. And that sort of anger is OK.

          So read Srila Prabhupada’s books, become a pure devotee of Krishna, then your consciousness will be different and everything you do will be for the service of Krishna under the direction of Krishna’s pure devotee Srila Prabhupada.

          That is the way. Otherwise everything else is sinful.

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

          • Rishi says:

            Thank you Prabhuji! From now onwards whenever a negative thought will arise in my mind I will simply chant Hare Krishna instantly.

  16. krishna dasa says:

    hare krishna prabhu ji,
    i want to know that how krisna and radha dance over the tongue of a devotee when he/she is chanting the hare krisna mantra.please tell me.

    • You have to become Krishna conscious first and then when Krishna dances on your tongue you will know it. Don’t worry if Krishna is dancing on your tongue you will know it. But Krishna is not going to dance on your tongue unless you actually become a pure devotee of Krishna. So do not worry so much about these things. Worry about strictly following all of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions so you can become a pure devotee of Krishna. And you can not follow Srila Prabhupada’s instructions if you do not know them. So you have to read Srila Prabhupada’s books…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  17. vanshika says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu ji
    very informative and important article this was.
    As it told me to ask “how can i become a pure devotee of Krishna ji” rather then asking “how can i control my mind”. But i have developed a question that, is only that person the pure devotee who lives in temple? Not us who are living in materialistic society?
    Hare Krishna Prabhu g

    • Hare Krishna Vanshika

      A pure devotee can live anywhere. It is a state of consciousness. It has nothing to do with external manifestations. So a demon who is completely in maya may be living in a temple and pretending to be a pure devotee and a pure devotee may be living in family life and running a business and looking after his family.

      After all Srila Prabhupada never lived in any of the Gaudiya Math temples. He was a householder with a family doing a chemical business. And the devotees in the temples often considered themselves on a very high level and Prabhupada on a low level because they were living in the temple and Prabhupada was a householder doing business.

      But we all know that Srila Prabhupada is a pure devotee of Krishna. So these external things have no importance. It does not matter where a pure devotee is living. He will always remember Krishna, he will never forget Krishna, he will always be engaged in serving Krishna, no matter what his external situation may appear to be.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  18. A.AVINASH says:

    hare krishna…
    my life totally changed reading the books and articles published by ISKON.i realized the truth behind this material world and now want to devote most of my time to lord krishna.its true that one must constantly engage his mind on lord krishna in someway or the other else the maya in this material world will again pull us back.i experienced it many times.before going to sleep my mind is stable and tamed but when i get up after sleeping,once again worldly thoughts come to my mind.i once again need to recollect the truth and sayings of prabhupada to tame my mind for the day.why is this happening?why cant i always keep my mind on krishna ?why should i tame it again and again?
    And how can i convince my parents that i want to lead a simple life in which i can use most of my time for lord krishna?i want to remain single.dont want to get tangled in more relationships.please advice…

    • Hare Krishna Prabhu

      This is the nature of the mind. It is always trying to drag us away from Krishna consciousness. We have to tame it. Srila Bhaktsiddhanta said in the morning our first business should be to beat the mind 100 time with shoes and before going to bed we have to beat the mind a hundred times with a broomstick. So this is the nature of the mind to get out of control and we have to be aware of this and constantly beat the mind to keep it under control.

      As far as your parents you just have to humor them but at the same time not take any real notice of what they say. It is your life and ultimately you can do whatever you want with it. So you want to serve Krishna and no one can stop you from doing that…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  19. K.V.RANGASWAMY says:

    Hare Krishna Madhudvisa dasa
    I am very happy to see your messages periodically. I personally feel Lord Krishna has helped me through you to know more about Krishna.

    Hare Krishna K.V.Rangaswamy.

  20. Neha says:

    Hare Krishna,

    I want to understand if there is any particular method in reading the Gita as it is a holy book. Like maintaining a constant place and time or can it be read even while travelling. Should there be any effective practices that we should follow.

    Many Thanks

    • Hare Krishna Neha

      Just read it Prabhu. Make a vow to read at least one chapter of the Gita daily, including chanting the Sanskrit text and reading the translation and purport and that way every 18 days you will read the entire Gita. It is not difficult. Takes only an hour a day or so…

      The main thing is to read every day Srila Prabhupada’s books for at least 1-2 hours and to chant every day at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra on beads and to strictly follow the four regulative principles [no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication] All these things are ESSENTIAL for making spiritual advancement…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  21. S.Natarajan says:

    Revered Swamyji pranam,
    Controling the mind by astanga yoga is getting concentration of mind only. But one has to control his five senses of seeing: smeling, tasting, hearig and touching. For that he is to control his eyes, nostrils, tongue, ears and body. Not only these he has to elimite bad qualities of kama krotha loba moha matha macharyam. I am an ordinary man. Kindly tell me how I get over these and get perfection to reach the Abode of Lord Krishna. Do I have to wait for genetations to pass by. I trust only by the causless mercy of Lord Krishna alone elevte me. Please advise.
    Hari bhol
    Hare Kroshna
    your servant

  22. saroj says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu,

    Please accept my humble pranam to you. I thank you so much for your valuable articles on Krisna.

    I am fully impressed by Krisns Consciousness and now obssessed.

    I also understand the strength of “Maha Mantra”. Though I’m not yet been able to devote 16 round of jaap but while travelling, cooking food, seving at office I do the jaaps.

    Prabhu since 02.08.2012, I have been deprieved of regular articles. I’m feeling miserable. Please continue my subscription.


  23. balu says:

    Hare Krisna Prbahu,

    Please accept my humble pranam to you. I thank you so much for your valuable articles on Krisna.

    I am fully impressed by Krisns Consciousness.

    I also understand the strength of “Maha Mantra” Hare Krisna Hare Krishna Krisna Krisna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare . I understand that the meaning of Maha mantra is requesting” Krishna! Please engage me in your devotional service”. To complete 16 rounds it takes more than two hours. During two hours Maha Mantra Japa,we are telling Krishna! Please engage me in your devotional service. When are we really doing devotional service.

    Is it not similar to keep telling for hours the guests and friends who visits our home to take lunch and go, without actually not serving the food?

    Please clarify my view points and dispel my ignorance.

    Hare Krisna,


    • You are supposed to do devotional service 24 hours a day and at least two of those hours you have to spend chanting the holy name of Krishna. And of course if you are asking Krishna to engage you in His service and you just chant your rounds and don’t do any other service for Krishna for the rest of the day of course you are missing the point. We have to be engaged in serving Krishna 24 hours a day… And the most essential parts of that service are chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra and a prerequsite to everything is strictly following the four regulative principles [no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication.] But yes, you are correct, that there are a lot of devotees who make a show of chanting Hare Krishna but do not actually do any service for Krishna for the rest of the time. But at least they are chanting Hare Krishna. That is the essential starting point. Without this you can not go anywhere…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  24. Iheanyichi Jahziel says:

    Hare Krishna Community beyond religion; but a way of life.
    What a wonderful bliss you‘re giving to me. Worth more than words expression can ever described. Well, with heart full of appreciation, i say, thanks alot.

  25. kaliya krishna das says:

    Hare Krishna prabhu. This email is also so nice. As i am meeting outside people more then temple devoties, my mind always trys to be with them and to lead the life in my way. I know i have to be surrendered but mind is not accepting that. May i knw your coment on the above mater?
    Hare Krishna

    • Hare Krishna Prabhu

      Actually this is a very big problem that many devotees face these days, asadhu sanga, association with non-devotees. Actually we can not advance in Krishna consciousness if we are associating with non-devotees. Devotee association is so important. That is why Srila Prabhupada established ISKCON, so he could live in the association of devotees and so the devotees could provide their association to the non-devotees and thus awaken the dormant Krishna consciousness in the hearts of the non-devotees so they can also come to the platform of devotees of Krishna. So this is a great science and you can understand it all by reading Prabhupada’s books. But we can only give our association to the non-devotees, we can not take their association, otherwise we will also become non-devotees very soon…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  26. Balasubramanyam says:

    Dear Prabhu,

    My humble obeisance to you. Thank u so much for periodical email. Special thanks for the article on how to control mind. At the end of the above mentioned article u said that once we become pure devotee of Krisna, our mind is automatically controlled and it will be in trans.

    Prabhu, pl tell me how to become pure devotee of Krisna.

    My pranam.

    K. Balasubramanyam

    • You are complaining Prabhu about chanting Hare Krishna. You have not understood that Krishna and His name are not different and chanting Hare Krishna is personal association with Krishna. You have not surrendered to Srila Prabhupada or the process of sadhana-bhakti as it is taught by him. I am sure you have not carefully read all of Srila Prabhupada’s books… You know you have to follow these things and even then just by following these things it may not work for you. Krishna consciousness is possible only by the blessings of a pure devotee of Krishna. So you have to please Srila Prabhupada and by you pleasing Srila Prabhupada then you can get the bhakti-lata-bija, the seed of the creeper [plant] of devotion, then once you have that seed you can cultivate the plant of devotion by the process of hearing and chanting the Hare Krishna mantra… So you have to surrender first to Srila Prabhupada and the most basic points of this surrender are to chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily and strictly follow the four regulative principles: No illicit sex, No meat eating, No gambling and No intoxication. But this is not all there are hundreds of other things, you have to follow them all. Becoming Krishna consciousness is not such an easy thing but it is the only valuable thing in the three worlds so we have to become Krishna conscious…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  27. Uma Sridhar says:

    Hare Krishna!

    Pranam Swamiji,

    Thank you very much for your kind response. I was surprise to read your mail that I have not read all of Srila Prabhupada’s books. It is true; few years back only I came to know about ISKON and Prabhupada. As a south Indian, I know about Sri Ramanunjacharya; a great Vaishnava Saint who lived in South India 1000 years back. In south Sri Vishnu aradana (worship) is prominent; not Lord Krishna. Krishna worship is very few; they worship Krishna along with his wives Rukmani & Satyabha not with Radha.

    Living in Delhi, ISKON temple is quiet far away from my house and I am able to visit once in a year. 3 years back, Gaudiya Mutt Temple was built nearby our house. Since then I am a regular visitor and I visit every weekend. My motive is I should worship /practice Krishna Consciousness, whether it is Gaudiya Mutt or ISKON Temple. They consider Sri Narayana Gosvami as Guru (he is not physically present now). But they have kept Sri Prabhupada’s photo also. I participate arthi, bhajan etc. Its really great experience.

    I will be grateful to you if you guide me where I will get atleast basic teachings of Prabhupada’s books? In Gaudiaya Mutt, I am not finding any books of Gurudev. All are Sri Narayana Gosvami’s books; is there any difference between their teachings?

    Please guide me Swamiji.

    Hare Krishna !

    Uma Sridhar

    • Hare Krishna Uma

      Yes, you will not find what you are looking for in the Gaudiya Matha. They have lost the point… You can get Prabhupada’s books from an ISKCON temple or you can read online at We have them all at and you can get there but if you are in India it may be too expensive for you to order there. But you can get them from any ISKCON temple in India.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  28. thank you so much for such an article.. krishna is life ..krishna is everything…. Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare..Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

  29. shiva says:

    Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

    Madhudvisa dasa
    This is Shiva I am Regularly Read Your Articles,I feel Very Peace full when Your article read.i am working a computer operator in a small company my income is so litille but I&my Family want to read Bhagwadgeetha but icnt bought that book icnt have that much of money iam requesting you Kindly please send me Bhagwadgeetha.

    Hare Krishna hare Krishna, krishna Krishna hare hare.

  30. Arvind kumar says:

    HARE KRISHNA mahamantra gives me a strength…i’m very thankful of u. i want to know that can i meet shri krishna?? what should i do for that…i’m very curious to see all the incident of mahabharta by sixth sense. Is it possible??

    • Hare Krishna Arvind

      I am very happy to hear that you are getting strength from the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra.

      We need to remember the mood of the Hare Krishna mantra is a prayer to Krishna, “Please Krishna engage me in Your service.” It is not that we should have any personal demands that we want Krishna to do for us. For the devotee simply being engaged in the service of Krishna is the perfection of his life. He does not want anything for himself, and actually Krishna knows what His devotees need and want and mostly He will supply these things to the devotees who are engaged in His service, there is no need for us to ask Krishna for our personal desires or needs, because He knows them anyhow and if He wants then He will supply them to us.

      As far as seeing Krishna you can easily see Krishna as He has very mercifully agreed to appear in the form of the murti in the temple so anyone, even if their spiritual vision is not yet developed, can see Him. As far as meeting Krishna face-to-face that is also possible but that is up to Krishna, not us. It is not a very common thing. Even Pariksit Maharaja to whom Sukadeva Goswami spoke the Srimad-Bhagavatam, who saw Lord Visnu who saved him while he was still within the womb of his mother, for his whole life he was looking to try and see Visnu [Krishna] again. But he was never able to. So Pariksit Maharaja was such a great devotee and was saved by Krishna from the brahmastra of Ashvatama, but still after seeing Visnu for that one time he could not see Him again in this life.

      So we should not be too concerned about seeing Krishna face-to-face like this. Actually our process is to hear Krishna. Krishna is fully present in the sound vibration of the Hare Krishna mantra so if you perfect your chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra you will be able to experience the personal presence of Krishna in the chanting.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  31. Linda Dunson says:

    T hank you again, for the latest response. Now I would now I would like to know the answer to the question, “How can I become a pure devotee of Krsna

    • Read Prabhupada’s books… He has so mercifully written more than 80 books on this subject so it is not so simple that I can give you a one paragraph answer. Read Prabhupada’s books!

  32. K.V.Rangaswamy says:

    My dear Hare Krishna Madhudvisa Dasa,
    Instead of asking how to control the mind I must practice to be pure devotee of
    Lord Krishna? As suggested by you I have to repeat many times Hare Krishna Mantra and reading Prabupada books to become pure devotee of Lord Krishna.
    I thank you very much for the message.
    Hare Krishna K.V.Rangaswamy.

    • Hare Krishna Prabhu

      What I am really saying Prabhu is that to become a devotee we need to get the mercy of a pure devotee of Krishna. It is not possible actually to become a devotee simply by chanting Hare Krishna and reading Prabhupada’s books. We need to surrender to Srila Prabhupada and somehow please him so he is glad to give us his mercy, his blessings.

      Of course Srila Prabhupada is instructing us to strictly follow the four regulative principles and to chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily and to read his books, so if we surrender to Srila Prabhupada and do these things by his mercy and by him being pleased with our service then we may be able to become devotees.

      We have to get the ‘bhakti-latta-bija’ the seed of the creeper of devotion. And that seed is only availble from a pure devotee of Krishna who has the bhakti plant growing and completely developed in his heart. For it is only the fully developed plant which is able to produce flowers, fruits and ultimately seeds. So we have to get that seed. Then the process is to water that seed by the chanting and hearing. But if we do not have the seed then watering with chanting and hearing will not have much effect. And we can only get that seed by surrendering to, serving, and ultimately pleasing a pure devotee of Krishna.

      So we can not become Krishna conscious on our own strength. Our advancement in Krishna consciousness depends on blessings from higher authorities.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  33. Hrishikesh says:

    Hare Krishna. I am totally convinced about Krishna conscious philosophy, but I won’t be accepting a guru in this lifetime. I am chanting 2-4 rounds daily and read SP books but just casual read. How can I maintain a balance in my life and lead a positive material as well as spiritual life and go back to godhead?

    Maintaining a good health is a positive thing for being a spiritual aspirant. What does Krishna say about this in 6th chapter of Bhagavad Gita, dhyana yoga?


    • Such a ‘balance’ is not possible. If you want to become Krishna conscious then you have to surrender to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna and follow the instructions, follow the process. Otherwise you are not going to become Krishna conscious. Without surrender you are not going to be able to even begin to understand Krishna consciousness. You can not go back to Godhead without surrendering to a bona fide, pure devotee spiritual master and following his instructions…

      Of course if you become Krishna conscious then there is a good chance that you may have a ‘positive material life’ but if Krishna wants to crush your material life then as a devotee you have to accept that. The idea is we have to surrender to Krishna and do what He wants us to do. If He wants us to have a ‘positive material life’ then fine, but if He wants to crush our material life then that is also fine also for a devotee. He does not care actually about his material life. He cares about reestablishing his relationship with Krishna and rendering devotional service to Krishna.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  34. venkatarao peddi says:

    The article on how to control our mind is very illuminating

  35. abhaya carana seva das says:

    pamho madhudvisa prabhu agtACBSP, SRI GADADAR PANDIT appearance day ki jai,thank you for this nice article on the mind,i agreed is just the mind that keep us here entangled in the material world because if we had love for god we were already dead as happen to all the members of the YADU DYNASTY,everyone could not live without krsna, when maharaj ugrasena heard that SRI KRSNA left the planet immediately fell flat to the ground dead,actually the mind is SRI ANIRUDDHA a member of the catur vyuha,the mind is SRI KRSNA used to say SRILA BHAKTIVINODA THAKUR HE says that is impossible to control the mind but when SRI KRSNA see our sincerity to get HIM with the daily sadhana bhakti of HDG ACBSP automatically one get self control and this is the proof that we are moving in krsna by being HIS ingredients in the creation created to fulfil HIS desire and by doing that we fulfil our desire in achieve complete mental control,that’s what everyone want in this manda sumanda matayo manda bhagya upadrutah over distressed society unfortunately where almost all the citizens are addicted to drugs to diminish the stress but they can’t escape to the side effects of the tablets especially to that of the karma which is not free,i’m working on the mind nowadays i mean to find the way to remember krsna 24 hrs on 24, to become at least free from the unwanting habits of the mind which keeps all the non devotees more involve in this material world full of dualities through the bodily concept of life trapped in this double prison house,i can’t see your mind and people can’t see my mind but the mind is there in the same way the not devotees can’t see that they are trapped they think they are free but nobody can enjoy without being free and this is the proof that the uncontrolled mind is actually our prison house and the maha mantra hare krsna is the way out for rascals like me to surrender by offering the mind back to SRI ANIRUDDHA the owner otherwise people get troubles by getting on wrong medication,the right medication is to chant hare krsna daily and take krsna prasada all life long to be sure to overcome the restless mind of kali yuga,thank you for your sat-sanga and blessing agtys ys a.c seva das aribol

  36. Uma Sridhar says:

    Hare Krishna !

    Pranam Swamiji,

    Another Excellent mail from you; its really helpful to devotees who want to make progress in spiritual path. I humbly share my experience and also wondering why am not still making remarkable progress in Krishna Bhakti?

    Living in India in a humble background, since my childhood, I am blessed to worship Krishna and because of this, I attained success in wordily life. In spite of my sincere effort, I feel I am standing in the same point where I started. As you have mentioned be a devotee first, your mind will come under your control.

    Prabhuji, why still it is a big task to control the mind; all diversions are pulling me away from Krishna, How to over come this? I do not where I went wrong; To get a glimpse of small officer in President’s office is easy but for getting a glimpse (meeting for 2 minutes)of Country’s President is difficult. Its really discouraging.Please explain.

    Hare Krishna

    Uma Sridhar

    • Hare Krishna Uma

      Some can achieve Krishna consciousness in a moment and others may take millions of lifetimes and not achieve it.

      We can become Krishna conscious only by the blessings of a pure devotee of Krishna. We can not become Krishna conscious by any other process. So simply chanting, reading, practicing austerities, any of these things in itself can not arouse Krishna consciousness.

      So we have to find a real pure devotee of Krishna and surrender to him, hear from him, follow his instructions, serve him, offer obeisances to him and if he is pleased with our service then we get his mercy and through his mercy we get the mercy of Krishna. That is the only way to become Krishna conscious.

      We can not please a pure devotee of Krishna without surrendering to him and that surrender is not something that generally any one of us wants to do. So there are many points, first you have to find an actual pure devotee of Krishna, then you have to surrender to him and server him and please him. The devotees who were fortunate enough to be in Srila Prabhupada’s physical presence and who actually surrendered to him and served him found they made very rapid spiritual advancement. So Prabhupada is still with us now but we are not very anxious to associate with him. Prabhupada spent so much time and energy writing his transcendental books for us and I suspect you have not even read all of Srila Prabhupada’s books. So I can give you a hint that if you take reading Srila Prabhupada’s books very seriously and read them all, preferably aloud so you can hear them as well, then that will please Srila Prabhupada, and it will please him even more if you take note of all the instructions that he gives you while reading them and actually implement these instructions in your life.

      Krishna consciousness is not like some mundane religion where we go to church and say some prayers and do some rituals and just go on with our life as it was before. No. Actually becoming Krishna conscious means we have to be prepared to transform our life and change many things in our life because of the instructions we get from Srila Prabhupada.

      But your background is very fortunate and whatever service you have done for Krishna during your life is not lost. It is all added up in your spiritual bank balance and you will never loose the credit for all the times you have visited the temples and chanted and rang the bell and bowed down before the Deities. And you do not know what your life would have been like if you did not have these opportunities.

      But as you know I am sure there are so many bogus gurus and practically everyone who is preaching there is really following the Mayavadi philosophy of Sankacharaya which Lord Caitanya condems very much saying ‘mayavadi bhasya suni haya sava nasa’: ‘anyone who hears the Mayavadi philosophy is spoiled.’ So in many cases the reason we are not advancing in spiritual life as we would like to is this Mayavadi contamination, it is very subtle and very poisonous…

      So the key really is to take shelter of Srila Prabhupada, read his books, follow his instructions and somehow please him and get his mercy and if you can do this by the grace of Srila Prabhupada you will make very rapid advancement in Krishna consciousness and controlling your mind and everything else will become so much easier.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  37. Kulenthiran says:

    Reverend swamiji,

    I understood the control of mind. As Arujana said to Krishna, It is very difficult to control as like control the wind. some times disatrous thinking are going on prayers time would you please explain how I can relieve from this kind of disaster.

    awaiting for swamiji’s reply.

    Hare Krishna Hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare.
    hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

    Yours obedient servant


    • Hare Krishna Kulenthiran

      You have to expect that in the beginning of Krishna consciousness ‘disastrous things’ will go on in your mind. All those disastrous images are stored up in our minds and as soon as we start the purification process of Krishna consciousness the mind gets stirred up and sometimes these disastrous things come into our minds at the most inappropriate times.

      To solve this problem you have to actually accept the process of saddhana bhakti as Srila Prabhupada is teaching it to us in his books. You really have to seriously and attentively chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day, you have to force yourself to follow the four regulative principles (no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication) and you have to read Prabhupada’s books for at least 1-2 hours a day in a submissive and receptive mood and you need to accept the instructions that Prabhupada will give you while you are reading his books and put them into practice in your life.

      It is not actually a very easy thing to control the mind. It is a great science and the process to control the mind is also scientific and has to be executed in a very careful and systematic way. So you have to learn the process and actually put it into practice in your life. Then gradually your mad mind will come under control…

      But most people are not prepared to do these things, so for them control of the mind will not be possible.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  38. Adwait says:

    What is the means & what is the end?

    Yoga is a means to achieve control over the mind? Or by controlling mind one attains ‘yoga’-ultimately- the Samadhi.

    The following sentences creates the above question

    “Krishna is letting Arjuna know he has to control his mind, and later in this chapter Krishna will describe to Arjuna the process of meditational yoga like astanga yoga or hatha yoga as a way to control the mind.”


    “Unless the mind is controlled the practice of yoga is simply a waste of time.”

    • Hare Krishna Adwait

      Controlling the mind has to be done before the yoga system can be practiced. It is not that simply by controlling the mind one can obtain samadhi. One has to control the mind and then he can begin the yoga process and the ultimate end of the yoga process is samadhi. So the first stages of the yoga process are actually about controlling the mind. And only when the mind is controlled can one move to the more advanced stages.

      But fortunately, in Krishna consciousness, the topmost yoga system, as I have mentioned also in this article, the mind becomes automatically controlled in the process of devotional service. So we only actually need to become pure devotees of Krishna and then our minds will be automatically controlled and we will reach this position of samadhi in a much easier way than through the practice of the astanga or hatha yoga systems…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  39. Sudharshan says:

    hare Krishna,
    I am very happy to read your mail. It is very informative and helpful. I am constantly trying to follow the path that you have mentioned above. I will make sure that most of the day I stay connected with Sri Krishna by listening his praises and so on. This has made me forget all the worldly matters. But as a human being, I have got to fulfill some of my duties. I have to perform a son’s role. I have to earn my bread and so on. This is distracting me from my association from Sri Krishna. Can you suggest me a solution…

    • Hare Krishna Sudharsana

      In Krishna consciousness we have to continue or worldly duties also. But you can spiritualize your worldly duties by using the fruits of them [ie: the money that you earn] in the service of Krishna. If you transform your whole life so that everything you do is for Krishna then when you are at home when you want to cook you will be wanting to cook for Krishna, not for yourself. So to cook for Krishna you need some grains, some ghee, some vegetables, some milk, etc., and to get these things to cook for Krishna you need to get some money. So if you go to the office with that mentality, “I need to get some money to purchase grains, ghee, milk, vegetables and fruits so I can prepare a very nice offering and offer it to Krishna.” then at work you will be working for Krishna…

      So you can work like this and the more you do it the more your whole live will become spiritualized and ultimately you will only be working for Krishna…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  40. Parimal says:

    Hare Krishna!

    fantastic article on controlling the mind Dear Prabhu. Your articles always inspire and assist in becoming more and more steady in Krishna Consciousness. May Shri RadheKrishna and Srila Prabhupadaji bless you with their Causeless Mercy and Grace. May you forever swim in the sweey and joyful ecstasy of Krishna Prem.

    Thank you for your nice articles!

    Hari Bol, Hare Krishna!

  41. Traci says:

    I want to tell you what a blessing your writings are to me, but also thank all the people that comment. This IS my devotee community. As the lowest servant to The Lord living in rural America sometimes I feel very alone and lost with no one to go to with my questions. However, the Lord must guide you, because it isn’t very long for me to wait for the question to be answered. It is not possible for me to do most things “right” in my service to Him, but I always find time to chant and I always read from the books I have. It is a comfort knowing that there are others who are not perfect and that The Lord will accept even the littlest offering from those who love Him. I always keep in mind that we don’t have to be perfect because it is to His Glory that he gets to make us perfect in time. Take heart everyone! As a father allows a child to “help” even though he needs none, so Lord Krishna will allow us to succeed so we have something to offer the One who has everything.

  42. Neelakantan says:

    Hello, Im a spiritual student and I have a query.. there is an observation that “each soul is potentially divine” as quoted by Swami Vivekananda and i would like to know whether is it possible to attain Krishnahood, because in Buddhism they say one can attain Buddhahood/Enlightenment in this life time itself and in present circumstances. And is it possible to become Master itself than being Servant or servant(devotee) becoming a Master (Krishna) Is there a reference in Bhagavad gita that all humans can become Lord Krishna in this lifetime. Just a curiosity to know about it.

    • Hare Krishna Neelakantan

      Yes. It is true that each soul is potentially divine. But there is a big difference between the divinity that an individual soul can attain and the divinity of the Supreme Lord. We are qualitatively one with the Lord. We are the same substance as the Lord. So the Lord is divine and we, in our original pure form, are also divine. But, although we are one in quality with the Lord, there is a huge difference in the quantity. We are very tiny and the Lord is unlimited. You can take the example of the entire ocean and a drop of sea water. The quality of the entire ocean and the quality of one drop of the ocean water is the same. You can analyze the ocean and you will find salt in it, lots of salt, billions of tons of salt, and you can analyze the drop of sea water and you will also find salt. So we can say that the quality of the water in the ocean and the quality of one drop of that ocean water is the same. But it would be a big mistake to think that the drop was equal to the ocean, or that the drop could ever be equal to the ocean.

      So we are like that, we are made of the same substance as that of the Supreme Lord but we are only a tiny spiritual spark and he is the unlimited complete whole. So we are always, constitutionally a small tiny spark, we can never become like the Supreme Lord in quantity.

      We will never be the master. This idea of becoming the master is maya, or illusion. Becoming the master will never be possible for us. We are nitya krsna dasa, ‘eternally servants of Krishna.’

      So the perfection of our lives is to realize that we are eternally servants of Krishna and engage in the service of Krishna. We will never be Krishna, we will never be the master. We will always be servants of Krishna. That is our eternal constitutional position. Krishna is the master eternally and we are His servants eternally.

      When we desire to be the master Krishna sends us to the material world where He has most mercifully created a place where we can have the illusion of becoming the master. But it is only an illusion, it is only maya. And after many, many births in the material world, having all his attempts at becoming the master ultimately frustrated, a thoughtful living entity realizes that actually he can never be the master and he surrenders to Krishna and goes back home back to Godhead and continues his eternal constitutional position as a servant of Krishna there in the spiritual world. So even in the spiritual world we continue to render service to Krishna. That is the perfection of life, that is actually the source of the topmost transcendental bliss for us…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

About the Author

My first contact with a Hare Krishna was a most merciful Mataji in Oxford Street, London who sold me a "Higher Taste" cook book in 1984 while I was on holidays there. I started seriously reading Srila Prabhupada's books in Australia 1985 and by 1986 Srila Prabhupada had convinced me "Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead" and "we should surrender to Krishna."I joined the Hare Krishnas in Perth, Western Australia in 1986. Since then I have been chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, reading and distributing Srila Prabhupada's books and preaching as much as I can.That's my life and full-time occupation now really. I like it more than anything I've ever experienced before. Srila Prabhupada's books are so amazing... Even after reading them all many times they're still fresh and new. They are truly transcendental!That's it really. Now I'm just hankering to once again see the world chant Hare Krishna, dance and feast and float away in the ecstasy of Lord Caitanya's Sankirtana movement as it did in Srila Prabhupada's physical presence. Let the whole world drown in the ecstatic flood of love of Krishna!

Back to Top ↑